Rams edge thriller to close in on Shield rivals

DEWSBURY RAMS clung on for a vital 24-22 victory away at Halifax to keep pace with their rival Championship Shield play-off hopefuls. 

In a hugely entertaining 80 minutes, both sides could have won the game.

Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison said: “We ground it out, it wasn’t pretty but the desire and hunger to have each other’s back, especially in the last 10 minutes, is what we have been about for the last three years.

“We gave them a few chances but our defence was good and we forced some errors out of them.

“Our transition from defence to attack was very pleasing and considering how we have done this year, a win is a win.”

Halifax head coach Richard Marshall admitted it was a worry to see his side lose six straight games but denied they were in crisis, he said: “I thought it was a bit better this week.

“We are not in a good place, we are not where we want to be but I thought we showed a lot of heart, especially in the second half to get ourselves back in the game but we gave them two or three tries.”

Halifax could have been ahead after just five minutes when a Scott Murrell kick to the corner was dropped by an unmarked James Saltonstall when it looked easier for him to score.

The men in blue and white did open the scoring on 10 minutes through Miles Greenwood after a swift counter attack.

Dewsbury half-back Andy Kain spilled the ball on the Halifax 40 metre line and Mitch Cahalane was there to pick up the loose ball.

The prop didn’t quite have the legs to get over himself, eventually tackled 10 metres from the Dewsbury line.

On the next play though the ball was shifted out wide quickly to Greenwood who did enough to get in at the corner.

The Rams did get on the scoreboard after Jason Crooks and Andy Kain had forced a drop-out for their side.

Etu Uaisele went over in the corner after a cut-out pass from Kain.

Morrison’s men were then ahead through Kain, who intercepted a Gareth Moore pass and went 60 metres to score.

In a real topsy-turvy game, Halifax captain Murrell got his side level when he followed up his own grubber kick that came back off the upright.

The hosts managed to extend their lead further before half-time when Moore got the ball out to Dane Manning who, having made his first appearance in two months following a thumb injury, strolled in from 10 yards out.

One touch judge disallowed the conversion but the referee awarded the two points.

Dewsbury were back level seven minutes into the second half when former Halifax man Tony Tonks crashed over from close range.

The Rams went in front once again just two minutes later as Uaisele got his second of the afternoon, taking advantage of some slack Halifax defence to plant the ball down over the line from five yards out.

Tom Hemingway kicked a penalty to put eight points between the sides for the first time in the match.

But Halifax came back once again through Jacob Fairbank, who powered through the Dewsbury defence and round Josh Guzdek at full-back.

Halifax threw everything at the Rams defence in the final 10 minutes but could not find a way through and fell to a sixth straight defeat.

Following Sheffield Eagles’ defeat to struggling Swinton Dewsbury are now level on points with their South Yorkshire rivals ahead of a crunch game with Bradford Bulls on bank holiday Monday (Aug 29, 3pm).

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