WITH title-chasing Halifax still smarting from their dramatic Northern Rail Cup exit at the hands of the Rams a brave effort was perhaps the best Glenn Morrison could have hoped for from his injury-hit side.
The holders will be officially stripped of their crown next month when a fellow Championship pair do battle on their own patch for the knockout title.
And their start to proceedings suggest they had come to exact revenge.
A host of Morrison's main men were sidelined including skipper Austin Buchanan, former captain Rob Spicer, first-choice hooker Ryan Wright – all long-term absentees – and playmaker Aaron Brown.
Their absence became obvious during a totally one-sided opening period as Karl Harrison's side raced into a 24-point interval lead, leaving Dewsbury with a mountain to climb.
In truth Halifax never looked back and had the win sealed long before the hour mark.
But the far superior visitors were made to fight for victory as the Rams gave everything during a strangely even closing quarter.
Former Super League star Scott Murrell was at the centre of everything for Halifax and made his presence known just four minutes in via a brilliant 40-20.
The one-time Hull Kingston Rover had laid the platform and the away side pounced superbly through full-back Ryan Fieldhouse.
Murrell was involved in Halifax’s second too, sending Ross Divorty through a gaping hole to claim his first of a two-try haul.
To their credit, the Rams responded admirably on 20 minutes when Dale Morton collected a towering Bobbie Goulding bomb to score in the corner, the winger evading three would-be tacklers to touch down.
However, it was very much downhill from there.
A second Murrell 40-20 set up a brilliant Lee Paterson try and their was further pain coming courtesy of the half-back as he provided the pass for ex-Batley Bulldog Wayne Reittie to cross on the half-hour.
Prior to the break Divorty finalised his double, which effectively ended the tie as a contest.
Halifax were denied a try early in the second period as referee Warren Turley spared the Rams added misery ruling a forward pass.
For a moment the pendulum swung and on-loan hooker Adam O’Brien offered Dewsbury hope of completing a fightback, powering across the whitewash following a dummy-half run.
But the Bradford Bull’s try was cancelled out when Andy Bracek added his name to the scoresheet on 59 minutes.
The visitors had another try wiped off by the officials on 68 minutes as Bracek’s offload to Karl Ashall was said to have gone forward by the man in the middle.
Rams half-back Kieran Hyde bagged a consolation try after stealing the ball one-on-one from the grasp of Dane Manning.
Though Murrell fittingly had the final say, dropping a goal with minutes left to cap a marvellous individual display.
Despite everything the Rams returned to the dressing rooms well-beaten and, worse still, empty handed.
RAMS: Karl Pryce 6; Dale Morton 7; Brad Watkinson 6; Gregg Scott 7; Vinny Finigan 6; Kieran Hyde 7; Bobby Goulding 6; Stephen Nash 6; Kane Bentley 6; Ryan Hepworth 6; Lucas Walshaw 6; Scott Hale 7; Tommy Gallagher 6. Subs: Adam O’Brien 7; Josh Tonks 7; Ben Jones 6; Tommy Lillycrop 7.
Tries: Morton (20), O’Brien (55), Hyde (72)
Goals: Goulding (2/3)
HALIFAX: Ryan Fieldhouse 7; Lee Paterson 7; Steve Tyrer 8; Ben Heaton 7; Wayne Reittie 8; Scott Murrell 9; Anthony Thackeray 8; Tony Tonks 7; Paul Handforth 7; Andy Bracek 8; Dave Manning 7; Ross Divorty 8; Craig Ashall 7. Subs: Karl Ashall 7; Luke Ambler 7;
Adam Robinson 7; Luke Adamson 7.
Tries: Fieldhouse (4), Divorty (12, 38), Paterson (29), Reittie (34), Bracek (59)
Goals: Tyrer (5/6)
Drop-Goal: Murrell (77)
ThePress Man of the Match: Scott Hale - The centre was solid throughout
Weather: Cloudy & Windy
Match Rating: 3/5
By Steve Martyn