Challenge Cup: Siddal bow out with heads held high at Rochdale

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Siddal’s hopes of back to back League 1 giant killings ended in courageous disappointment as they slipped to a 48-20 loss against promotion contenders Rochdale Hornets at Spotland.

Hornets made the most of some merciless refereeing to have the game virtually won by half time, by which time they led 32-10, but were made to work from start to finish by their amateur opponents, victors over Newcastle Thunder in round three.

The visitors spent most of the first 40 minutes on the backfoot as referee Warren Turley, predictably unpredictable, ruled with an iron fist around the ruck, with back to back sets leading to the bulk of Hornets’ six first half tries.

Stuart Biscomb, Matty Hadden (2), Dale Bloomfield, James Tilley and Alex McClurg all touched down, with stand off Paul Crook adding four conversions.

When Siddal did get some quality possession, they showed the class and intelligence to use it well, with well worked tries from Taniela Bakosa and Tom Garratt pegging Hornets back to a nerve jangling 12-10 until the half hour mark.

And if Rochdale thought it was all over at the break, they had bargained without a storming start to the second half that saw Siddal close to 32-20 with two tries in eight minutes from forwards Jason Boults and Mark Boothroyd, the latter converted by Brooke.

Rochdale settled their nerves with prop Samir Tahroui try, converted by Crook, to lead 38-20 going into the final quarter.

Late scores from Ben Moores and Cory Lee sealed a win that was probably less comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Rochdale: Riley; Lee, Tairia, Trumper, Bloomfield; Crook, Yates; Tahraoui, Moores, Thompson, Case, Biscomb, Tilley. Subs: Cookson, Hadden, McClurg, Dandy

Siddal: Walker; Hope, Garrat, West, Bakosa; Garrod, Brooke; Ambler, Sanderson, Davies, Boothroyd, Boults, Smith. Subs: Booth, Smithies, Hinsley, English