Siddal had a welcome return to form as they beat a bigger Normanton side in a fixture re-arranged to Friday night, to allow players and spectators to watch England in the World Cup.
Both sides started the game with fierce defence in the heat at CWC Park. Skipper Byron Smith and fellow prop George Ambler began the match with their usual gusto and they were well supported by the back row of Danny Williams, Tom Garratt and Dom Booth. Siddal broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when stand off Jake Smith's deft kick towards the flag was grasped by Josh Greenwood-MacDonald and he touched down despite the attention of two defenders. Gareth Blackburn's touchline kick was narrowly wide but Siddal were in the lead 4-0.
It was a short lived lead. A wickedly spinning kick from Normanton's lively stand off Connor Taylor was spilled by the home defence. From the resulting scrum, Knights moved the ball out to centre Adam Banwell who ran powerfully to the line to level the scores. Taylor succeeded with a great conversion from wide out which nosed Normanton ahead 4-6 after 18 minutes.
The next ten minutes once again saw some fierce tackling with Danny Williams in particular making repeated big hits, along with Jack Georgiou and Danny Rushworth. Normanton's big pack were running well, with second rower Stuart Biscomb repeating his strong showing in the opening encounter at Normanton earlier in the season. Siddal regained the lead on the half hour mark, as scrum half Christian Ackroyd repeated the efforts of his half back partner Smith with a well judged kick to the flag. Sam Walsh stretched to palm the ball back for Henry Turner to touch down. Blackburn's successful conversion put Siddal ahead 10-6.
Siddal were now playing with a confidence not seen since the victory at Wigan St Pats a month ago. Greenwood-MacDonald had a fine run down the line and his break was taken forward in style by Garratt. Billy Gaylor then forced a goal line drop out by Knights, but despite their best efforts, the home side could not break Knights' defence and the scores remained 10-6 at half time.
5 minutes into the second period Turner bagged his second try when he found space from a scrum to shake off two Knights defenders to score. Blackburn's conversion increased the lead to 16-6. Normanton's defence was now being stretched and after 50 minutes Sam Walsh looked to have scored in the corner, only for a linesman's flag to rule the score out for offside. There was no denying Siddal after 55 minutes. Ackroyd pounced on a loose Knights' pass to break down the middle. After being held too long in the tackle, Turner scored from the next play in a determined arcing run to the line from 30 yards out to claim a hat-trick try. Another Blackburn conversion put Siddal 22-6 in front.
Knights tried to fight back, with Biscomb, Taylor and full back Connor Wilson prompting their colleagues. They couldn't find a way through the home defence, with Byron Smith, Ambler, Georgiou and Williams standing firm in the tackle. Blackburn was sin binned for holding down after 67 minutes and Knights took advantage of the extra man when Connor Wilson touched down after 76 minutes to reduce the deficit to 22-10.
Siddal had the final say in the last minute. Cole Wilson mad a trade mark break down the middle, which was taken on by Booth, Chris Brooke and Ackroyd fed the returning Richard Lopag who shook off two tacklers to force his way over the line. With Blackburn back on the field of play, he once again added the extras for a 28-10 scoreline.
This was a welcome return to form for Siddal ahead of two away fixtures in the next fortnight. Turner was awarded the man-of-the-match, with Wilson taking the prize for the visitors.
Siddal's second string also had a weekend win, Russ Holroyd's young side beating York-based New Earswick All Blacks away from home by 25-18.
Updated 20:36 - 7 Jul 2018 by Joe McCormack