NCL Grand Final: Greenwood reflects as Siddal close on perfection

Siddal celebrate at Widnes on Sunday
Siddal celebrate at Widnes on Sunday

Siddal coach Gareth Greenwood was left to reflect on a near-perfect performance as his side cemented their status as the amateur game’s top dogs with a crushing victory over Leigh Miners in Sunday’s NCL Grand Final.

Siddal ran out 42-4 winners against the reigning champions at Widnes, prop Iain Davies leading the scoring with a bruising hat trick as they ran up the biggest scoreline and the biggest winning margin in the competition’s history.

A year on from watching a seemingly winning margin evaporate against the same opponents on the same occasion, it was a moment for Greenwood to savour.

“We couldn’t have asked for any more could we, we really couldn’t,” said the former Halifax player.

“I’m so glad they did it that way and showed that they are far and away the best amateur team in the country.

“I didn’t want a 38-28 game where we scored, they scored, I wanted us to show how good we can be.

“They’ve been miles better than everyone else all year and I’m pleased they’ve gone out and proved that.

“I didn’t want to be just talking about the result and who won and who lost, I told them I wanted them to show the difference between themselves and the other teams.

“It’s a special team, they beat Newcastle by 30 points in the Challenge Cup don’t forget, and I’m not sure you’ll see a team like that playing amateur rugby again.

“You’re nervous beforehand, obviously, but once the scoreboard went to 24-0 you start to relax a bit.

“I could tell today they weren’t going to let it slip today, they were never going to crumble this time.”

It was a hallmark of the quality of Siddal’s performance that it was difficult to single out individuals; this was a victory built on collective excellence.

“Everyone played very well,” said Greenwood.

“Sean McCormack was brilliant when he came on, Freddy Walker was good at the back, Kyle Ackroyd at half back.

“The middle players were all good, Iain Davies’ hat trick says a lot about that, but you could mention them all from one to 17, really.

“It was just a very, very good performance.

“We were stronger, we ran harder and we had more punch.

“There was nothing fancy about it, but they did it right and everyone did the job we asked them to.

“If you can keep them calm like we did today, they are a really good team.”