Siddal aim to make home advantage pay in Challenge Cup

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Top amateurs Siddal will welcome a professional club to their Chevinedge home for the first time when they host League 1 outfit Newcastle Thunder in the Challenge Cup on Saturday (2.0).

Gareth Greenwood’s National Conference Grand Finalists have a proud track record against paid opposition, downing Doncaster 26-0 in 2010 under the tutelage of Greenwood’s brother, Lee, and pushing Keighley close two years later.

But this will be the first time Siddal have had a home advantage as they go in search of another giant killing.

“It’s a new experience for us to have a pro club at Chevinedge and I think everyone is looking forward to it,” said Greenwood, who watched his side edge unconvincingly past Thunder’s neighbours - the students of Northumbria University - in round two.

“Hopefully it will give us a bit of an advantage, although I think if you look at our best performances over the last couple of seasons most of them have actually come away from home.

“We’ll certainly have to be a lot better than we were against Northumbria, because if we perform at that level again we’re not going to give ourselves a chance.

“They’re a good mid-table side; they’re not a Hemel, where you’d genuinely think we might be the better side, but they’re not a top of the league team either.

“They’ve got a couple of Australians in the backline who are meant to be pretty good and some proven players in lads like Peter Fox and Craig Cook.

“Realistically, it’s going to be difficult, but if everyone turns up and plays at their best, then who knows?

“We’re not playing Bradford Bulls, are we?”

Greenwood, whose side only returned to training a month ago, expects to make minimal changes to the side that won in the previous round.

Prop Gareth English, who played Championship One rugby for Keighley, is expected to make his first start of the season.