Black boots Halifax to victory
Ben Black secured a dramatic victory for Halifax with a golden-point drop goal in the Championship Grand Final at Warrington.
Last Updated: 26/09/10 8:59pm
Ben Black secured a dramatic victory for Halifax with a golden-point drop goal in the Co-operative Championship Grand Final at Warrington.
The game to be looked over when Featherstone opened up a 22-4 second half lead thanks to a second try from teenage winger Zak Hardaker, but underdogs Halifax roared back to level the match at 22-22 and send the game into extra-time.
Veteran stand-off Graham Holroyd had already been off target with two drop-goal attempts to break the deadlock in normal time but his half-back partner Black had more luck in the second minute of added time to complete the most unlikely of fightbacks.
It was a tremendous climax to an evening of high drama at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, where an outbreak of fire in the West Stand caused a 45-minute hold-up 32 minutes into the game.
Featherstone had beaten Halifax three times already this season and there seemed little likelihood of an upset as they dominated the first hour.
Halifax had the satisfaction of scoring the first - and the best - try when winger Rob Worrincy, the fastest man outside Super League, went the full length of the field after 19 minutes to open the scoring.
Stand-off Kyle Briggs equalised for Rovers eight minutes later and they looked to have taken a firm grip when Hardaker scored his first try and Matty Dale added another four minutes into the second half.
But Black, man of the match in Halifax's defeat by Barrow in last year's final, sparked the amazing fightback, scoring their second try on 55 minutes before sending centre Luke Branighan over for another four minutes later.
Substitute Stephen Bannister grabbed a fourth try six minutes from the end and Lee Paterson's goal tied the scores - but Black held his nerve to claim the £100,000 prize for his team.