Walker hat-trick as Siddal win again

Actions from Siddal v West Hull, at Chevinedge. Pictured is Freddie Walker
Actions from Siddal v West Hull, at Chevinedge. Pictured is Freddie Walker

Siddal put in a solid performance to move up to fourth position in the NCL Premier Division with their third win in a row, by 44-18 over mid-table Underbank.

In front of the largest crowd of the season and the Freesports TV cameras, the promoted Huddersfield side started the stronger, helped by Siddal dropping successive high kicks from visiting scrum half Richard Pogson.

From the first of them prop Matthew Byatt pounced to score next to the posts on three minutes. Pogson slotted the conversion.

Siddal had their first taste of possession in the sixth minute. Byron Smith and Jack Georgiou started to gain good yards. Stand off Jake Smith made a half break and set up the position for hooker Sean McCormack to find a gap and touch down. Gaz Blackburn’s conversion made it 6-6 after 12 minutes.

The home side were starting to dominate and Danny Williams, Canaan Smithies and Ben Hinsley were all prominent.

After 16 minutes, Chris Brooke and Blackburn combined to put Freddy Walker in space. Walker displayed strength and determination to bounce off several tacklers to force his way over the line. Blackburn’s conversion put Siddal ahead at 12-6.

Underbank hit back after 20 minutes. Their lively half back combination of Pogson and Danny Hirst were prompting their forwards and second rower Nick Briggs scored from a strong run out wide. Pogson’s conversion made it 12-12.

Siddal regained the lead after interchanges Gareth English and Danny Rushworth had taken play deep into the opposition territory. The ball was moved out to Walker who once again touched down from a strong run. Blackburn’s conversion made it 18-12 after 29 minutes.

Underbank conceded a series of penalties and were given a team warning. Loose forward Joe Bobbin was sin binned after 31 minutes and two minutes later Hinsley continued his rich vein of try-scoring form by touching down. Blackburn’s kick extended the lead to 24-12 and there was no further scoring before half time as the visitors defended their line well.

Defences were on top in the early exchanges of the second half. Siddal decided to run a kickable penalty after 48 minutes and that option was vindicated when Danny Williams stretched to touch down near the posts to leave Blackburn a straightforward kick for a 30-12 lead.

The home side were on top and Conner MacCallum, Dom Booth and the returning Tom Garratt were all gaining ground with strong running.

The lead was extended after 56 minutes. Georgiou was tackled just short of the try line under the posts and the ball was moved wide to Walker, who completed his hat-trick. The conversion had put the game beyond Underbank’s reach at 34-12.

On 67 minutes Siddal scored again when Hinsley wriggled out of a tackle to feed the ball to Lewis Hosty, who scored by the corner flag. Blackburn converted from the touchline for a 40-12 lead.

Underbank kept plugging away and Pogson’s kicks were continuing to cause Siddal problems. Sam Walsh made a tremendous take from one high ball and was clattered for his efforts.

On 73 minutes another Pogson kick was gathered by winger Sam Ansell and he scored out wide. Pogson’s kick reduced the deficit to 44-18 but the scrum half was sin binned in the 77th minute for an offence in the ruck. There was no further scoring.

Walker was man-of-the-match for his hat-trick of tries, hooker Sam Rochford picking up the accolade for Underbank.

Siddal’s good day was rounded off with the news that the Yorkshire League team had won 22-12 away to Upton, Russ Holroyd’s side showing character to pick up points at an intimidating venue.