Comfortable win boosts Siddal’s Shield hopes

Siddal 46 Hull Dockers 12

Siddal completed their home programme with an emphatic victory over Hull Dockers and now go to their last league fixture at West Hull on Saturday in the knowledge that a victory could secure the League Leaders Shield if other results go their way.

Without several regulars, notably the usual halfback pairing of Shaun Garrod and Chris Brooke, Siddal began the game slowly. The first 10 minutes was littered with handing errors which gave the visitors opportunities to attack the home line. However, Siddal’s defence was strong and though the Dockers did force a couple of goalline drop outs the Chevinedgers were able to withstand the pressure.

Prop Danny Keane hit a short flat pass from hooker Craig Sanderson and powered over under the posts but the referee adjudged the pass was forward. Siddal were not to be denied and two minutes later the ball was quickly transferred to the left via Gareth Greenwood, Joe Martin and fullback Scott Caley who provided a final pass to Gareth Blackburn who got around his opposite number to squeeze in for a try in the corner.

Siddal extended the lead midway through the half when Greenwood fed impressive second row Danny Williams who made a half break and though his progress was checked, Williams was able to slip a pass to the supporting Caley who rounded the fullback to score wide out on the right. Gareth Blackburn added a great goal for a 10-0 lead.

Dockers tried to hit back aided by back to back penalties but Gareth and Shaun Blackburn snuffed out the threat. Siddal upped their game and centre Richard Lopag crossed following good work by stand in stand off Greenwood. Blackburn goalled for a 16-0 lead.

The visitors were wilting and as great Siddal defensive pressure pushed the Dockers back into their 20 metre zone as they looked to clear their lines a handling error allowed Lopag to scoop up the loose ball and collect his second try close to the posts. Blackburn knocked the simple conversion over while just before half time flying winger Emmerson Newburn ran 50 metres before being hauled down by the overworked Dockers.

Siddal began the second half well and an attack from deep in their own half caught the Dockers defence napping. Martin and Greenwood moved the ball to the left where substitute Dan Patrice fed Gareth Blackburn who outpaced the cover for a great winger’s try. Five minutes later. Greenwood was again the creator as he made a break through the visitors line and gave a fine inside pass to the supporting Caley who ran through the remaining defenceto score by the posts.

From the restart Siddal swept back downfield and rop Keane burst through the Dockers defence before feeding Greenwood for the seventh try, Blackburn adding the conversion for a 36-0 advantage.

A combination of some better play from the Dockers and a good spell of possession enabled them to reduce the arrears on the hour mark. Halfback Karl Smirk attacked the Siddal defensive line and then brought John Eccles onto an inside ball and he powered through three attempted tackles to score by the posts. Ben Hardcastle added the goal. Normal service was resumed 10 minutes later when Newburn, pinned in close to the touchline, came infield, spotted a gap and weaved his way through several Dockers defenders to score under the sticks. Blackburn added the conversion for a 42-6 lead. In the 73rd minute Siddal picked up their final try following good work by Greenwood and Williams who fed Lopag and the centre grabbed his hat-trick try wide out on the right.

In the closing moments Newburn once more broke the Dockers line down the centre of the field and from around halfway. The winger drew the fullback but unfortunately the pass he gave to the supporting Martin was forward. Dockers managed to move upfield and grabbed their second try when halfback Smirk intercepted an Andrew Fox pass to run 50 metres. Hardcastle added the conversion with the last act of the game.