Heartbreak for Siddal

FOR the second successive season Siddal found themselves lacking on the big stage as they suffered a 30-18 defeat at the hands of Thatto Heath in the National Conference play-off final at Widnes.

A year on from a similarly disappointing defeat at the hands of Leigh East, Siddal failed to turn up when it mattered leaving coach Lee Greenwood bitterly disappointed.

Greenwood had made a mad dash from Toulouse, where his pro club Batley had beaten the hosts 28-18 in a Co-Operative Championship clash on Sataurday night, to be at the Hobart Stadium in time for the final.

However, he admitted he wished he had been delayed after watching his side fail to play to their undoubted potential.

“I wish I hadn’t had to watch it, to be honest,” said Greenwood. “We just did not perform and as a result we are all bitterly disappointed.

“Once again we have failed in a final. That means either the players aren’t good enough on the big occasion, or we didn’t want it enough.

“At least half the team were not on their game and you cannot expect to win matches if that is the case.

“There was certainly no lack of character - it was more complacancy if anything and that is scandalous. Too many players were just not up for it. Once you have started the game you have to be focused and we weren’t and we were beaten.”

Despite the defeat Greenwood still managed to reserve praise for his side who were playing in their third consecutive Grand Final and who finished the regular season on top of the league.

“To finish top in most sports means you are champions but we have had to contest a Grand Final,” added Greenwood. “But we have been in the final in the last three years and finished top of the league so I believe we are still the best and strongest club in the competition.”

Greenwood said the players will take some time off to recharge their batteries before planning their assault on the league next season.

“They will go away for a month and forget about rugby,” he said. “Then we will come back and plan for next season.”