Halifax make up for last year as Tyrer clinches gritty win

Halifax 21 Featherstone 12

Bloomfield Road

Halifax won the Northern Rail Cup for the first time yesterday in Blackpool, hanging on to beat the favourites in an old-fashioned classic of a game.

Featherstone looked to have the edge when they drew level midway through the second half, but Fax, beaten by Leigh in the final last year, kept their nerve. Two goals and a try late on from Steve Tyrer, plus Craig Ashall's drop goal, steered them home for a victory they deserved as much for their gutsy defence as anything.

The big day out for clubs outside Super League rarely fails to produce a gripping contest. Pitting Featherstone, the most consistent team in the Championship, against Halifax, on their day the most expansive, promised to continue that tradition. It was all Halifax at the start. After four minutes, their half-backs combined as they have done so often this season, Paul Handforth kicking through for Anthony Thackeray to touch down.

Featherstone equalised with another half-back combination, Andy Kain passing to Liam Finn, who threw a dummy to manufacture a gap and a glimpse of the line.

Both these clubs have Super League aspirations, but this a different, less sanitised form of the game, where villains are still villains and you feel the big hits in row W of the stand. Sam Barlow was the centre of much of the game's abundant aggression and he was warned for his part in one of a series of flare-ups.Moments later, he was taking a short pass, scattering defenders and scoring under the posts.

Featherstone started the second half the stronger team, cutting the lead through Sam Smeaton's try. Finn, who recently set a world record for successive goal kicks, missed from the touchline, but soon added the equalising penalty.

The momentum was with Fev, the Championship leaders all season, but Halifax stopped them in their tracks. Tyrer kicked them back into the lead, Ashurst slotted over an opportunist one-pointer and, as time ran out, Barlow's offload kept the ball alive, Handforth kicked for the corner and Tyrer got the vital touch, with the video referee ruling that there had not been a knock-on in the build-up.

Nine points looked a comfortable margin, but it had been anything but that. What it was, however, was another in a series of these finals which have show how entertaining rugby league at this level can be.

Halifax have ticked one of the boxes that enable them to apply for Super League. Given the plight of their neighbours, Bradford, their minds might be turning to that sooner rather then later.

Halifax Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Paterson, Tyrer, Reittie; Handforth, Thackeray; Gannon, Robinson, Hesketh, Manning, Ambler, Ashall Substitutes used Bowman, Aizue, Barlow, Penkywicz. Tries Thackery, Bowman, Tyrer Goals Tyrer 4 Drop goal Ashall. Featherstone Hardman; Briscoe, Smeaton, Worthington, Saxton; Kain, Finn; England, Kaye, Dickens, Grayshon, Spears, Dale Substitutes used Lockwood, Maloney, Haley, Bostock Tries Finn, Smeaton Goals Finn 2 Referee J Leahy Attendance: 6,691

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam