11th February 2018, 17:10
Eagles defeated by 'Fax
Sheffield Eagles were beaten 30-10 by Halifax at the MBi Shay in round two of the Betfred Championship.
Halifax forward Daniel Murray scored twice while centre Steve Tyrer added five conversions from as many attempts as the West Yorkshire club got their first win of the season.
The wait for a victory goes on for Sheffield, who were in the running going into the final quarter at 18-10 down.
Jack Ashworth and Matt James got on the scoresheet for the Eagles but Mark Aston’s men were unable to stop Halifax from registering the two competition points.
Halifax were on the attack from the start of the match as Scott Murrell’s kick-off found touch. The hosts capitalised on the field position as James Saltonstall tapped a Murrell kick backwards for Will Sharp to play Murray over the line. Tyrer added the extras.
Sheffield responded in fine fashion as they touched down following two successive penalties. Ashworth took a pass from Cory Aston to go over the line for his first score in Eagles colours. Oscar Thomas converted.
But straight from the restart, Sheffield were under pressure once again as they let the ball bounce out of play for a goal line dropout. A penalty helped the hosts further and the pressure told when James Woodburn-Hall stepped past the defence to score. Tyrer was on target from the tee.
Mark Aston’s men had plenty of territory following Halifax’s second try but the South Yorkshire club couldn’t breach the hosts’ defence. After five goal line dropouts went their way, Sheffield spread the ball to the right flank but a knock-on halted their progress.
At the break, the Eagles were six points behind but couldn’t afford to take their eye off the ball if they were going to compete.
Unfortunately for Sheffield, Ed Barber powered over the whitewash in the 44th minute to make the visitors’ job even tougher. Tyrer made no mistake with the conversion.
With the final quarter approaching, there were worrying scenes as Shane Grady and Nabil Djalout collided and both players laid prone on the ground. Grady managed to walk off the pitch but Eagles forward Djalout had to be stretchered off.
Shortly after play continued, Sheffield bagged their second try of the game through captain Matt James. Cory Aston couldn’t convert and the Eagles were still two scores behind at 18-10.
Despite the Eagles’ best efforts, Fax wrapped up the game with eight minutes remaining as Murray barged over the line to complete his brace. Tyrer goaled.
The hosts added salt into the wound with four minutes remaining as Dan Fleming scored on debut for Richard Marshall’s men. Tyrer converted once again.
Report by Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman