Halifax Panthers booked their place in the Sixth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup with an eleven try defeat of National Conference League side York Acorn 62-6 at a muddy, rain soaked Shay Stadium.

Matty Gee stole the headlines with a hattrick of tries with Louis Jouffret chipping in with a 22 point haul as the Panthers yet again did a professional job over the last remaining community club in this years competition.

The first 20 minutes were far from straight forward though, as Acorn showed their endeavour right from the word go as they claimed their own short kick-off and forced repeat sets on the Panthers line, while also showing some whack and desperation in defence.

The dam burst at the end of the first quarter as Eddie Prescott was sent to the bin for a late high shot on Connor Davies, with Fax making the most of it.

Gee grabbed the first of his hattrick of tries from a lovely short ball from Tom Inman on the powerplay. Ben Tibbs then dummied his way over after the ball was spread from right to left following a powerful Adam Tangata break. Ben Kavanagh then added to the score line with a perfectly timed run onto a Joe Keyes pass. Provider then turned scorer as Keyes threw a huge show and go to glide over the line. Jouffret nailed 3 out of the 4 conversions to give Fax a 22-0 half time lead.

There was no repeat of the early first half stalemate as the Panthers took only 3 mins to get going. Gee grabbing his second after a James Woodburn-Hall break before the big back rower claimed his hattrick 10 minutes later, powering over underneath the sticks to the delight of the fans and players alike.

Ryan Lannon then got in on the act on his 150th career appearance, diving over from a Jouffet short ball to crash over below the uprights. Once again provider then became the scorer as Jouffret backed up the rampaging Matty Gee, who instead of grabbing his fourth try of the afternoon, handed the ball onto the French International to dive in underneath the posts.

Keyes then claimed his second try, a planned move with England International Gareth Widdop chipping over the top of the Acorn defensive line finding the Irish International Keyes to score. With the York side showing signs of fatigue, Zack McComb then grabbed a quick-fire, back-to-back double with the Panthers finding space on their left edge, with Jouffret finishing his afternoon with 9 goals from 11 attempts from the boot.

The biggest cheer of the day, however, was just before the final hooter as Acorn got the try that their effort, enthusiasm and endeavour deserved as Anthony Chiltern burrowed his way over from dummy-half and converted his own score to the delight of their couple hundred travelling fans. The Panthers still progressed into the sixth round however with a final score of Halifax 62-6 York Acorn.

Halifax Panthers
Woodburn-Hall, Eden, Tibbs, McComb, Saltonstall, Jouffret, Keyes, Tangata, Inman, Lannon, Kavanagh, Gee, C Davies
Subs: Widdop, Larroyer, O Davies, Hursey (Campbell 18th Man)

Tries: Gee (17,43,53), Tibbs (22), Kavanagh (30), Keyes (35,68), Lannon (62), Jouffret (64), McComb (72,74)
Goals: Jouffret 9/11

York Acorn
Chilton, Tenge, Parker, Potter, Shepherdson, Chiltern, Conroy, Prescott, Crawford, Byrnes, Hunt, Myers, Lord
Subs: Rushworth, Porter, Hammerton, Burns (Hyde 18th Man)

Try: Chiltern (78)
Goal: Chiltern 1/1
Sin Bin: Prescott (15)

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