Siddal 24 Oulton 22
Siddal picked up their third league win on the trot away at Oulton in a game littered with mistakes and penalties but high on drama.
Missing several regulars, coach Gareth Greenwood brought second team players Pete Howard, Tom Garratt and Rob Bradley into his squad, and handed a debut to 16 year old Zak McComb.
On 13 minutes, Siddal opened the scoring. Garratt drove deep toward the Oulton try line and hooker Craig Sanderson capitalised, diving over to score next to the posts. Chris Brooke converted for an early 6-0 lead.
Oulton hit back within six minutes to level the scores, and it got worse for Siddal six minutes later when the Oulton stand off scored by the posts to put Oulton 12-6 ahead.
Siddal hit back immediately. Following a spell of pressure in the Oulton 20 metre zone, Nick Smith smartly switched play to the right, he fed the supporting Scott Caley and then quick hands from centre Richard Lopag put wing Emerson Newburn in at the corner. Brooke added a superb conversion against a very strong wind and those two points were to prove crucial in the end.
Siddal were back in front on 31 minutes. Smith again was the creator, sucking in three defenders and managing a great offload out of the tackle to allow Lopag to touchdown wide on the right. Brooke couldn’t goal this time but Siddal led 16-12.
Siddal were then aided by the dismissal of the Oulton stand off two minutes before half time after a scuffle broke out in midfield.
Siddal increased their lead in the 54th minute. Garratt once again sucked in several Oulton defenders who finally managed to haul him down 10 metres out. The ball was quickly transferred to the right through Shaun Garrod, Brooke and Lopag with the centre’s final pass allowing his wing partner, Newburn, to pick up his second try. Brooke missed a difficult conversion far out on the right to leave Siddal 20-12 in front.
Oulton reduced the deficit on the 60th minute with another try, and were given a golden opportunity to pull level after being awarded three penalties in a row by the over fussy referee. The third was almost straight in front of the posts but inexplicably the Oulton kicker hit the post.
In the 67th minute Siddal swept back down field after Oli Marns broke from deep, but the ex Halifax winger couldn’t turn back the clock and was caught by the Oulton chasing pack. However he’d laid the platform and on the final play of the set Garrod dummied from acting half and scored without a hand being laid on him. Brooke couldn’t goal but Siddal were now 24-18 ahead.
Oulton hit back and despite being a man short somehow managed to create an overlap on the right to score in the corner. Fortunately for Siddal the conversion from the touchline proved too difficult, leaving Siddal 24-22 in front and eight minutes left on the clock.
Siddal had to repel several Oulton attacks as the home side threw caution to the wind but they managed to hang on for a vital two points.
Marns and Smith were outstanding for Siddal, Garratt carried the ball forward very well and McComb more than held his own on his debut.
BOTH Calderdale’s sides in Division Two of the National Conference had successful weekends; Elland winning 22-8 at Askam in Cumbria and Ovenden, who had the former Halifax professional Andrew Brocklehurst on debut, blitzing Normanton 32-6 at Four Fields.