In-form Halifax stretch winning run to open up gap on Bulldogs

Halifax opened up a six-point gap over Batley in the race for a top-four Championship finish with a convincing 40-22 win at the Shay.

James Saltonstall

Richard Marshall’s side, who have now won their last six games, were dominant for long spells against Matt Diskin’s visitors, who face a real challenge if they are to replicate last season’s exploits in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

The home side were in front inside four minutes, James Woodburn-Hall making a classic centre’s break down the right and putting James Saltonstall over in the corner.

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Steve Tyrer’s conversion sailed wide, but Halifax should have scored on the next set, Tyrer and Connor Robinson putting Rob Worrincy into open space 10 metres out, only to see the winger spill the pass.

Batley made the most of their reprieve, scoring through a charging Danny Cowling, Cain Southernwood’s missed kick leaving the scores locked at 4-4.

Halifax scored twice through full-back Will Sharp and captain Scott Murrell, Tyrer missing one kick for a 14-4 lead.

Bulldogs winger Jy Hitchcox touched down, Southernwood converting from the sideline, before Halifax responded as Shane Grady slid a kick in behind the line for Tyrer to score.

The centre’s conversion left Halifax 20-10 up and they scored again, Brandon Moore storming in. Woodburn-Hall touched down from Murrell’s short pass, Tyrer putting Halifax 32-10 ahead.

Batley rallied, scoring a try through Alex Rowe and pounding the Halifax line for long spells, but with 10 minutes remaining Saltonstall raced the length of the field to score.

The visitors scored again through hooker Alistair Leek, Dominic Brambani converting, but it was far too little, too late, point underlined by Will Sharp’s last-play touchdown.

Halifax: Sharp; Saltonstall, Woodburn-Hall, Tyrer, Worrincy; Murrell, Robinson; Boyle, Kaye, Cahalane, Grady, Tangata, Fairbank. Substitutes: Barber, Moore, Morris, Reilly

Batley: Scott; Hitchcox, Smeaton, Cowling, Hallett; Southernwood, Brambani; Gledhill, Leak, Rowe, Day, Farrell, Manning. Substitutes: Lillycrop, Bretherton, Brown, Holmes.

Referee: J Smith (RFL).