Halifax Panthers booked their place in the Fifth Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup after defeating Barrow Raiders 24-18 at The Shay, setting up a mouth-watering Derby clash at home to the Bradford Bulls in the next round.
Fax gained some sort of revenge against their opponents after defeat in the League on the Cumbrian Coast the week before. But an off day with the boot from Joe Keyes meant that although Fax outscored the visitors by 5 tries to 3, the tie still wasn’t won until the Raiders lost possession on an ‘all or nothing’ play after the final hooter.

The Panthers raced into a 14-0 lead early in the first half, hinting that the frustrating performance 7 days previous had been put to bed as Fax were punishing the Raiders nearly every time they got near the line.

James Saltonstall finished in the corner less than 5 minutes in, with Jake Maizen pouncing on a Keyes grubber not long after. Both tries went unconverted but Fax were dominating proceedings. When Josh Wood was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle on Eribe Doro, the Panthers took full advantage with Louis Jouffret crossing the whitewash after Fax kept the ball alive on the powerplay.

Keyes finally converted his first goal of the game and with 3 scores on the board and at 14-0 at the break, the Panthers looked good for the win.

The Raiders came out a different team after the break however and Danny Langtree took advantage of soft goal line defence to charge over less than 2 minutes after the restart. Jarrod Sammut converting but Fax responded in kind.

After Ben Kavanagh was denied a try on his 350th career appearance, adjudged to have knocked on in the act of scoring by referee Tom Grant, Eribe Doro climbed highest to claim a Keyes cross field kick to score his 2nd try of the season. Keyes converted to put Fax 20-6 up and maintain their three score advantage.

When Saltonstall scored his 2nd ten minutes from time to put Fax 24-6 up, most in the ground thought it was game over. Most, but not all though as Barrow raised the Panthers line once more.

First Rio Corkill barged over from dummy half before Langtree claimed his 2nd score of the cup tie 90 seconds from the hooter. Sammut quickly converted to pull Barrow within a score but that was the way it would stay. Fax went on to claim a 24-18 victory and set up a mouth-watering home tie against bitter rivals Bradford Bulls in Round 5.

Woodburn-Hall, Tibbs, Maizen, McComb, Saltonstall, Jouffret, Keyes, Maher, Moore, Murray, Kavanagh, Gee, Tangata
Subs: Inman, Doro, Calcott, Oakley

Tries: Saltonstall (2,69), Maizen (10), Jouffret (29), Doro (60)
Goals: Keyes 2/5

Cresswell, Bulman, Worthington, Corkill, Toal, Carter, Sammut, Gillam, Wood, Iaria, Langtree, Stack, Wells
Subs: Dawson, Emslie, Brooks, Evans

Tries: Langtree (41,78), Corkill (73)
Goals: Sammut 3/3
Sin Bin: Wood (28)

Match Sponsors: Eclipse Energy
Match Ball Sponsors: The Ivy House

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