Siddal are new Conference leaders

Siddal went top of the NCL Premier Division with a convincing 20-4 victory away to struggling Skirlaugh on Saturday.

In a fairly even first half, Siddal had to repel early pressure but they soon began to make progress into the Hull side’s territory through powerful runs by props Liam Green and Danny Keane.

Following back to back sets, earned after Skirlaugh were forced to drop out from under their posts, Siddal opened the scoring on eight minutes when hooker Craig Sanderson dived over from a play the ball. Gareth Blackburn added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Siddal looked as though they might open up the Skirlaugh defence each time they reached their opponents’ half but some sloppy passing and last ditch tackling meant they were unable to increase their lead.

Skirlaugh managed to lift the pressure, aided by some Siddal indiscipline, and on 27 minutes they claimed their only score of the game. Three quick plays in succession had the Siddal defence back-pedalling and Scott Mountain ran strongly through a weak tackle to score close to the posts. Surprisingly the conversion was missed.

The rest of the half belonged to Siddal. Half-back Shaun Garrod created breaks for Chris Brook and Danny Williams but Skirlaugh defenders chased them down. Gareth English was causing Skirlaugh a lot of trouble with his clever off-loads. Just when it looked as though Skirlaugh would reach half time without conceding again, Garrod drew the cover and slipped a fine pass to skipper Nick Smith, who cut inside the last defender to touch down.

Blackburn missed the goal but Siddal went in at the break 10-4 to the good.

Siddal continued where they left off in the early part of the second half. Garrod made two half breaks, debutant Ben Benn was strong in the middle of the park and Danny Williams was producing his customary big hits to force turnovers.

On 46 minutes Siddal stretched their lead when Smith ran at the line from 30 yards out and just kept going to score close to the left corner. Blackburn added a great conversion.

Skirlaugh were finding it increasingly difficult to reach the Siddal half without having to kick deep.

Fullback Scott Caley and wingers Gareth and Shaun Blackburn brought the ball back well and it was no surprise when Siddal increased their lead on the hour. This time visiting man of the match Garrod ran through a gap on the Skirlaugh right to score in an almost carbon copy of Smith’s try.

Blackburn couldn’t add the goal but at 20-4 Siddal were home and dry.

For the final quarter Siddal were content to wind the clock down, forcing Skirlaugh to drop out on two more occasions and keeping them pegged back.

ELLAND moved closer to Ovenden in the Conference Division Two table with a 30-12 win at Four Fields on Saturday.

Ovenden, who are going through a bad patch, are seventh and Elland ninth.