Halifax ARL Championship: Siddal edge out Ovenden

Halifax ARL Championship winners Siddal
Halifax ARL Championship winners Siddal

Siddal’s Yorkshire Men’s League squad beat Pennine League champions Ovenden 12-10 in a very competitive game to lift the Halifax ARL Championship at Chevinedge on Easter Monday.

Ovenden could only raise 14 men but pushed Siddal all the way and nearly forced extra time at the end.

Both teams probed in the early exchanges with Siddal’s Callum Holroyd taking the high balls aimed towards him.

Ovenden almost took the lead after 20 minutes when Sean Smith kicked behind the Siddal defence but Josh Brown knocked on in trying to dive on the ball.

That became a pattern as both teams let try scoring opportunities slip by.

Danny Rushworth and Eddie Ainley were driving Siddal forward and the home side went ahead on 26 minutes. Christian Ackroyd made the break and skipper Ainley was supporting to take the pass and sprint under the posts, to leave Rourke Woolley with a simple kick for a 6-0 lead.

Siddal were having their best spell of the game and on the half hour Jake Smith moved the ball out wide and Matty Prest knocked on when trying to ground the ball.

Five minutes later another Ainley break was backed up by Henry Turner but the scrambling Ovenden defence recovered to smother the chance.

Ovenden second rower Luke O’Mara was having a great game and he was supported well by stand off Sean Smith.

Siddal came out strongly in the second period as Matthew Turner’s pass was taken by Aaron Metcalfe and he sped over the line to increase the lead to 10-0 after 43 minutes.

Ovenden hit back after 48 minutes when another Sean Smith kick caused confusion in the Siddal defence and he pounced on the bouncing ball to score. Smith converted to close the gap to four points.

A Woolley penalty made it 12-6 after 65 minutes but Ovenden refused to lie down. O’Mara continued to drive the ball forward and he was aided by prop Joe Tuck.

In the last five minutes Ovenden forced two repeat sets and piled on the pressure, aided by intelligent kicking from the half backs.

They scored with the last play of the game when Nathan Brown squeezed in at the corner flag but the kick was just wide and the whistle blew before play could restart.

Rushworth was named man-of-the match for an all action 80 minutes display. He was run close by Ainley and O’Mara.