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Siddal beaten in Cumbria

9 months ago By Joe McCormack

Kells win 26-18

Siddal produced a flat second half display at Kells, having battled against the slope and the wind in the opening 40 minutes to be level at 14-14 at half time.

The visitors felt harshly treated from the opening set, as Chris Brooke's grubber kick on the last tackle was misjudged by the Kells full back. Paul Long picked up the loose ball and tried to feed Henry Turner, who appeared to be tackled from behind without the ball with no cover in place. The referee disagreed and then gave Kells a penalty at the end of the next set. Kells had a platform from which loose forward Conner Hetherington managed to wriggle out of a tackle and touch down. Stand off Ross Gainford made the conversion and Kells were ahead 6-0 after 3 minutes.

Kells were playing the conditions well and keeping Siddal penned in their own half., having to play up the slope. After 16 minutes, the home side moved the ball wide and prop Ross Ainley scored from close range. A great conversion from Gainford stretched the lead to 12-0 after 16 minutes.

Siddal started to battle their way back into the game and after 21 minutes, a fine move involving Canaan Smithies, Brooke, and Jake Smith saw Ben Hinsley in space and he made no mistake when he touched down. Gareth Blackburn narrowly missed the kick but at 12-4, Siddal were finding some form. Ten minutes later a strong run from Elliott Thompson was only stopped a metre from the try line, but hooker and man-of-the-match Sean McCormack dummied over under the posts from acting half back and with deficit reduced to 12-10 following Blackburn's conversion, the visitors were back in the game.

Siddal came under pressure when Kells forced a repeat sets after 35 minutes and the visitors were forced to drop out twice. The defence held out and as Kells tried to force one too many passes, Hinsley relieved the pressure with an interception that took play deep into the Kells half. From the next play, Jake Smith's well measured kick was caught on the full by Dominic Booth and he raced clear to score by the flag to put Siddal in front at 12-14.

Just before half time the excellent Canaan Smithies was harshly sin binned after being hit with an elbow in the tackle. The referee overlooked the original offence and decided to penalise Smithies for his reaction to the elbow. Gainford landed the resulting penalty to level the scores at 14-14 at half time.

Despite being a man down at the start of the second half, Siddal almost regained the lead in the opening minute. Lewis Hosty was once again showing his impressive from at NCL level and he broke through the home defence but Siddal knocked on in front of the posts and the chance went begging. Kells responded well and began to dominate as they played the conditions well in the second period. Centre Jordan Herve touched down after 50 minutes and Hetherington scored his second try after 60minutes as the Cumbrians led by 22-14, with neither try being improved.

Booth reduced the deficit to 22-18 after 73 minutes when he squeezed over by the flag. Kells finished on top and Hetherington completed his hat-trick just before the final whistle to finish the game at 26-18.

Siddal were left to rue their second half performance and will be hoping to perform for the whole 80 minutes in their next game, at home to Wigan St Patricks on Saturday at 2.30 pm.

Updated 11:05 - 15 Apr 2018 by Joe McCormack

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