Siddal beat freeze and Sharlston

Gareth English
Gareth English

The freezing conditions didn’t stop Siddal from progressing to the second round of the BARLA National Cup with a 40-28 win over Sharlston Rovers yesterday.

The Chevinedge club, with their eyes on next weekend’s Coral Challenge Cup trip to Millom, relied on Russ Holroyd’s second team to face their Pennine League top-section visitors at CWC Park.

Holroyd’s men did him proud, fighting back from a 22-12 interval deficit with a decisive four-try blast.

Siddal secretary Joe McCormack said conditions had been perfect. The pitch had not been played on since September so had an excellent covering of grass.

Victory earned Siddal a home tie with Blackbrook in the second round on February 23. The St Helens side beat Ellenborough 25-24 at home.

Sharlston started strongly and were in front after five minutes when the home defence failed to cope with Kyle Dutson’s high kick. Dutson converted.

Siddal drew level five minutes later when centre Rourke Woolley kicked through to pounce on a ball over the line after good work by Fin Hickey. Woolley converted.

Sharlston restored their lead when impressive loose forward Liam Kendall forced his way over the line after good work from prop Martyn Nicol.

The visitors moved 16-6 up on 15 minutes when centre Paul Greaves intercepted on half way and touched down under the posts for another six pointer.

Siddal started to claw their way back with strong running from forwards Pete Howard, Liam Whiting, Ellis Broadbent, Keenan Ramsden and Tom Hirst.

The position was created for first team joint-coach Gareth English, a prop playing in the centre, to score next to the posts after 27 minutes. Woolley’s conversion made it 12-16.

Sharlston hit back just before half time when James Davies bulldozed his way over and Dutsona dded the extras.

Siddal were a completely different proposition for 10 minutes at the start of the second half with Olly Lewis, Matty Prest, Mason Scott and the industrious Eddie Ainley all began to make good yards in possession.

Man-of-the-match Jake Turner scored a magnificent solo try with a junking run and hooker Sean McCormack, English with his second and Woolley touched down to put Siddal firmly in charge.

Woolley’s effort on 52 minutes was the try of the game. Hirst put him through a gap with a great ball and the young centre dummied his way past three defenders to race to the line. Woolley added three of the four conversions to put Siddal 34-22 ahead.

Sharlston refused to lie down and they reduced the gap to six points on 63 minutes when Adam Saynor side-stepped his way under the posts and Dutson converted.

However, Siddal came up with a clinching score with 10 minutes left when Callum Holroyd dived in at the corner after good approach play from the increasingly influential Ainley, Hickey and English.

Woolley completed the scoring with a last minute penalty.

Ovenden’s National Cup match at Oldham St Annes was postponed because of a frozen pitch.