Rampant Siddal sting Hornets

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Siddal inflicted a nine-try hiding on one of their biggest rivals for National Conference League honours when they beat Wath Brow Hornets 52-12 at Chevinedge yesterday.

It was typical Siddal. Trailing 12-6 approaching half time, they battered their opponents into submission with their relentless brand of rugby, utilising their strong bench to the full.

Gareth Greenwood’s men were making it 10 straight wins at the start of their title defence ahead of a run of tough away games at Kells, Rochdale Mayfield and West Hull.

The third-placed Hornets arrived with high hopes, having only dropped three points this season, but they suffered an even worse fate than previously-unbeaten Thatto Heath, crushed 34-6 on the same ground three weeks earlier.

Key trio Shaun Garrod, Byron Smith and Gareth Blackburn returned for Siddal while Huddersfield RUFC centre Elliot Hodgson proved a very able deputy for Zack McComb, who had played for England Students the previous evening and was on the bench.

The first half was a low key affair with the referee seemingly happy to allow slow play the balls and the odd high shot.

Play was even for 14 minutes before Garrod’s diagonal run took him through Hornets’ goalline defence for the opener, Gareth Blackburn adding the first of eight conversions.

Freddie Walker and Ben West were held up over the try line before Hornets responded with two tries in six minutes, both converted by full back Cole Walker-Taylor.

Right winger Curtis Teare got the first of them, cashing in as the home defence waited in vain for a kick to run dead, and then big forward James Dixon rumbled over at the side of the posts when the hosts were perhaps expecting a kick on the last tackle.

Siddal got the score back to 10-12 when Gareth English’s long pass to Blackburn stretched the visitors on 34 minutes and the winger’s inside pass left Ben West with a comfortable finish.

Blackburn was unable to convert but it was six pointers all the way from then on for the hosts, who had prop Jack Georgiou in good form down the middle.

Wath Brow were hanging on for half time and didn’t quite make it without their line being breached again, McComb’s go-it-alone tactics paying off and helping his side into a 16-12 interval lead.

There was a steady flow of Siddal tries at six or seven minute intervals throughout the second period, starting on 45 minutes when Hodgson cleverly created space for Taniela Bakoso to plunge over.

Ross White’s superb slipped pass set up Chris Brooke and suddenly Siddal were 28-12 up and in the clear.

A penalty try followed, when full back Freddie Walker was obstructed as he prepared to pounce on the ball behind the line, and McComb planted his hand on the ball for his second after a kick through had caused confusion in the Hornets ranks.

The Siddal backs continued to grab the glory. Bakoso caught a width of the field kick from Brooke and cut inside past two defenders to score before Hodgson had the final word at the side of the posts after being set up by English.