Halifax ERA 34 Furness Raiders 8
Strong 2nd half clinches victory | 15/11/2017
THIS encounter proved to be just as exciting as had been anticipated, with second placed Halifax entertaining the College immediately below them in the league table. The match was played on the Wednesday evening at Heath RU with an excellent crowd approaching 200 witnessing the contest.
(Report by Paul English)
For the first 30 minutes those spectators were left wondering just which side would come out on top. Play swung from end to end with Brandon Corrie, Jake Carter and Jake Stockdale linking well only to see the final pass drift into touch much to the relief of the home side.
Halifax looked to have broken the deadlock though referee Nick Bennett ruled that an obstruction had taken place in the build up. Then Titus Gwaze made a superb break only to see his pass go astray.
It was the visitors who took the lead with Corrie, Carter, Stockdale and Tyler Lancaster linking for free-scoring winger Adam Ford to power over in the right corner. Carter missed with the conversion.
The end to end contest then saw Halifax winger Luke Safa reach out to score for a try that Rourke Woolley was unable to convert, leaving the half time score tied at 4-4.
Halifax were quickly out of the blocks in the second half with Ethan Egerton-Sharp opting for a short-side play that saw Harvey Williams power his way over in typical fashion. Woolley kicked an excellent near touchline conversion.
The home side’s lead was extended further on 50 minutes. A Fin Hickey last tackle kick was collected by a Barrow player but Hickey’s quick thinking saw the home fullback regain possession in a one-on-one tackle. Two tackles later halfback Jordan Paga quick feet opened a huge gap in the Furness defence and he zipped through to score a try converted by Woolley.
From the re-start Raiders’ fullback Stockdale held on too long to hinder a Halifax break and was sin-binned by referee Bennett. Woolley’s penalty kick went wide.
However, within two minutes Halifax were back on attack and another play from their right-side edge saw Archie Andrade step through for a try in his first league appearance of the season. Woolley again converted.
From stalemate at half time this game had quickly seen Halifax lead by 18 points by the 55th minute.
The Barrow-based college tried hard to hit back with Shane Sanderson held up.
A superb break from Gwaze saw the forward unselfishly hand on to the supporting Hickey for Halifax’s next try converted by Woolley. Their momentum was continued with a second try in two league games for Brandon Godward, converted by Woolley, though later good plays by Paga and Williams failed to open the visiting defence.
Indeed it was Furness who went on to score with Ford touching down for an unconverted try in the right corner. He had a later chance but lost possession.
The final, though often unanswered question, was how did the profile of the game switch so much after half time. One Halifax player put it down to their completion rate which was much better in the second half and that was probably a fair reflection
HALIFAX ERA: 1 Finley Hickey; 2 Luke Safa, 3 Archie Andrade, 4 Myles Harrop, 5 Rourke Woolley; 6 Jordan Paga, 7 Ethan Egerton-Sharp; 8 Jack Stevenson, 9 Seb Blanco, 10 Joslin Landu, 11 Harvey Williams, 12 Sam Smith, 13 Titus Gwaze. Subs: 14 Brad Clarkson, 15 Daniel May, 16 Brandon Godward, 20 Dylan Harley-Poulton.
Tries: Safa (37), Williams (42), Paga (50), Andrade (55), Hickey (65), Godward (68)
Goals: Woolley 5/7
FURNESS RAIDERS: 1 Jake Stockdale; 2 Adam Ford, 3 Tyler Lancaster, 4 Aiden Wright, 5 Johnny Hutton; 6 Jake Carter, 7 Brandon Corrie; 8 Tyler Batty, 9 Shane Sanderson, 10 Matty Brown, 11 Charlie Helmsley, 12 Zac Steel, 13 Danny Wright. Subs: 14 Etham Bickerdike, 15 Ewan Costa, 16 Brad Richards, 18 Cameron Hetherington, 20 Alfie Thomas.
Tries: Ford (31, 76)
Goals: Carter 0/2
Sin bin: Stockdale (53) – professional foul.
REFEREE: Nick Bennett