Halifax 60 Whitehaven 18: Murrell leads second-half rout as Halifax crush Whitehaven

Fax captain Scott Murrell
Fax captain Scott Murrell
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Halifax produced a clinical second-half performance to seal a 60-18 Championship win over Whitehaven at the Shay.

Richard Marshall’s side only led 18-12 at the break, having frittered away a 16-0 advantage.

But a Dane Manning touchdown less than two minutes after the restart, the back rower pouncing on an awful error from Whitehaven full-back Richard Lepori, was converted by Scott Murrell for a nerve-calming 24-12 scoreline.

A James Saltonstall try quickly followed, paving the way for further touchdowns from Ben Johnston and Steve Tyrer, all converted by Murrell, as the scoreline ballooned to 42-12.

Haven gained some respite with a Scott McAvoy try, Murrell, Adam Robinson and Ed Barber rounded off a comfortable win, Murrell finishing with nine conversions and Tyrer one. The home side came out of the blocks quickly, with Tommy Saxton touching down in the corner after a minute following some slick passing from Danny Craven, Johnston and Tyrer.

Tyrer missed the conversion, but was on target when he scored himself on the left flank.

Leading 10-0, Fax then stretched their advantage to 16-0 after Adam Robinson raced on to a Saltonstall grubber kick.

At that stage, it looked like a slaughter was on the cards, but Halifax slowly lost the intensity they had in their game early on, allowing the Cumbrians back into the contest.

Half-back Deon Aiye scored from a Jordan Johnstone kick, Johnstone converting, before a fine finish from Craig Calvert, again goaled by Johnstone, made it 16-12 after 30 minutes.

Halifax stepped up a gear, going close to scoring through Ben Heaton before a penalty from Murrell on the stroke of half time gave them an 18-12 advantage.

Halifax: Johnston; Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, Craven; Ambler, Maneely, Cahalane, Divorty, Manning, Robinson. Substitutes: Barber, Moore, Bracek, Kaye

Whitehaven: Lepori; Chamberlain, Parker, Hulme, Calvert; Aiye, Johnstone; Davies, Coyle, Walker, McAvoy, Hepi, Allen. Substitutes: Brooks, Beaumont, Newton, Fox

Referee: C Kendall (RFL).