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Siddal slip to opening day defeat

By Joe McCormack

Wath Brow return to Cumbria with 2 points in 16-24 win

Siddal suffered a disappointing season-opening defeat at CWC Park on Saturday afternoon. Playing against the wind in the first half, the home side looked to have established a good platform for the second 40 minutes when they turned around with a 16-14 lead. The second half performance, was flat, with too many errors and to their credit, Wath Brow took the chances they were presented.

The game started badly for Siddal, with young centre being injured in the warm-up. Lewis Hosty was moved into the starting 13 and Oliver Lewis came into the squad. Both sides were sharp from the kick off. Siddal forced the visitors to drop out from under the posts after 6 minutes and 2 minutes later, full back Freddy Walker slid over the line but couldn't ground the ball as he was smothered by 3 tacklers.

Wath Brow had their own period of pressure as they also forced a drop out and with a repeat set they camped on the Siddal line, but couldn't breach the defence.

After 17 minutes the deadlock was broken by Ben West, when the centre showed determination to touch down, despite the attention of several Wath Brow players. Chris Brooke was successful with the conversion and Siddal were ahead 6-6.

Brow fought their way level after 22 minutes. A 40 yard break by visiting hooker Elison Holgate was halted by a desperate tackle, penalised by the referee. From the next play, second rower Nathan Lucock touched down and Cole Walker-Taylor's conversion drew the scores level at 6-6.

Brow scored again after 33 minutes, from a forward looking pass. Jamie Devine didn't wait for the referee's whistle and found a gap to touch down. Walker-Taylor put the visitors 6-12 ahead with another successful kick.

Gareth English was introduced to the game and his presence seemed to lift the team, as the home side scored two tries in the five minutes up until half time. Christian Ackroyd bagged the first as his tremendous jinking run from 30 yards sliced through the visiting defence. Hosty scored the second in the corner, after Siddal focused on attacking the Brow right win and their persistence paid off with a try by the corner flag. Brooke converted the Ackroyd try to restore Siddal's lead at 16-12.

Right on the stroke of half time, Wath Brow were awarded a penalty which Walker-Taylor made the most of to reduce the deficit to 16-14.

Siddal couldn't find any form in the second half. Their cause wasn't helped when skipper Byron Smith was withdrawn with a suspected fractured hand after 45 minutes. Brow's defensive line held firm throughout the half and they scored two tries, from Curtis Teare and Dean Rooney. With Walker-Taylor converting Rooney's try after 72 minutes to put the visitors 8 points clear at 16-24, the game petered out for the home side, who must re-gather ahead of next week's trip to Workington.

Updated 09:46 - 3 Mar 2019 by Joe McCormack

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