Siddal came out on top in a keenly contested encounter at CWC Park. The visitors started much the stronger and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 5 minutes. Kyle Dutson"s high kick caused confusion in the home defence and the loose ball was pounced upon by the visitors next to the posts. Dutson's conversion gave Sharlston a deserved 0-6 lead.
Siddal equalised 5 minutes later when centre Rourke Woolley kicked through to pounce on a ball over the line after good work by Fin Hickey. Woolley converted his try to level the cores at 6-6.
Sharlston restored their lead when impressive loose forward Liam Kendall forced his way over the line after prop Martyn Nicol set up the attacking position. The lead was extended after 15 minutes when centre Paul Greaves intercepted a stray ball on half way to race clear and touch down under the posts. Dutson's conversion out Sharlston 6-16 ahead and looking the dominant team.
Siddal started to claw their way back in the game. Forwards Pete Howard, Liam Whiting, Ellis Broadbent, Keenan Ramsden and Tom Hirst were all running well and the position was created for Gareth English to score next to the posts after 27 minutes. Woolley's conversion reduced the deficit to 12-16. Sharlston hit back just before half time when James Davies used his size to bulldoze his way over the line and with Dutson's successful kick Sharlston looked in good shape at 12-22 at the end of the first half.
Siddal came out in the second period and blew away the visitors in a 10 minute purple patch after the break, during which they scored four tries. With the home side stepping up a gear, Olly Lewis, Matty Prest, Mason Scott and the industrious Eddie Ainley all began to make good yards in possession. Man-of-the-match Jake Turner scored a magnificent solo try after 42 mins on a jinking run to the line. Hooker Sean McCormack was next to dive over, followed by English with his second and Woolley with the try of the game after 52 minutes when Hirst put him through a gap with a great ball and the young centre dummied his way past three defenders to race to the line. Woolley converted three of the four tries to put Siddal in front 34-22.
To their credit, Sharlston refused to give in and prompted by veteran Lee Bettinson, clawed their way back into the game. After 63 minutes Adam Saynor side-stepped his way under the posts to leave Dutson with an easy conversion as the gaps reduced to 34-28.
The clinching score came from Callum Holroyd's dive into the corner after approach play from the increasingly influential Ainley, Hickey and English, which put Siddal 10 points ahead at 38-28 with 10 minutes left. Woolley completed the scoring with a last minute penalty as the visitors tired, for a final score of 40-28.
A thoroughly entertaining game played in good spirit.
Updated 20:50 - 2 Feb 2019 by Joe McCormack