Three-try burst boosts Siddal

Rugby League - Siddal v Wigan St Patricks. Chris Brooke for Siddal.
Rugby League - Siddal v Wigan St Patricks. Chris Brooke for Siddal.

Siddal bounced back from last week’s defeat at Kells to register a 37-18 home win over Wigan St Patrick’s in the Premier Division of the National Conference League yesterday.

They were making it three wins from six outings this season with a trip to fourth-placed Normanton Knights next on the agenda.

Defences were on top in the opening 10 minutes. Lewis Hosty was solid under a high ball when under severe pressure on his own line, but was tackled in goal. Gaz Blackburn’s drop out took play back into Wigan territory but hooker Phil Glover made a tremendous break from inside his own half and ran straight down the middle of the pitch to touch down under the posts after 11 minutes. James Ratcliffe added the extras.

Siddal responded very positively with three tries in a 10 minute spell, all converted by Gareth Blackburn.

Centre Henry Turner scored following a break by Danny Rushworth; Danny Williams touched down for the second after 22 minutes when Sean McCormack and Chris Brooke moved the ball wide at speed; and McCormack poached the third from close range to put Siddal in command at 18-6 after 25 minutes.

Siddal were playing with confidence, led from the front by skipper Byron Smith and Canaan Smithies, and Brooke kicked a 40/20 as the home side piled on the pressure.

Connor MacCallum was causing the visitors all sorts of problems with his strong running and Paul Long, Elliott Thompson and George Ambler were also to the fore as the hosts played some of their best rugby of the season.

There was no further scoring in the first half as St Pats held their line but the visitors reminded their hosts of their quality five minutes into the second period when loose forward Ryan Braddock forced his way under the posts. Ratcliffe’s conversion made it 18-12.

Siddal replied immediately as they took play downfield and stand off Jake Smith played a great ball to Ben Hinsley, who again showed how hard he is to stop when running out wide. He made no mistake with the finish after 48 minutes. Blackburn’s conversion put daylight between the sides again at 24-12.

That lead was extended five minutes later when Long’s drive set up the position for Smithies to show strength to wriggle over by the side of the posts. The reliable Blackburn’s goal made it 30-12.

Once again St Pats refused to lie down. Their man-of-the-match Glover was repeatedly making ground with his tenacious runs from dummy half and he was supported by strong running winger Afoez Ordeinde and centre Danny Ryding.

From one of Glover’s darts, the ball was moved out to centre Joe Maninga, who found space to touch down after 69 minutes to give the visitors hope. Ratcliffe’s conversion made it 30-18.

The clinching score came via a Brooke drop goal with three minutes left to widen the advantage to 13 points.

Rampaging prop George Ambler then rounded off the scoring with a barnstorming run in the final minute, forcing his way under the posts. Blackburn maintained his flawless kicking record.

MacCallum was man-of-the-match for Siddal while 16 year old Oliver Lewis made a very solid debut in a fine team effort.