National Conference League: More late anguish for Siddal

Jack Georgiou was among Siddal's scorers
Jack Georgiou was among Siddal's scorers

Siddal’s habit of conceding two late tries came back to haunt them as they were beaten with the last play of the game in a 20-18 defeat at Egremont on Saturday.

It was a third successive defeat for their young side and they have slipped to eighth in the National Conference League’s Premier Division.

The visitors’ 17-man squad showed seven changes from that which had played so well at West Hull the previous week and the players put in another strong display in Cumbria.

Siddal made a confident start with the pack dominating the Egremont forwards. Jack Georgiou and Byron Smith were leading from the front, prompted by hooker Sean McCormack. Debutant Dom O’Keefe was strong in defence, alongside fellow back rowers Danny Williams and Danny Rushworth.

Egremont were being put under pressure and Siddal’s strong start was rewarded when Christian Ackroyd found Lewis Hosty out wide after five minutes and the centre finished with an assured touchdown. Gareth Blackburn’s kick bounced back from the upright but the visitors were well worth their lead.

The game was evenly contested for the next 15 minutes until Egremont’s stand off Mark Tyson side stepped his way over the line and Leon Crellin’s conversion put the home side 6-4 in front.

Siddal hit back on 28 minutes when Egremont launched a high ball on the last tackle. Full back Freddy Walker took it and scorched through the home defence, taking play into the opposition half. With the Egremont defence stretched, Hosty once again took advantage with another cool finish. Blackburn’s conversion made the score 6-10.

It was all Siddal now and after pinning Egremont inside their own 25 yard line for a long period, Georgiou bulldozed through the home pack to touch down after 35 minutes. The conversion from Blackburn stretched the lead to 10 points, which was a reflection of the visitors’ performance.

Siddal conceded a try at the start of the second half which gave the hosts some belief. Matt Brewsher forced his way over the line and Crellin’s conversion reduced the deficit to 12-16.

Player coach Gareth English entered the game and had an immediate impact, prompting his colleagues with a trademark off load, and it was an infringement against English that allowed Blackburn to take advantage with a penalty after 64 minutes to take the score to 12-18.

Siddal should have seen the game out but they spilled possession on four consecutive occasions to put themselves under pressure throughout the last 10 minutes.

Scrum half Paul Corkhill managed to ground the ball after 74 minutes to make the scores 16-18 and with the very last play of the game, the referee controversially awarded a try. Two Egremont players appeared to rip the ball out of a tackle and despite the ball going forward behind the visitors’ line before being pounced on by an Egremont attacker, the try was allowed to stand. The conversion was missed and there was no time for the game to be re-started.

Siddal were again left to lick their wounds again in a game that showed this young team has the ability to compete well at this level.

Siddal’s Yorkshire Men’s League side had a convincing 62-2 win at home to Nottingham Outlaws.