Siddal players’summit over replay

Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood
Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood

Siddal will decide on their next course of action at training tonight as the rumpus over their National Conference League play-off game at West Hull rumbles on.

The Chevinedge men appeared to have earned a meeting away to Castleford Lock Lane this Saturday when Chris Brooke’s drop goal gave them a golden point victory by 15-14 last weekend.

However, it transpired that young referee Tom Hudson should have played 20 minutes of extra time before taking the tie to a golden score.

The Conference ruled that the game would have to be replayed at West Hull on Saturday with the winners away to Castleford Lock Lane in midweek. The next round is scheduled for the following Saturday.

Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood said on Sunday that both sets of players had accepted in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s game that the visitors had won fair and square and his club were in no mood for a replay.

Their argument, said Greenwood, was that it would be the first time in history that a match had been replayed on the basis of a referee’s wrong decision.

The Chevinedge club asked for the Rugby Football League to get involved and were summoned to a hearing at the governing body’s headquarters, Red Hall in Leeds, last night.

Greenwood, captain Shaun Garrod and team boss Kirsten McIntosh gave evidence following the referee and West Hull but the Siddal trio were dismayed when McIntosh was called back in very quickly and told the decision had gone against them.

Siddal have since protested by email about the make-up of the panel, which included Graeme Hallas, the ex-Halifax, Hull KR and Great Britain centre, who they said was a former teammate of West Hull coach Mark Hewitt.

Again their argument was dismissed and Greenwood said he would tonight talk to all 17 players involved in the game for the first time to gauge everyone’s feelings about the issue.

“People don’t realise how much it takes to go and win away in the rugby league play-offs,” he said.

“Morally it is wrong (to have a replay). We have done nothing wrong and everyone on that field knew a golden point would decide it.”

Greenwood said Siddal had received widespread support from across the game and that any replay would leave a ridiculous play-off schedule.

He added that Castleford Lock Lane had told them they would refuse to play either West Hull or Siddal next Wednesday if they were required to play again the following Saturday.

Ironically, the rules for the Conference cup appear to be different to the play-offs if sides are level after 80 minutes. Greenwood said that in the cup the golden score rule came into operation immediately and that West Hull had beaten Thatto Heath in such circumstances.

“To have different rules for the league cup and play-offs is bonkers,” he said.