Match report: Halifax 28 Doncaster 28

Dons v Hunslet.  Paul Cooke is tripped by Jimmy Watson on his way to the try line.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Dons v Hunslet. Paul Cooke is tripped by Jimmy Watson on his way to the try line. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
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The Dons came back from 22 points down to secure a last gasp draw at the Shay and maintain their unbeaten run.

After a fiercely competitive opening it appeared as though the game had slipped well beyond the Dons’ reach when the hosts opened up a 28-6 lead by the 53rd minute.

But the Dons refused to lie down and roared back with Dave Scott’s conversion of a Paul Cooke try securing a draw with the last kick of the game.

The game was incredibly tight from the off with both defenses on top in a tight opening 20 minutes.

It was the Dons who enjoyed the better of the early possession and territory and it always appeared as though an error would be needed for the deadlock to be broken.

And it came on 23 minutes when Dennis Tuffour allowed a bomb to bounce and then assumed the ball was going out, allowing Wayne Reittie to steal in.

Halifax showed their ruthlessness in the remainder of the half, tries from Ben Heaton and Andy Bracek, converted by Paul Handforth, stretching their lead.

When it appeared the game was slipping away from the Dons, Cooke pounced as Halifax appealed for a knock-on with Scott’s conversion giving them a lifeline four minutes from the break.

Halifax were definitely intent on seeing the game out, piling on the pressure defensively in the early stages after the break. And tries from Dane Manning and Callum Casey appeared to have sealed the win.

But the Dons were not done and produced an incredible turnaround in the final 27 minutes, built entirely on a ferocious effort.

Tries from Mike Kelly, Matty Dawson and Mike Emmett brought them within touching distance.

And with mere seconds on the clock, Cooke broke from 25 metres, exchanged passes and surged over under the posts giving Scott an easy kick to seal the draw and a fifth game unbeaten.

Dons: Butterfield, Scott, Cowling, Dawson, Tuffour, Cooke, Fawcett, Castle, Emmett, Carbutt, Kelly, Spurr, Robinson. Subs: Kesik, Spiers, Waller, Waterman.