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Siddal disappoint after fine start

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Siddal slipped to a disappointing 26-12 defeat at Rochdale Mayfield in the National Conference League, failing to match the performance they put in during the win at Wath Brow Hornets the previous week.

The game started well for the visitors when stand off Jake Smith side-stepped and dummied his way through the Mayfield defence from 20 yards out after only four minutes. Gareth Blackburn’s conversion put the visitors 6-0 in front.

From the re-start Mayfield initially re-gathered the ball only to knock on. From the resulting scrum Mayfield scrum half Ieuan Higgs intercepted a loose ball to run unopposed to the line. Zak Baker’s conversion levelled the scores after six minutes.

Defences were on top for the next 20 minutes as both sides tackled ferociously with George Ambler, Cole Wilson and Danny Williams leading the Siddal line.

Tom Garratt was a constant threat from wide positions and Christian Ackroyd was held up over the try line following a jinking run past defenders.

Mayfield went ahead after 25 minutes. Lively hooker Dec Sherdian was starting to cause Siddal problems in defence with his darting runs and he swapped passes with another interchange, Luke Fowden, who ran 50 yards to touch down. Baker’s conversion made it 12-6 and three minutes later a drop goal from Higgs stretched the lead.

Mayfield were having a purple patch and on 38 minutes they forced a repeat set which created space for centre Nico Rizelli to dive over in the corner. Baker’s conversion sailed wide but the home side had a healthy half time lead of 17-6.

Siddal fought their way back into the game early in the second half with man-of-the-match Garratt and Freddy Walker making strong runs.

After 47 minutes a long pass from Jake Smith was taken by Eddie Ainley who forced his way over the line under the posts. Blackburn’s conversion put the visitors back in the game at 17-12, but that was as good as it got for Siddal.

Sheridan scooted over from five yards out after 68 minute. Baker converted and added a penalty after 70 minutes for a high shot.

Higgs completed the scoring two minutes from time with another drop goal.

Siddal have a week off before a home game with Kells on August 4. Two points are required if they are to achieve their aim of a top six finish.