Siddal edged back into the Fraser Eagle National Conference League top flight’s play off zone with a 36-22 home win over a York Acorn side who looked a far better side than their bottom of the table position suggests.
After an opening 15 minutes in which saw both sides tested each other out with quick ball movement across the park it was Siddal who opened the scoring.
Danny Keane took Siddal deep into York territory with a typically powerful run on the fifth tackle. Chris Brooke put up a high kick to the right corner and as Siddal centre Lee Greenwood competed for the ball it broke kindly for winger Emerson Newburn to touch down in the corner. Gareth Blackburn added a good conversion.
York were level within three minutes. Siddal appealed in vain for obstruction as York stand off Joe Budd ran behind some of his own players and went unopposed to score by the posts. Budd converted.
Siddal’s quick plays were keeping the York defence on the back foot but there was nothing the visitors could do when Greenwood bounced two York defenders off and then cleverly fed his wing partner Newburn, who picked up his second try in the corner. Blackburn added a superb conversion and although both sides threatened in the final 15 minutes of the half it was 12-6 to Siddal at the break.
Second row Danny Williams almost increased Siddal’s lead with a great break down the middle but the ball was dislodged from his grasp as he crossed the line. However the visitors failed to clear their line on their next possession and Siddal added a controversial score.
As home loose forward Nick Smith was tackled close to the line the ball was pulled out by an Acorn tackler but back over the try line. The referee waved play on and Blackburn was quickest to react to apply downward pressure on the loose ball while half the Acorn team remonstrated with the referee for a knock on. Blackburn added two more points to increase Siddal’s lead to 18-6.
On 50 minutes Siddal added the try of the game. Garrod fired a quick, flat pass to the onrushing Ross White who hit the hole perfectly, outpaced the fullback and ran behind the posts. Blackburn converted.
At 24-6 after 50 minutes most people expected Siddal to push on but York kept plugging away and reduced the arrears with a long range try from their winger minutes later.
The conversion was missed but within five minutes York were over again when Budd exploited some weak tackling on Siddal’s left to collect his second try and convert. With the score at 24-16 it was game on.
Garrod settled Siddal’s nerves with a fine individual try on 65 minutes as he glided through the York defence from 35 yards, reaching out to score as he was tackled. Blackburn added another two points.
York hit back on 75 minutes with a converted try when a smart grubber caught the Siddal defence asleep and an Acorn player collected the kick to score.
It fell to Siddal’s man of the match Greenwood to finally clinch the two points when he cut back inside from 15 yards out on the right and raced to the try line without a finger being laid on him. Blackburn completed a perfect kicking performance with his sixth conversion.