Halifax 0 Dewsbury 25: Thackeray returns as Rams crush Halifax

Dewsbury Rams' Anthony Thackeray (with ball).Dewsbury Rams' Anthony Thackeray (with ball).
Dewsbury Rams' Anthony Thackeray (with ball).
Dewsbury Rams will play league winners Leigh next week for a place in the Championship Grand Final after a stunning win over Halifax at the Shay.

Glenn Morrison’s side crushed their hosts, still under the temporary tutelage of captain Scott Murrell following the exit of coach Karl Harrison a month ago, with a ruthless display.

The former Halifax half-back Anthony Thackeray, unwanted by Harrison last autumn and now a Championship Player of the Year nominee, touched down twice as the Rams snatched every chance that came their way.

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Halifax equalled the Rams for significant spells, particularly in the first half, but were hindered by the same problem that has dogged them over the last two seasons, namely an inability to translate that superiority onto the scoreboard.

Halifax had started the afternoon by announcing a new recruit for 2015 – former Wigan player Chris Taylor, who has been at Whitehaven this season – and, with Murrell’s kicking game pinning the Rams back, they made a solid start on the field.

Thackeray gave Halifax the lead after his half-back partner Keiran Hyde had burst clear after pouncing on a deflected kick, another Shay old boy, Tom Hemingway, adding the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Hyde tagged on a penalty for an 8-0 advantage as the half hour approached, prompting Halifax’s best spell of the game as Murrell’s side forced a succession of drop outs.

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None yielded a scoring opportunity though, with Hyde kicking a drop goal just before the break to make it 9-0.

The home side started the second half well, but a try from Sam Wood on 48 minutes, plucking the ball from the grasp of Halifax wing Tommy Saxton, saw the Rams leading 13-0.

And when the veteran Tommy Gallagher touched down on threequarter time, Hemingway converting, the game looked as good as over at 19-0.

All that remained was for Thackeray to round off a polished Rams performance with the final try six minutes from time.

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Halifax: Martin; Potts, Tyrer, Casey, Saxton; Murrell, Mennell; Brooks, Kaye, Ambler, Manning, Divorty, Adamson. Substitutes: Tonks, Robinson, Holden, Bracek

Dewsbury: Pryce; Morton, Hellewell, Grady, Wood; Hyde, Thackeray; Haggerty, Hemingway, Hepworth, Spicer, Hale, Murphy. Substitutes: Wright, Maranka, Farrell, Gallagher

Referee: J Cobb (RFL).

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