Challenge Cup: Siddal's turn to be in firing line

SIDDAL have had some memorable moments in the Challenge Cup in recent years and they launch their bid for more glory at home to Eastmoor Dragons tomorrow (1.30).

The Conference big guns thrashed Doncaster's professionals last year before going down with all guns blazing against Batley and they had run Swinton close the previous season.

Dragons are having a successful campaign in Division Two of the Conference but Siddal should have too much class if they retain their focus after last week's 20-10 defeat at Leigh East in a crunch game near the top of the Premier Division.

Although the loss was a setback to Siddal's hopes of heading the table before the play-offs, coach Lee Greenwood wasn't too disappointed even though his side's only points came from five Gareth Blackburn penalties.

"It was a really good effort," said Greenwood.

"A lot has been made about our failure to score tries against them. But they are the best attacking team in the competition and although they scored four tries, they only made one break and scored three from kicks.

"That is something we will have to think about the next time we play them but if we put in the same effort in defence we will beat every other team."

Greenwood said the Challenge Cup was always a high priority for Siddal and although former Premier side Dragons bowed out of the National Cup 22-20 at East Leeds last Saturday he would be wary of their threat.

"They will see us as a top side and may well raise their game," he said.

Former winger Andy Smith, who had a short spell at Halifax, may be in the Eastmoor ranks alongside experienced playmaker Kevin Brown.

Siddal have a significant new arrival in prop Callum Dinsdale, the ex-York City Knights prop, who shone for the seconds last week. He and Jack Holmes are possibles to replace Luke Simeunovich, who is working.

Greenwood is likely to go ahead with the backs shuffle he had in mind for last week before Mark Boothroyd's withdrawal.

It involves Scott Caley playing at fullback and Andy Bowman at centre with Chris Brooke and Lee Gudor the half-backs.

More previews of the weekend's rugby league in Friday's Courier