Siddal's fine last effort
Siddal rounded off their season with a tremendous effort in a 12-6 defeat away to the National Conference League table-toppers Hunslet Club Parkside.
Hunslet have taken the Premier Division by storm this summer, winning all 22 matches, but they were pushed hard by Siddal, who have finished a creditable seventh in a season of transition.
The visitors started in determined fashion and continually repelled the large home pack with Byron Smith, Chris Brooke, George Ambler, Danny Williams, Ben Hinsley and Jack Georgiou matching the home forwards.
They were starved of possession in the early stages, with a heavy penalty account against them, but Siddal were still first on the score sheet from one of the few occasions when they had ball in hand.
A great pass from half back Jake Smith enabled Georgiou to burst through a gap 20 yards out and storm in under the posts on 14 minutes. Gareth Blackburn’s conversion put Siddal 6-0 up.
Hunslet were rattled and couldn’t find a way through the Siddal defensive line. Cole Wilson and Canaan Smithies came on and were soon prominent.
Hunslet did narrow the gap when a high kick was spilled and the loose ball was seized on for a try in the corner to make it 4-6 after 23 minutes.
Two minutes later another penalty was awarded in Hunslet’s favour and Jamie Fields made it 6-6. There was no further scoring in the first half.
Fields kicked Hunslet in front by 8-6 after 45 minutes when the referee ruled Siddal had held down in the tackle.
Siddal continued to probe with young centres Lewis Hosty and Henry Turner running well and ever-dependable full back Fred Walker making ground with his trademark runs out of defence.
Sam Walsh and Christian Ackroyd were also tackling well above their weight as Siddal looked for a way back into the game.
Hunslet were also defending well and they sneaked a try in the corner after 69 minutes to stretch the lead before seeing out the rest of the game.
Siddal coaches Gareth English and Darren Phillips were proud of the performance and they are looking for the side’s youngsters to kick on in 2019 with the benefit of a Premier Division campaign under their belts.