Halifax Panthers opened their account in 2021 with a 30-16 victory over Oldham in a pre-season friendly at Bower Fold.
The visitors took the lead after just four minutes. Zack McComb finished off a good move out wide. Connor Robinson was off target with the conversion attempt.
10 minutes later, Halifax edged further ahead after William Calcott powered over from short range. Robinson was on target this time, as the Panthers went into double figures.
Oldham managed to hit back six minutes before the break. Halifax failed to deal with a kick, and Dan Abram dove onto the ball to score. He then scored the conversion to bring the hosts back to within four points.
That was the way it stayed until half-time.
The Panthers struck first in the second half, as Ed Barber was alive to recieve the ball and went over. Robinson added the conversion to make it a 10-point lead.
It was two tries in four minutes for the visitors, who went further in front thanks to Conor McGrath, who got the ball out wide and went over. Robinson was off-target with the conversion attempt.
Just before the hour, Oldham got their second try of the match, thanks to Callum Green, who supported the run well to go over. James Barran scored the conversion to bring the hosts back within eight points.
But the hosts were not back in it for long, as James Saltonstall managed to get over in the corner to extend the Panthers’ lead. Robinson added the conversion to put his side 14 points ahead.
However, Oldham refused to believe the match was gone, and got a third try to show for their efforts. This time it was Danny Bridge who finished well out wide. Barran converted once again to leave just eight points in it with eight minutes to go.
But the final word would go to Halifax, as Connor Davies supported a good break from James Woodburn-Hall to get the visitors up to 30 points, and put the win beyond doubt. Robinson couldn’t convert.
That win will set Halifax up well ahead of their Challenge Cup First Round match against Batley Bulldogs next week.
As for Oldham, it was a second straight defeat in pre-season, but it was a much more encouraging performance from Matt Diskin’s men. They start their Challenge Cup campaign against Barrow Raiders next week.
Oldham: Dan Abram, Tommy Brierley, Max Roberts, Joe Hartley, Ben Holcroft, Lewis Charnock, James Barran, Martyn Reilly, Gareth Owen, Liam Kirk, Danny Bridge, Danny Langtree, Liam Bent.
Subs: Phil Joy, Jack Spencer, Luke Nelmes, Matthew Fletcher, Jode Sheriffe, Shaun Pick, Callum Green, Declan Gregory.
Head Coach: Matt Diskin.
Halifax Panthers: Scott Grix, Conor McGrath, Nick Rawsthorne, Zack McComb, James Saltonstall, Liam Harris, Connor Robinson, William Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Matt Garside, Ed Barber, Kevin Larroyer.
Subs: Amir Bourouh, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Jacob Fairbank, Elliot Morris, Gadwin Springer, Ben Tibbs, James Woodburn-Hall.
Head Coach: Simon Grix.