Joe Keyes was yet again the star of the show as his 4 tries and 9 goals broke the Halifax Panthers points in a game record held since 1994 by John Schuster and equalled in 2016 by Steve Tyrer as the Panthers ran in 10 tries to defeat lowly Workington Town 58-10 at a red hot Shay Stadium.
It was Keyes who set the tone with an early try and conversion, finishing off a great handling which started with Jouffret, Barber and Walmsley all contributing to hand it back to the Irish international to score.
However, any notion of a runaway victory were halted as Fax became their own worst enemies with poor play and discipline laying the platform for Workington to strike back after relentless pressure on the Panthers line. Connor Fitzsimmons scoring the try with Oscar Thomas levelling the scores with the boot.
That’s how it looked to be staying at the break before a quickfire scoring blitz from the home side including scores from the returning Matt Garside, Ed Barber and Joe Arundel as the hooter sounded to make it 22-6 at the break to the Panthers.
Fax started the second how they finished the first, Keyes scoring his 2nd after his grubber kick caused chaos in the Town defence. No longer had he converted his own score he was lining up to convert his hattrick try! Again the half-back started and finished the move putting Barber through the gap who found the ever impressive James Woodburn-Hall who laid on Keyes on the inside to the delight of the whole stadium not least Keyes himself.
Jacob Fairbank was next on the scoresheet in typical barnstorming fashion, getting himself off the nudie with his first try of the season. 40-6 and the Panthers were cruising. A brief rally from Town simply delayed the inevitable, after Lachlan Walmsley managed to injure himself acrobatically diving for the corner when it seemed easier to score on the inside, his wing partner James Saltonstall scored on the opposite flank after great work from Zack McComb. Joe Arundel got his 2nd try to bring up the 50 for Halifax and with Keyes converting yet again thoughts in the stadium started to focus on a potential record being broken.
And then it happened! Keyes taking a short ball from Matty Gee to waltz over by the sticks, his conversion brought his personal haul to 34 points a place in the Halifax Panthers record books.
The last word belonged to Workington though as Alex Clegg went over in the corner in the dying embers for a consolation score but the day belonged to Joe Keyes and the Panthers a comprehensive 58-10 victory.
Woodburn-Hall, Walmsley, Arundel, McComb, Saltonstall, Jouffret, Keyes, Calcott, Moore, Mason, Barber, Garside, Gee
Subs: Wood, Fairbank, Larroyer, Rogers
Tries: Keyes (7, 43, 45, 75), Garside (30), Barber (34), Arundel (39, 66), Fairbank (52), Saltonstall (61),
Goals: Keyes 9/10
Thomas, Young, Brown, Teare, Clegg, Henson, Walker, Bibby, Simons, Thomson, Fitzsimmons, Barnes, Doran
Subs: Davies, O’Brien, Scholey, Hutchings
Tries: Fitzsimmons (20), Clegg (79)
Goals: Thomas 1/2
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