Siddal sail through after strong show

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Rochdale Mayfield 12

Siddal 25

Challenge Cup

Siddal progressed into the third round of the Challenge Cup after a strong performance against highly fancied Rochdale Mayfield, who had enjoyed a nine game winning run stretching back to October.

Siddal crossed the whitewash first after a set piece involving half-backs Simeon Hoyle and Chris Brooke opened up a space for full back Scott Caley to touchdown.

Mayfield’s big pack tried to make ground down the slope but strong defending from Luke Simeunovich, Nick Smith and George Ambler held them out.

Siddal’s lead was increased on 22 minutes after hooker Craig Sanderson off-loaded to prop Gareth English, who crashed over under the posts. Gareth Blackburn converted to give the visitors a healthy 10-0 lead.

Siddal lost second rower James Simeunovich with a broken nose but the visitors continued to work hard and Mayfield’s influential half back Sam Butterworth wasn’t allowed any room to show his skills due to the strong Siddal defence.

Mayfield eventually scored their first try when centre Ian Sampson’s high kick was followed up by Fijian winger Ben Namulnatua, who managed to touch down after a mix-up in the Siddal defence. Loose forward Aidy Gleeson converted to narrow the gap to 10-6.

Siddal then scored a crucial try two minutes before the break.

The ball was sent out wide and powerful centre Mark Boothroyd drew in the defence and offloaded to winger Ashley Huck, who sneaked in the corner for the first of his two tries. That gave the visitors a deserved 14-6 half time lead.

Siddal set off well in the second period with some strong running from Jack Holmes, Matty Batley and Chris Marsh.

Scrum half Hoyle’s astute kick into the corner was chased up by Huck, who outpaced the defence to touch down. Blackburn added the extras to give Siddal a commanding 20-6 lead after 53 minutes.

Midway through the second period Mayfield had their first attack of the halfand hooker Todd O’Brien created a gap for Australian forward Andy Mardney to score a try. Butterworth converted to narrow the gap to 20-12.

Siddal still dominated the ruck and the next try came from Scott Caley, who latched onto a neat offload from George Ambler. Brooke’s conversion attempt hit an upright.

Brooke then secured the last score of the afternoon with a long range drop goal to seal Siddal’s victory.