10-try Siddal blitz Saints

Siddal v Wigan St Pats
from top to bottom Ross White, Canaan Smithies and Finley Hickey.
Siddal v Wigan St Pats from top to bottom Ross White, Canaan Smithies and Finley Hickey.
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Siddal stayed firmly on track to claim pole position ahead of the National Conference League play-offs with a 58-6 thumping of visitors Wigan St Patrick’s yesterday.

They put the previous week’s wobble at Thatto Heath Crusaders behind them with a 10-try mauling of a club which has produced internationals such as Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley and Sam Tomkins.

Siddal now need to win two of their remaining three games to be sure of first place but that is no formality with next Saturday’s home test against third-placed Rochdale Mayfield to be followed by trips to fourth-placed Wath Brown Hornets and finally Skirlaugh.

The hosts were without two of their best players, full back Freddie Walker and points machine Gareth Blackburn, but Joe Martin almost covered for both of them.

The number one was the best player on the field by some way and notched two tries as well as kicking nine goals from 10 for a 26-point haul.

As is usual for Siddal at home, they fell behind when visiting prop Ryan Braddock rewarded Saints pressure with a try at the side of the posts on eight minutes, full back James Ratcliffe converting.

A monster 40-20 kick gave the visitors further encouragement but Siddal held out and Martin put them on the attack from a quick tap on the 22. Ross White, a forward continuing to deputise at centre, knocked on in the act of scoring and the frustration was mounting for the hosts.

Three tries in seven minutes at the start of the second quarter lifted any anxiety. Skipper Shaun Garrod set the ball rolling when he picked up from dummy half and shrugged off tacklers on the blind side. Martin’s only goal miss of the afternoon left the score 4-6.

Ratcliffe then put restarts out on the full twice in quick succession and winger Ben West and then loose forward Byron Smith made the visitors pay as Siddal shot into a 10-point lead.

Garrod grabbed his second try just before half time as Siddal opened a commanding 22-6 advantage and Martin beat two defenders in a weaving 35 metre run to the line immediately after the break to leave the writing on the wall for the visitors.

Saints dug in for 15 minutes, aided by penalty awards and the odd home handling mistake, but then the floodgates opened.

In-form prop George Ambler juggled but held on before touching down, White notched a quick double, Martin managed to get the ball down in heavy traffic to bring up the half century and replacement back Danny Rushworth scored the final try after good runs from Iain Davies and Martin.

The game had become very one-sided and the referee blew for full time a couple of minutes early, taking pity on a Saints side who have a Conference Challenge Trophy semi-final at West Hull next Saturday.