Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles 22 Halifax 24

Early hope: The Eagles score before being pegged back by Halifax last night. Photo: Steve Parkin.
Early hope: The Eagles score before being pegged back by Halifax last night. Photo: Steve Parkin.
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SHEFFIELD Eagles hopes of making their first Northern Rail Cup final went down the drain as Halifax staged a great second half comeback.

Fax trailed 18-4 at half-time but dominated the play after the break to snatch the semi-final and will face Featherstone Rovers for the trophy later this month.

Eagles, with Andrew Henderson, outstanding controlled the play in the first half but that grip slipped as Fax came back.

The early arm-wrestle saw both teams forced into handling errors with Fax making the better use of the field position and pinning the Eagles in their 20-metre zone.

A penalty took the Eagles into the Fax half and a chip kick by Simon Brown bounced back off a Fax player into the hands of second rower Michael Knowles who went over.

Then hooker Henderson went over from dummy half.

Eagles stretched their lead with winger Scott Turner taking a high kick from Dominic Brambani to touch down.

Fax finally found a way through the Sheffield defence through full-back Ryan Fieldhouse

Brown, who had converted the three Eagles tries, missed a penalty but Eagles kept up the pressure with Menzie Yere held on the line and went in 18-4 ahead at half-time.

Halifax scored 10 minutes into the half with a Handforth kick collected by ex-Eagles winger Rob Worrincy for the try. Steve Tyrer added the goal.

The lead disappeared as Dane Manning sent scrum-half Anthony Thackery under the posts and Tyrer added the goal then a penalty.

Fax took the lead as a Thackeray chip kick was misjudged by Quentin Laulu-Togagae and winger Wayne Rettie touched down. Tyrer added the goal.

With four minutes left Knowles dived over for a try but Brown couldn’t add the goal.

n Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Scott. Hirst. Subs: Smith, Straugheir, Green, Higgins.

n Halifax: Fieldhouse; Worrincy, Tyrer, Paterson, Riettie; Handforth, Thackeray; Gannon, Penkywicz, Ambler, Manning, Robinson, Ashall. Subs: Bowman, Casey, Barlow, Aizue, Ashall.