Siddal are in good heart for play-offs

Star man: Steve Illingworth was in excellent form for Siddal
Star man: Steve Illingworth was in excellent form for Siddal
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Saddleworth Rangers 0 Siddal 44

Siddal finished their group campaign in the National Conference League’s interim season with an impressive display against plucky Rangers.

Despite the high scoreline, Siddal didn’t score the first try until 26 minutes when Shaun Garrod found a gap to ease past the defence and give the visitors a 4-0 advantage.

Siddal’s forwards began to dominate the big Saddleworth pack with good work from Nick Smith, Craig Sanderson and James Simeunovich.

Garrod was involved in the next try, sending centre Matt Batley racing through a gap to touch down. Gareth Blackburn added the conversion to give Siddal a 10-0 lead and it remained that way until half time.

Eight minutes into the second period man of the match Steve Illingworth created a gap for player coach Lee Greenwood to charge through the defence for a try. Blackburn added the extras.

Siddal continued to move the ball quickly on a narrow field, resulting in prolific points scorer Blackburn squeezing over for a try in the corner, which he superbly converted from the touchline to increase Siddal’s lead to 22-0 after 52 minutes.

Youngsters Austin Barrowclough and Josh Halliday both showed their potential with hard work in defence and attack.

On 56 minutes youngster Dominic Booth was held short of the line after a 30 metre sprint. A quick play of the ball resulted in scrum half Illingworth crossing the whitewash.

Siddal continued to dominate and on 65 minutes prop Scott Law broke through the defence to race 30 metres for a try under the posts. Blackburn converted to increase the lead to 32-0.

Veterans Gary Lewis and Jamie Wrigley turned back the clock with powerful running into the heart of the Saddleworth defence.

Illingworth capped a fine performance with a jinking run through the Saddleworth defence on the half way line, sprinting to touch down. Again Blackburn made no mistake with the conversion.

Ten minutes before the final whistle teenager Joe Martin neatly kicked over the Saddleworth defence for Greenwood to show a turn of pace and touch down. Blackburn rounded off the score with the conversion.

Siddal, who have won 11 of their 12 group games, now face Widnes West Bank at Chevinedge next Saturday (2.0) in the eliminator play-off.

The winners will have home advantage against Leigh East or Wigan St Patricks.