Halifax 28 Swinton 18: Former York duo shine on debut for Halifax

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Halifax opened their 2014 Championship season with a solid home win over perennial strugglers Swinton.

Karl Harrison’s side, who finished third in last year’s competition, were never in danger against the Lancastrians, who only gave the scoreline a relatively flattering gloss with two late tries from the hooker Andy Ackers.

Halifax dominated the early exchanges and led 12-0 after as many minutes, back-to-back tries from newly-recruited half backs Simon Brown and Ben Johnston, both converted by Steve Tyrer, confirming their superiority.

The pair played together in the York side that was relegated at the end of 2013, but looked a far more potent pairing playing behind a more dominant pack, Johnston in particular showing both pace and vision to take the man-of-the-match prize.

The wing Wayne Reittie added a third try on the half hour, diving full length to profit from Brown’s well-placed grubber kick, Tyrer making it 18-0.

Swinton’s dual-registered Warrington wing Kevin Penny ran in on half time, showing spectacular pace to embarrass home full-back Ryan Fieldhouse, with Mick Nanyn’s conversion making it 18-6 at the break to the hosts.

But Halifax distanced their visitors immediately after the restart, Reittie and the substitute forward Adam Robinson crossing in quick succession as the home side turned the screw in attack.

Tyrer added one conversion for a 28-6 lead, which should have grown as a succession of chances were made and squandered.

Ackers’s late brace did nothing to threaten the home side’s first three-point haul of the year.

Halifax: Fieldhouse; Reittie, Tyrer, Heaton, Potts; Brown, Johnston; Tonks, Kaye, Bracek, Casey, Adamson, Murrell. Substitutes: Mennell, Robinson, Davies, Divorty

Swinton: Burke; Penny, Evans, Nanyn, Worthington; Fishwick, Watson; Menzies, Ackers, Cooper, Watkins, Hawkyard, Barlow. Substitutes: Bowman, Morrison, Johnson, Brown

Referee: J Cobb (Leigh)