For the second game in a row, Halifax showed increasing confidence in themselves and won well. The start was tentative and they were threatened early on by a heavy York pack who pounded away at the home line going close to scoring only to be met by committed Halifax tackling. This was maintained throughout the game and was an important factor in their mounting dominance.
Confidence grew. Having weathered an early storm, Halifax began to use the ball. Gallagher and Richardson combined well in switching play to find lock Glen Warne, who generally had an impressive game, up in support and he was not troubled in his run to the line. Chris Dennison had a simple conversion.
York returned to the attack. Halifax again defended stoutly but did not help their cause by conceding a series of penalty/free kicks. In the 25th minute, York’s tidy fly half scythed through the midfield to open their account with an unconverted try. At half time the score was 10-5 indicating the close nature of the game but it was becoming apparent that Halifax were in the ascendant. That view was helped along by some fine fielding of the high ball, return kicking and elusive running by Dennison [left wing] and some good distribution by scrum half Callum Bowmer. It was late in the first half when Dennison extended the lead with a penalty goal.
The second half was contended in heavy rain but effective work by Gallagher and Corey [No 8] set up territorial advantage which was, for the most part, never lost thereafter. Halifax were intent on keeping the ball alive. Fifteen minutes in, Bowmer set up a move to the stand side. Corey took the ball on and gave a superb pass to speedy right winger Alex Saiao who had a clear run to the line. Dennison, having a fine kicking performance, converted from the touch line. He quickly added another penalty to make it 20 – 5.
Conditions were difficult for handling but Halifax performed well both up front and outside and this combination was material in their last try. York were unable to find touch from a penalty kick. Dennison took the ball and his elusive speed down the left enabled him to feed the supporting full back Jack Ryan. His inside jink beat the opposition. Dennison, returning the favour converted the Ryan try with another touch line kick. York held the advantage in the scrummages but Halifax with lock Harry Palmer well in evidence, took the line outs and rucks.
In the gathering gloom and with the last whistle, York were rewarded for their never say die efforts with a converted try from close in.