Siddal defy odds to win in Cumbria

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A patched-up Siddal team pulled off a stunnng 18-8 success away to Wath Brow Hornets in the Premier Division of the National Conference League.

Few visiting sides win at the far-flung Cumbrian venue, particularly with a severely depleted side, but the great young talent at Chevinedge helped them pull through.

They had to field four hookers and three half backs due to injuries, holidays and suspensions but turned in a defensive effort the Trojans would have been proud of.

Siddal were under the cosh from the first minute with Brow’s lively half-back pairing bossing their forwards around the park.

Stand in skipper George Ambler, Cole Wilson, Jack Georgiou and Dan Williams were colossal in defence, frustrating their hard running opponents and keeping their own line intact.

The visitors took a two point lead in the 12th minute, courtesy of a Chris Brooke penalty. Impressive hooker Billy Gaylor scooted 30 metres upfield when he caught Brow’s defence napping at a play the ball in a rare Siddal attack.

The hosts’ dominance of the ball finally reaped some reward when fullback Trotter finished off a fine move to score wide out, missing with his conversion attempt.

Three minutes later, Trotter was it again, as he and Boyce combined to give Brow an 8-2 lead.

On the last play of the half, Sean McCormack threw out a lovely ball for the strong running Williams to skittle the defence, Brooke adding the extras to make it 8-8 at half time.

Siddal’s defensive heroics seemed to give them confidence and it was their turn to dominate the game with Christian Ackroyd, Jake Smith and McCormack making inroads behind a mobile and forceful pack.

Freddie Walker showed his class as he caused havoc for the hosts, turning defence into attack every time they kicked to him.

After great work from Tom Garratt, Jake Smith’s accurate kick on the last tackle saw the ever improving Henry Turner re-gather and dive over in the corner to give his side a 12-8 advantage.

Once again Siddal had to stand up in defence, with Eddie Ainley and Danny Rushworth tackling way above their weight. The visitors kept out a frustrated Brow attack for three consecutive sets of six on their own line.

On the hour, Garratt thought he had extended his side’s lead only to have been adjudged to have lost the ball when grounding it.

Ambler then crashed over but his effort was disallowed for a forward pass.

However, in the 74th minute the visitors got the try they deserved when Jake Smith darted over from 10 metres out, Brooke adding the extras.

A very impressive display must have pleased Siddal coaches Daz Phillips and Gareth English and gives them a few headaches for team selection, starting at Rochdale Mayfield next Saturday.