Halifax lose way after bright first half

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Halifax RUFC were left to rue a disappointing second-half display as they lost 19-12 to Stocksbridge in Yorkshire Three.

The visitors had performed well over the course of the first 40 minutes, taking the game to Stocksbridge up front despite playing uphill and against a biting wind.

A series of drives took Halifax up field and after Tony Curtis, Ben Maxwell and Jack Pilcher all went close, the ball was moved wide for Elliott Hoyle to cross. Richard Cole converted.

Stocksbridge regrouped and were rewarded with a try of their own when their powerful second row broke through to score.

Halifax were undeterred, though, with the pack once again providing the platform for Elliott Mercer to cross from close range.

Leading 12-7 at the break, Halifax looked to be in a strong position. However the game turned after the restart with Stocksbridge awarded a controversial penalty try. The conversion was added.

Halifax were then guilty of gifting the hosts easy possession, with poor handling and some disappointing kicks. And Stocksbridge took full advantage to cross again for a try in the corner.

Halifax gave everything in the final 10 minutes but some scrambling Stocksbridge defence kept them at bay.

Yorkshire Four leaders Halifax Vandals lost 31-11 at home to Skipton.

It was only the Warley men’s second league defeat of the season and their advantage over second-placed Hessle was trimmed to two points.