Sheffield Eagles suffer first home league defeat of season after going down to Halifax at Olympic Legacy Park

Sheffield Eagles suffered their first home defeat in the league this season after going down to a narrow 32-24 loss against Halifax at the OLP.

By The Star Newsroom
Thursday, 25 April, 2019, 12:45
Sheffield Eagles...Mark Aston....................Pic Steve Ellis

Mark Aston’s side couldn’t match the high standards set in recent outings against Toulouse and Rochdale, as Fax, eager to prove a point after coach Richard Marshall departed the day before, held their nerve for a notable win.

The magic which saw Aston’s side blow away Toulouse on Good Friday seemed to be missing, as a motivated Halifax closed out a deserved victory.

Despite losing their coach at short notice, the visitors showed up well in the early stages as Ed Barber’s try had them in front, converted by Steve Tyrer.

The Eagles were taking their time to get going but were handed a foothold when Scott Murrell’s pass was intercepted by Aaron Brown, who sprinted 80 metres to bag his first Eagles try. Walker added the extras.

The hosts edged in front through a Walker penalty, and extended their lead on 26 minutes when James Davey saw a gap to dive over from dummy-half, with Walker converting.

With the hosts starting to find their groove, Fax hit-back with back-to-back converted tries from Murrell and Ben Woodburn-Hall to seize the initiative.

The Eagles though produced the best try of the game moments later to re-take the lead when Anthony Thackeray’s cross-field kick was collected by Ryan Millar, he sublimely exchanged passes with James Glover to cross the whitewash, with Walker converting from wide.

Fax were quickly back in front when Millar fluffed Murrell’s swirling high bomb, allowing Chester Butler to touch down for an easy converted try.

Tyrer kicked a penalty on the hour to extend the lead to six points as the momentum appeared to be with the visitors, only for Ben Blackmore to produce a brilliant individual effort winning the footrace after an inch perfect chip and chase from out wide to score. Walker missed the extras.

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The Eagles thought they were over through Brown with 10 minutes remaining but Sonny Esslemont’s pass on the stretch was deemed forward.

That was as good as it got late on for the hosts as Butler’s second converted try sealed the win in the dying minutes.

Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Glover, Dixon, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Moran, G. Burns, James; Farrell, Davies; Brown. Interchange: Esslemont, Knowles, Mason, Davey.

Scorers: Tries: Brown (13), Davey (26), Millar (37), Blackmore (59) Goals: Walker 4/5

Halifax: Laulu-Togagae; Robinson, Tyrer, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Woodburn-Hall; Morris, Moore, Kavanagh; Larrayer, Barber; Fairbank. Interchange: Fleming, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Chapman-Smith.

Scorers: Tries: Barber (4), Murrell (32), Woodburn-Hall (34), Butler (44, 39) Goals: Tyrer 6/6

Referee: Billy Pearson

Attendance: 966