Siddal managed to maintain their unbeaten run but in unconvincing fashion against a depleted but fired up Ovenden.
The early skirmishes were fierce and reminiscent of the old derbies of yesteryear. Siddal’s ex Ovenden players, Gareth English and Jamie Wrigley, came in for some special attention from the Ovenden pack whilst Siddal’s Danny Williams, Nick Smith and James Simeunovich ensured the Ovenden lads knew they were in for a hard afternoon.
Siddal opened the scoring after six minutes when stand off Shaun Garrod broke from 20 metres, side stepping the fullback and touching down close to the posts. Gareth Blackburn added an easy conversion.
Garrod repeated his earlier effort, this time after a great run by hooker Shaun McCormack had taken Siddal upfield. Garrod picked up from the play the ball, breaking the Ovenden line from 40 metres and rounding the fullback.
Blackburn goaled and Siddal looked set for a big score. However, Ovenden stuck in, well led by ex Siddal player Gareth Jones, prop Tom Palmer and loose forward Dean Robertshaw.
As the half wore on Siddal forced a couple of repeat sets as Ovenden players scrambled to kick the ball dead but Siddal were unable to break down the defensive line.
Ovenden managed a try on a rare attack when Jones spotted the Siddal defence were short on the left hand side and a long Jones pass saw winger Matt Dawson collect and squeeze in at the corner, making it 12-4 to Siddal at the break.
Ovenden opened the second half well and were continuing to make good progress on their right hand side through centre Tom McAdam and the promptings of scrum half Liam Walsh.
And they closed the gap on 50 minutes when Jones combined nicely with Sandlands who took the inside pass and managed to burst through and touch down despite two Siddal defenders hanging onto him.
Play became scrappy as both sides’ ball retention deteriorated in the wet and local referee Michael Reid was called on to keep a lid on thinmgs after high shots from both sides.
Young Macauley Higgins was going well for the home side and it was Siddal who extended their lead on 65 minutes when English burst onto a short inside pass by Garrod and powered over the line from close range. Blackburn again converted, his kicking proving crucial in the final analysis.
Smith looked as though he’d gone over again a couple of minutes later but much to everyone’s surprise, including the Ovenden players, Mr Reid decided he hadn’t grounded the ball.
Ovenden continued to plug away and were over again on 70 minutes when Jones again spread the ball wide for winger Dawson to score his second try, again right by the corner flag. Sandlands again missed the difficult kick.
Though there was just one converted score between the teams now Ovenden didn’t look like piercing the Siddal line again and they were able to see the game out.
Smith, Williams and McCormack stood out for Siddal whilst Jones, Sandlands and Robertshaw had outstanding games for the visitors.
ELLAND suffered a comprehensive 38-0 defeat at Saddleworth Rangers.