A LATE try from Dewsbury Rams ensured a dramatic 20-18 victory over visitors Halifax at the Tetley’s Stadium, writes John Anderson.
In a game in which the lead changed hands three times, Dewsbury scored what proved to be the winning try in the 77th minute when they spread the ball wide and created enough space for Shane Grady to crash over.
In swirling conditions, the impressive Jordan Grayston nailed the conversion effort from just five yards inside the touchline.
However, from the restart, Makali Aizue came up with a knock on to give Halifax one final chance to steal the points and, with the game entering it’s final minute, Dewsbury were penalised for holding down.
This gave Steve Tyrer the chance to snatch a dramatic draw, when a share of the spoils would probably have been a fair result, but Tyrer pushed his kick the wrong side of the upright to spark wild celebrations on the home terraces.
Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison was proud of his team’s efforts and said: “We made it tough for ourselves but we fought hard to get the win. Both defences were solid and in the end it’s come down to one final kick, but I’m proud of the players and we did what we had to do to get the win”.
Dewsbury made the worst possible start to the game when Dale Morton knocked on in the first tackle of the game. Halifax subsequently forced three consecutive drop outs and in the fifth minute they made that pressure tell.
A neat blind side play from Paul Mennell
created an opening for Tommy Saxton out wide. The winger still had a lot to do but he took advantage of some weak defence to squeeze in at the corner. Tyrer failed to add the extras but did extend Halifax’s lead in the 10th minute after Dewsbury were penalised for a ball steal.
Tyrer found the target on the half hour mark after yet another penalty and Halifax led 8-0.
Dewsbury got on the scoreboard before the interval when a neat grubber kick to the in-goal by Tom Hemmingway was pounced on by Halifax old boy Anthony Thackeray.
Grayston had the simple task of adding the extras and the half-time score was 8-6 in Halifax’s favour.
Dewsbury made a fast start to the second
period and they went in front for the first time when the returning Austin Buchanan touched down a Keiron Hyde kick in the 44th minute. Grayston added the extras from the touchline.
Saxton was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for holding Scott Hale down after the break and Grayston kicked the subsequent penalty to extend Dewsbury’s lead to 14-8.
Thackeray dropped the ball in the act of
scoring when under no pressure whatsoever and moments later the miss looked costly as Halifax levelled the scores with a Ryan Fieldhouse try.
Tyrer converted and the game was all square again with 23 minutes remaining.
Both sides missed with penalty attempts and in the 71st minute Halifax thought they had won it when Callum Casey crashed over from close range. Tyrer hit the post with the crucial conversion and there was still hope for Dewsbury.
Grady’s late try, followed by Tyrer’s missed penalty, ensured it was the home side who picked up a vital victory.