Halifax 48 Sheffield Oaks 0
Yorkie Stout gives his verdict on Halifax's promotion-clinching victory over Sheffield Oaks.
Waking up with a tingle in your belly is what sport is about, and on Saturday I had that tingle. We needed one point from two games to gain promotion, and a match against Sheffield Oaks, who needed to win to avoid the drop, was the order of the day.
A look out of the window showed a sunny day, so the pitch would suit our game and made the decision to leave the long johns in the drawer, and wear shorts, much easier.
The atmosphere at the club was good, and a reunion of former players meant a crowd of around 150 had gathered to see us potentially achieve promotion to Yorkshire Three.
The game started at a good pace with Oaks showing they meant business, but the conditions meant that Halifax’s running rugby would pay dividends, and 8 minutes into the first half a set move of missed passes released Elliot Mercer
to cross the line for an unconverted try.
The next 10 minutes or so showed an on-fire Halifax produce some spectacular running rugby, with only silly mistakes stopping tries being scored. But the constant pressure paid off with Toby Turner
crossing the line for a try ably converted by our captain, Richard Cole.
Oaks then picked up their game and forced Halifax to contain a sustained period of attack, until a turnover ball gave Halifax the opportunity to link forwards and backs, and gave Jack Ryan
a try to take us in to half-time 19-0 up.
From the kick off a line out 5 yards from the line, and in front of an excited crowed, gave the forwards a chance to produce a rolling maul, putting Tony Curtis
over for a try giving us the 1 point bonus we needed to secure promotion.
Ten minutes later, Joe Gallagher
intercepted the ball in our twenty two and with some flair and panache cashed in on some recent training sessions and ran the length of the pitch to score a try.
This standard of play was maintained with once again forwards and backs linking together to send Andy Harris, the flying doctor, over for another well executed try.
Closely followed by Tony Curtis
breaking through the defensive line, and showing no sign of his advancing years, doing the 75 yard dash to score between the posts and giving Gallagher an easy conversion.
Richard Cole showed he is as at home with the forwards as he is with the backs, and scored on the 80th minute to finish a fine performance and seal promotion to Yorkshire 3
I am one very proud team manager.