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Haven Fight Back
Dynamic duo of Sice and Duffy


WHITEHAVEN staged a thrilling comeback to deny Halifax at the finale of an exciting game.
Two late tries gave Haven the win in this cracker, a result which had looked unlikely when Halifax got their noses in front for the first time with just four minutes left on the clock.
James Haley's simple conversion after Dean Lawford's try on 76 minutes gave the visitors an 18-20 lead, and as Haven's players trudged back to kick off they looked a beaten side.
But they grabbed two scores from nowhere to claim a 30-20 victory.
The sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges, with the two big packs carrying the ball well. Although Haven held a slight territorial advantage it was 'Fax who almost broke the deadlock. John Duffy tried to move the ball wide but Anthony Blackwood intercepted and raced away. Nobody was going to catch him, but fortunately for Haven he was pulled back by referee Ian Smith for being offside. A few minutes later Carl Sice nearly got over the whitewash as he chased Leroy Joe's kick through, but a kind bounce allowed Brad Attwood to put the ball out. Sice was at the heart of the move which finally saw the game's first points on 12 minutes. He made a superb break from his own half, skipping out of half a dozen tackles before releasing Duffy on his inside. Duffy didn't have the legs to out-strip Attwood and tried to fling the ball out to Craig Calvert. However Attwood raised his arms to block the pass and had dreadful luck as it bounced off them and back into Duffy's path. Duffy gathered the ball and touched down, before adding the extras.
On 20 minutes Sice backed himself to go from acting half-back after good work from debutant Mark Leafa. Sice dummied and ducked his shoulder, but looked to have failed until- he stretched out an arm and grounded the ball. Duffy again added the extras.
Sice was running riot and it was something of a surprise when Dave Rotheram pulled him off for a well earned breather immediately following his try. Without the busy Sice pulling the strings for the home side they went a little flat, and ex Haven man Joel Penny teamed up with Dean Lawford to start to give the visitors a foothold in the game.
Penny gave a fantastic flat ball to Blackwood close to the Haven line on 26 minutes.
Blackwood slipped the ball to Marcus George, the tall wing man touched down in the corner and Haley was unlucky to see his touchline conversion come back off the crossbar.
The same pair combined again five minutes later. This time it was Lawford's kick that Blackwood gathered before releasing George for his second try. Haley added the extras.
It was no shock to see Sice reintroduced at half-time, and he took little over a minute to grab his second try, again backing himself from close range. Duffy added the extras.
However for all their effort Haven were unable to kill Halifax off, and you got the feeling that they would get a chance to score themselves at some point.
That chance came on 69 minutes, and Damien Ball took it after good work from Andy Kirk. Haley missed the conversion but 'Fax could sniff victory.
George made a great break from his own half and moved the ball back inside to Radney Bowker on 75 minutes. Bowker didn't quite have the legs to make it all the way to the line but from the next play-the-ball Lawford scurried over. Haley's conversion looked to have won it with time ticking away.
However McAvoy managed to flick Duffy's kick off back to Hill. Later in the set McAvoy made a superb break before finding Hill on the inside, and he broke Halifax hearts when he forced his way over. Duffy added the extras.
The Halifax players could have been forgiven for having tears in their eyes, but they couldn't get Teare in their arms as he burst clear from his own half, making a 40 metre break from the kick off.
Sice ran across the field and then found Hill, who put Craig Calvert away to score as the hooter sounded. Duffy added the extras to finish with a five from five attempts.
The result was probably a fair reflection, but both sets of players can walk away with their heads held high -- what a cracking game of rugby league.

Haven, Gary Broadbent, Craig Calvert, Derrie Eilbeck, Rob Jackson, Steve Maden, Leroy Joe, John Duffy, Neil Baynes, Carl Sice, Steve Trindall, Scott McAvoy, Howard Hill, Mark Leafa, Subs(all used) Marc Jackson, Aaron Smith, Ricky Wright, Scott Teare.

Fax, Brad Attwood, James Haley, Andy Kirk, Anthony Blackwood, Marcus George, Radney Bowker, Dean Lawford, John Simpson, Simeon Hoyle, Jason Boults, Lee Harland, Andy Spink, Damien Ball, Subs (all used)Joel Penny, Jode Sheriffe, Ryan McDonald, Byron Smith.

Tries, Duffy (12) Sice (20, 41) Hill (78) Calvert (80)
Goals, Duffy 5/5

George (26, 31) Ball (69) Lawford (75)
Goals,Haley, 2/4

Attendance, 2,048
Ref Ian Smith (Oldham)
HT 12-10
Pens, 6-3 in Haven's favour.





































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