A stunning Steve Tyrer interception ended 19 years of pain as Halifax finally triumphed over West Yorkshire rivals Bradford Bulls 20-16 n the first ever State of Mind Championship game.

Following a huge tackle from Dane Manning, who was making his 100th appearance for the club, allowed Tyrer to raise the roof at The Shay, in front of just over four and a half thousand fans.

The lively crowd witnessed a scintillating opening to the game, with back rower Richard Moore putting in some huge hits to force errors from the Bulls attack.

Fax hit the front just inside the first quarter, with the stand out Mitch Cahalane running a strong line off Scott Murrell’s pass to then jink past Ryan Shaw to dive over.

Super League official Joe Cobb was the man in the middle, and disallowed two first half efforts from Richard Marshall’s men, with Steve Tyrer and Ben Heaton both being on the wrong end of the officials whistle.


The latter did cross the whitewash as the first stanza came to a close. The returning centre, who missed last week’s top four clinching win over Doncaster due to injury, ran a perfect line from Ben Johnston’s pass to double the advantage. Tyrer goaled both and then added a penalty just before the break to make it a 14 point lead at the break.

Similarities were beginning to be drawn with the Good Friday clash at Odsal, where Fax lead 13-2 going into the break before the Bulls hit back in the second half. It took just a couple of minutes after the break for the visitors to get on the board. Halifax-born Adam O’Brien’s grubber kick was met by Jay Pitts with the back rower crashing over.

The Bulls had their tales up, and were over again shortly after to reduce the deficit to two points, with centre Adam Henry powering over after more good work by O’Brien.

The tide was seemingly turning and before the home side knew it, the half time lead was wiped out. Henry this time influential in setting up Omari Caro who finished impressively in the corner.

Roared on by a vocal home crowd, Richard Marshall’s troops went looking for a ninth straight win and responded well in the final quarter. A set of solid drives and then a repeat set following a drop out gave Fax good field position – with Andy Bracek winning a penalty which Tyrer nailed. All square with ten minutes to go.

Following the awarding of the penalty, referee Cobb placed the away side on a team warning which was vindicated when Chev Walker was sin binned with minutes to go after holding down in the ruck.

With the scores still level the Bulls were throwing the ball around well until Manning nailed Henry, allowed Tyrer to create a golden memory for all of the those in blue and white inside The Shay.

FAX: Johnston, Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Saxton; Murrell, C Robinson; Tangata, Maneely, Cahalane, Moore, Manning, Bracek. Replacements: Fairbank, Barber, Boyer, Wood.

Tries: Cahalane, Heaton, Tyrer

Goals: Tyrer (4/6)

BULLS: Shaw, Clare, Blythe, Henry, Caro; Mendeika, Addy; Clough, Halafihi, Crossley, Olbison, Walshaw, Walker. Replacements: Fleming, Lauaki, Pitts, O’Brien.

Tries: Pitts, Henry, Caro

Goals: Shaw (2/3)

HT: 14-0

Attendance: 4,569

Ref: Joe Cobb

Thanks to Chris Mitchell and Laura Bowen for helping to organise the day and for the bucket collection that raised over £500 for State of Mind Sport so a massive thanks to both sets of supporters!