Featherstone Rovers 30-31 Halifax RLFC
Halifax edge Featherstone
Halifax reached their first Northern Rail Cup final with a nailbiting 31-30 victory over Featherstone in Thursday night's first semi-final that went to sudden death extra time.
There was a touch of heart-breaking deja vu for Rovers, who lost to Halifax by a golden point in last September's Championship Grand Final.
Ben Black's drop goal decided the last encounter but this time it was his half-back partner Danny Jones who landed the all-important one-pointer deep into extra time.
Featherstone led 16-4 thanks to tries from Tom Saxton, Sam Smeaton and Andy Kain but Halifax winger Paul White scored two tries in eight minutes to close the gap to just two points.
A breakaway try from Jon Hepworth on the stroke of half-time put the home side back in control but Halifax winger Rob Worrincy scored his 19th try of the season and Black followed up his own grubber kick to put Halifax in front for the first time on 53 minutes.
Featherstone's former scrum-half Liam Finn levelled the scores on the hour with a penalty and added a second eight minutes later to edge his side back in front but the excitement continued right to the end.
Featherstone added a fifth try through centre Andy Bostock 10 minutes from the end but Halifax centre Dylan Nash touched down Jones' kick to keep the tie alive.
Lee Patterson's third goal tied the scores for a second time and, although he was off target with an ambitious drop-goal attempt just before the end of normal time, Halifax once more showed the greater composure in extra time to take the spoils.
Halifax's final opponents at Blackpool on July 17 will be Leigh or Dewsbury who meet in the second semi-final at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.