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Siddal suffer another close defeat

Siddal suffer another close defeat

By Joe McCormack
2 June 2019
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NCL side pipped 20-18 in Cumbria

Siddal's habit of conceding two late tries came back to haunt them as they were beaten with the last play of the game at Egremont on Saturday. The visitors were forced into 7 changes from the 17-man squad that played so well at West Hull last week, and the players put in another strong display in Cumbria.

Siddal made a confident start with the pack dominating the Egremont forwards. Jack Georgiou and Byron Smith were leading from the front, prompted by hooker Sean McCormack and Dom O'Keefe on debut was strong in defence, alongside fellow back rowers Danny Williams and Danny Rushworth.

The Egremont side were being put under pressure and Siddal's strong start was rewarded when Christian Ackroyd found Lewis Hosty out wide after 5 minutes and the centre finished with an assured touchdown. Gareth Blackburn's kick bounced back from the upright but the visitors were well worth the 0-4 lead after 5 minutes.

The game was evenly contested for the next 15 minutes until Egremont's stand off Mark Tyson side stepped his way over the line after 20 minutes and Leon Crellin's conversion put the home side 6-4 in front.

Siddal hit back on 28 minutes when Egremont launched a high ball on the last tackle, which full back Freddy Walker took and scorched through the home defence, taking play into the opposition half. With the Egremont defence stretched, Hosty once again took advantage with another cool finish. Blackburn's conversion took the scores to 6-10.

It was all Siddal now and after pinning Egremont inside their own 25 yard line for a long period, Georgiou bulldozed through the home pack to touch down after 35 minutes. The conversion from Blackburn stretched the lead to 6-16, which was a reflection of the visitors' performance and the sides went into the second half on that scoreline.

Siddal conceded an early try at the start of the second half which gave the hosts some belief. Matt Brewsher forced his way over the line and Crellin's conversion reduced the deficit to 12-16. Player coach Gareth English entered the game and had an immediate impact, prompting his colleagues with his trademark offload and it was an infringement against English that allowed Blackburn to take advantage with a penalty after 64 minutes to take the scores to 12-18.

Siddal should have seen the game out to take a deserved two points but they spilled possession on four consecutive occasions to put themselves under pressure throughout the last 10 minutes. Scrum half Paul Corkhill managed to ground the ball after 74 minutes to make the scores 16-18 and with the very last play of the game, the referee controversially awarded a try when two Egremont players appeared to rip the ball out of the tackle and despite the ball going forward behind the visitors line before being pounced on by an Egremont attacker, the try was allowed to stand. It put Egremont ahead 20-18 and there was no time for the game to be re-started.

Siddal were left to lick their wounds again in a game that showed this young team has the ability to compete with the top sides in the division.

The YML team had a convincing 62-2 win at home to Nottingham Outlaws.

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