Bradford dispatch Fax to set up challenging tie against Wigan

Halifax 34 Bradford 46

It might have had the rhythm and flavour of an end-of-season sevens, rather than the fourth round of the Challenge Cup, but this at least gives Bradford a big day to look forward to in an otherwise forgettable season.

Their coach, Mick Potter, knows they will need to be much better against Wigan in the next round. "It's a tough draw, but at least we're at home," he said.

The Bulls might not have even been in the draw if Halifax had shown a little steadiness. But that is Fax for you; alternately thrilling in the way they use the ball and chilling in the way they abuse it.

"We had two or three chances and if we'd taken them we could have won the game," said the Halifax coach, Matt Calland, who from today will have Brian Noble working alongside him.

As the biggest match so far at the redeveloped Shay, this one had extra significance for a club with Halifax's Super League aspirations. However, here was nothing top-flight about the lack of composure with which they began the game, conceding two penalties and a drop-goal and only being spared an opening try when Michael Platt could not pick up a difficult pass from his bootlaces.

Halifax immediately gave the ball back and their former favourite Shad Royston got over from dummy-half. When Royston put Gareth Raynor in, the stage was set for the Bulls to get on with the job, but they were just as random with the ball as their opponents.

After Miles Greenwood had gone close, Halifax claimed their first try when Jim Gannon charged onto Bob Beswick's pass. Back came Bradford, with Royston's pass sending Platt right through Graham Holroyd's tackle.

Rob Worrincy's unique style of running in seming to go in every direction at once then confused Bradford enough for Sean Penkywicz to sneak over and the give-and-take continued with Elliot Whitehead going down the left touchline like a winger. It was Halifax's turn again and Frank Watene took it after good work by Ben Black and Penkywicz, who soon experienced the other side of the game by throwing the pass that was intercepted for a try by Patrick Ah Van.

Tom Burgess got his first try for Bradford, but still the toing-and-froing was not over, with Danny Jones taking Penkywicz's pass to limit the half-time margin to eight points.

Sam Barlow narrowed it further with a try from Black's little kick, but that was as close as Halifax were to get. A series of penalties – during which Worrincy had the ball stolen twice – put them under pressure, with Ian Sibbit finally forcing his way over.

Raynor's second effectively made the game safe, although Beswick got one for Halifax in the last minute. To paraphrase The Goon Show, it might have been rubbish, but it was all British rubbish – and richly entertaining rubbish at that.

Halifax: Greenwood; White, Patterson, Nash, Worrincy; Holroyd, Black; Gannon, Beswick, Cherryholme, Smith, Bannister, Barlow. Substitutes used: Jones, Aizue, Penkywicz, Watene.

Bradford: Royston; Ah Van, Platt, Walker, Raynor; Briggs, Herbert; Lynch, L'Estrange, Kopczak, Whitehead, Sibbit, Donaldson. Substitutes used: Hargreaves, O'Brien, Burgess, Bateman.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?