Gannon's pivotal intervention conquers Salford

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The Independent Online

A rousing second-half display earned Halifax a 38-20 win at Salford yesterday and consolidated their place in the top five. The Reds led 10-2 and were level at 20-20 after 58 minutes, but the prop Jim Gannon charged over from Andrew Dunemann's pass to put his side in front.

Salford's hopes for their first home win of 2000 virtually disappeared on the hour when Brad Hepi was sent off for a high tackle on Brett Goldspink. The consolation for Salford, who remain second from bottom in the Super League table, was Nick Pinkney's 200th try of his career.

Ian Sibbitt scored the first hat-trick of his career to help Warrington to a 38-28 win at the McAlpine Stadium to keep Huddersfield-Sheffield rooted below Salford. The 19-year-old, playing at centre, began his haul in only the third minute and added two more before half-time, when the Wolves led 24-0. The Giants threatened a comeback with three tries in seven minutes through Gene Ngamu, Andy Rice and Karl Lovell, but Allan Langer claimed his second try on 55 minutes. Lee Briers and Steve McCurrie added the others.

The top four teams all secured home wins in the latest round of Northern Ford Premiership matches to leave Leigh a point clear at the summit. However, the leaders were the least convincing victors with a nervous 44-40 win over Batley.

Leigh made heavy weather of their fourth straight victory as poor defensive work saw them lose a 16-4 advantage to trail 22-18 at half-time. Batley continued to cause problems, with Roger Simpson securing a hat-trick and it took a late try from Alan Cross to settle the match.

Dewsbury, in second, scored 13 tries in a 72-13 rout of bottom-club Lancashire Lynx, with Nathan Graham claiming a hat-trick of touchdowns and Barry Eaton landing 10 goals.

Keighley and Doncaster, in third and fourth respectively, both breached the half-century mark. Doncaster's Craig Weston set a club record of 24 tries for the season with a hat-trick in the 68-12 mauling of Barrow, breaking Mark Roche's total of 21 that had stood for 10 years. Neil Bennett notched four tries to add to Weston's treble.

Martin Wood exerted a huge influence as Keighley made it 10 wins out of 10 with a scintillating nine-try victory over Workington Town while Oldham rolled over Hull KR at Craven Park to register their seventh straight win and leapfrog their hosts in the table.