Halifax 32 Hunslet 24: Saltonstall snatches derby win for Halifax

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Halifax scored two tries in the final seven minutes to secure a crucial win over Hunslet.

Richard Marshall’s side, who led 20-18 at the break, lost Steve Tyrer, Adam Robinson and Jacob Fairbank to injury and were trailing 24-20 to a Vinny Finigan try as the clock ticked down.

But captain Scott Murrell finished off fine approach play from Ben Kaye and Dane Manning and then converted to put them 26-24 ahead, before full-back James Saltonstall sealed victory with a long-range solo effort, Murrell on target with the final kick.

The home side who took the lead when Tyrer and Murrell carved out a sharp chance for Alex Brown, who touched down in the corner. Tyrer’s conversion drifted wide and with the home side making far too many errors it was Hunslet who scored next, Leeds players Rob Mulhern and Jimmy Watson scoring back-to-back to put the visitors 12-4 ahead after 20 minutes.

Halifax’s response was swift with a trio of quickfire tries from Ben Heaton, Chris Taylor – who profited from great work from Luke Ambler and Saltonstall – and Tyrer to put them 20-12 ahead. But the Hawks scored on the final play of the half, with a brilliant pass from another Rhino, Jimmy Keinhorst, creating a walk in for Briscoe in the corner, Simon Brown kicking his third conversion to leave the contest poised at 20-18.

Finigan put the Hawks ahead but Halifax were not to be denied.

Halifax: Saltonstall; Brown, Heaton, Tyrer, Potts; Taylor, Murrell; Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Divorty, Manning, Fairbank. Substitutes: Robinson, Spencer, Moore, Maneely

Hunslet: Watson; Barnett, Briscoe, Maun, Finnigan; Brown, Kain; Mulhern, Flanagan, Lyons, Keinhorst, Backhouse, Mackay. Substitutes: Ansell, Martin, Brennan, Mvududu.

Referee: D Merrick (RFL).