Siddal put in a solid performance to move up to fourth position in the NCL Premier Division with their third win in a row, by 44-18 over mid table Underbank. In front of the largest crowd of the season, Underbank started the stronger. The visitors scrum half, Richard Pogson, put the home defence under pressure with a series of high kicks. From one of them, the ball was spilled and prop Matthew Byatt pounced to score next to the posts. Pogson slotted the conversion and Underbank were ahead after 3 minutes.
Siddal had their first taste of possession in the 6th minute. Byron Smith and Jack Georgiou started to gain good yards. Stand off Jake Smith made a half break and set the position from which hooker Sean McCormack touched down after finding a gap. Gaz Blackburn made no mistake with the conversion and the scores were level at 6-6 after 12 minutes.
The home side were starting to dominate and Danny Williams, Canaan Smithies and Ben Hinsley were all prominent. After 16 minutes, Chris Brooke and Blackburn combined to put Freddy Walker in space. Walker displayed strength and determination to bounce off several tacklers to force his way over the line. Blackburn's conversion put Siddal ahead at 12-6. Underbank hit back after 20 minutes. Their lively half back combination of Pogson and Danny Hirst were prompting their forwards and second rower Nick Briggs scored from a strong run out wide. Pogson's successful conversion once again levelled the scores at 12-12.
The tit-for-tat scoring pattern continued when interchanges Gareth English and Danny Rushworth took play deep into the opposition territory. The ball was moved out to Walker who once again touched down from a strong run. Blackburn's conversion restored the lead at 18-12 after 29 minutes. Underbank conceded a series of penalties and were given a team warning. Loose forward Joe Bobbin was sin binned after 31 minutes when a further penalty was conceded and two minutes later Hinsley continued his rich vein of try-scoring form by touching down. Blackburn's kick extended the lead to 24-12 and there was no further scoring before half time as the visitors defended their line well.
Defences were on top in the early exchanges of the second half. Siddal decided to run a kickable penalty opportunity after 48 minutes and that option was vindicated when Danny Williams stretched to touch down near the posts to leave Blackburn a straightforward kick for a 30-12 lead. The home side were on top and Conner MacCallum, Dom Booth and the returning Tom Garratt were all gaining ground with strong running. The lead was extended after 56 minutes. Jack Georgiou was tackled just short of the try line under the posts and the ball was moved wide to Walker who made no mistake with his hat-trick try. The conversion was missed but Siddal had a lead of 34-12 that put the game beyond Underbank's reach.
On 67 minutes Siddal scored again when Hinsley wriggled out of a tackle to feed the ball to Lewis Hosty who scored by the corner flag. Blackburn converted from the touchline for a 40-12 lead. After 71 minutes player coach English sold an outrageous dummy to deceive the Underbank defence and scoot through a gap for a 44-12 lead. To their credit Underbank kept plugging away and Pogson's kicks were continuing to cause Siddal problems. Sam Walsh made a tremendous take from one high ball and was clattered for his efforts. On 73 minutes another Pogson kick was gathered by winger Sam Ansell and he scored out wide. Pogson's kick reduced the gap to 44-18 but the scrum half was sin binned in the 77th minute for an offence in the ruck. There was no further scoring as the game finished 44-18.
Walker was awarded the man-of-the-match for his hat trick of tries, hooker sam Rochford picking up the accolade for Underbank.
The day was rounded off well with the news that our YML team had won 24-12 away to Upton, Russ Holroyd's side showing character to come through at an intimidating venue.
Updated 09:06 - 13 May 2018 by Joe McCormack