Whitehaven’s impossible dream is over – but only just as a typical fight-back just failed at Halifax.
Gary Charlton’s men bravely went out of the play-offs, after being beaten 24-20, yet had been trailing 22-6 at half-time.
Charlton is stepping-up from head coach to director of rugby next year and finishes in his role a proud man with what his side have achieved.
Regarded as one of the favourites for the drop to League One, Whitehaven have powered through to finish sixth and a place in the play-offs which cane to an end after a super effort at Halifax.
Halifax had opened up an early 10-0lead with two tries from McGrath and Garside,one of which is converted.
When they got going Whitehaven did reduce the arrears when James Newton put Liam Cooper in for the try which Louis Jouffret converted.
But before the break Whitehaven conceded two more tries to Worthington and Garside, both converted and the Cumbrians were firmly behind the eight ball at 22-6 in arrears.
On the restart Haven set about putting things right and Andrew Bulman made the initial breakthrough with a try in the corner, and then Ryan King barged his way over, but crucially neither were converted.
In view of Whitehaven’s early successes Halifax took two points when a kickable penalty was offered but that was the end of their scoring.
The Cumbrians kept going, however, and on 78 minutes Bulman crashed over for his second try converted by Jouffret to bring them within four points.
Unfortunately there was not enough time to do anything to dramatically change the course of the game and they had to accept an honourable defeat.