SIDDAL produced a dominant second half display at the start of a run of four home matches which coach Lee Greenwood hopes can pave the way for a successful season.
The Chevindge men have had a mixed start and looked to have surrendered the initiative in this Conference Premier Division contest when the visitors from Hull scored twice in the last 10 minutes of the first half to take a 10-6 lead.
However, the home side regained the advantage three minutes after the break and kept Skirlaugh pinned in their own territory for the majority of the second 40 minutes.
Scott Law, Siddal’s best forward in the first half, bagged his second try of the match with one minute left to seal victory and sign off on a high note.
Law is heading off on a fairly lengthy trip to Australia and although the Chevinedge men will miss him, Greenwood is looking forward to having a steady stream of players returning from injury.
There were seven absentees on Saturday and Greenwood chose to rest his under 18 stars ahead of a National Cup semi-final yesterday.
The former Fax winger had a blow out himself in the last quarter to help ensure there was no repeat of his side’s lapses on the right of their defence in the first half, but he need not have worried.
The hosts started well in their bid to bounce back from a comprehensive defeat at Myton Warriors the previous Saturday, dominating the early exchanges and taking a 6-0 lead on 16 minutes.
Matty Batley was held up over the line but eventually Law crossed 10 yards to the right of the posts from hooker Craig Sanderson’s pass. Shaun Blackburn converted.
Siddal then lost their way for a while and Skirlaugh made it 6-6 on 25 minutes after successive penalties had given them a good field position. Second row Gary Prest’s off-load in the tackle enabled fullback Mark Smith to run round behind the posts for scrum half Stuart Smith to convert.
Eight minutes later Prest put the visitors 10-6 up and the situation could have been worse by the interval, Siddal having to front up well in defence after stand off Chris Brown’s superb 40-20 into touch near the corner flag.
While Siddal’s attack never functioned fluently, in spite of number six Andy Fox doing all that could be expected of him on his first full 80 minutes in the side, the rest of their performance was pretty much spot on in the second half.
Playing their favourite way towards the road, they smothered Skirlaugh with some enthusiastic tackling.
Fullback Scott Caley always looked the man most likely to break through for Siddal and he did just that shortly after the break, finishing from 20 yards. Blackburn’s kick made it 12-10.
The home side then turned the screw with Skirlaugh only able to get the ball over the half-way line courtesy of last-tackle kicks for some time.
Siddal, with centre Batley to the fore, added another converted try on 65 minutes. Mark Smith spilled Chris Brooke’s high kick and the ball bounced off Gareth English’s legs and nestled under the posts, leaving the prop with the simple task of touching down.
The visitors had a short spell close to the home line but most of the action was at the other end where Nick Smith got over but was unable to ground the ball and Fox’s kick might have produced a try for Blackburn.
The line-breaking passes had not been sticking but one eventually did, Law charging over and Blackburn making it four out of four with the boot to round off a satisfactory team display.
Greenwood felt it was a job well done and hopes his side can build momentum at home over the next three weeks when they have cup games against Queens (National Cup) and Dewsbury Celtic (Conference Challenge Cup) with a league game against Leigh East sandwiched in between.