Siddal stop the Clock

Gareth Blackburn'Siddal
Gareth Blackburn'Siddal

Siddal booked their place in Monday’s draw for the second round of the Coral Challenge Cup with a 24-0 win at Clock Face Miners yesterday, all the points coming in the first half.

Coaches Daz Phillips and Gareth English were content with the season-opening display in a tricky looking tie at St Helens.

A competition which has previously brought the best out of Siddal, most notably against Doncaster and Toronto, pitched them in against a side promoted from the National Conference League’s third division last season.

Siddal silenced most of those in a very large crowd after four minutes when Lewis Hosty scrambled over by the corner flag after approach play from Josh Greenwood-MacDonald. Gaz Blackburn hit a great conversion from the touchline, that put the visitors six points up.

Siddal were enjoying playing on the large pitch and were making very few errors. Half backs Christian Ackroyd and Chris Brooke were marshalling the side well and the experienced pack were on top.

Byron Smith, Danny Rushworth and George Ambler led well from the front row and the back row of Ben Hinsley, Danny Williams and Jack Georgiou were solid in defence.

With 17 minutes on the clock, the lead was stretched when Rushworth scooted under the posts, giving Blackburn an easy conversion for a 0-12 score line.

The visitors kept the pressure on the Clock Face defence and Ambler wriggled through three tacklers to force his way over the line after 20 minutes, Blackburn converted.

Siddal started to express themselves with daylight between the sides and scored the try of the match after 26 minutes. Rushworth made the initial break and the backs spread the ball out wide for Henry Turner to find Sam Walsh, who dived over in the corner. Blackburn again landed a touchline conversion and Siddal were out of sight with a 24-point lead.

Canaan Smithies was introduced and he, Eddie Ainley and Dom Booth kept Siddal on the front foot, although there was no further score in the first half.

As the sides came out for the second period, the weather worsened with wind and rain making flowing rugby difficult.

Siddal defended well as Clock Face upped their game. Fin Hickey began to combine well with Ackroyd and Siddal’s game management was solid throughout the second 40 minutes.

They looked like scoring when Ainley broke down the middle but he was caught before the try line and the chance was thwarted by determined Clock Face defence.

Blackburn was man-of-the-match after catching every high ball kicked to him, having a 100 per cent goal kicking record and marshalling the young back line and defence with distinction.