Siddal 36 Oulton Raiders 18
Siddal looked a little rusty after a three week break but just had enough to overcome a spirited Oulton Raiders whose performance belied their lowly league position.
It was the visitors who started the stronger and pressure on the Siddal line almost produced a try from a last tackle high kick but left wing Matty Bullough knocked on over the line.
Oulton continued to press as halfbacks Danny MacIntosh and Andy Williamson sprayed the ball around. However, a loose pass was swept up by Siddal’s loose forward, Ross White, who ran upfield and with support on either side was able to dummy the lone Oulton defender twice before touching down by the posts after a 75 metre run. Liam Coe added an easy conversion.
Three minutes later Oulton pushed deep into Siddal territory and on the last play hooker Craig Savage darted over from dummy half for an all too easy try. Dom Flanagan added a good conversion to level the scores.
Oulton were unlucky not to take the lead when a clever kick into Siddal’s in goal area was reached first by an Oulton player but the score disallowed for offside. Siddal capitalised three minutes later when Craig Sanderson produced his own grubber kick that Billy Hammond got to first. Coe was again successful with the conversion for a 12-6 lead.
Forwards George Ambler, Iain Davies and Hammond were all making good yards and Oulton were forced to concede a drop out from beneath their posts. On their next set Siddal increased their lead courtesy of White’s second try, coming onto a short Garrod pass and twisting out of the tackle to plant the ball down. Coe again added the extras and Siddal were 18-6 up after 23 minutes.
Oulton rallied and their efforts appeared to have paid off when on 25 minutes prop Rob Stanley went over by the posts but the touch judge again ruled a forward pass.
Oulton though continued to press and had another score chalked off by the touch judge, this time ruling right wing Matty Bullough had put a foot on the touchline as he touched down in the far right corner.
Siddal began the second half as Oulton did the first. Garrod’s grubber forced a drop out from under the posts. Fullback Freddie Walker was held up over the line and Siddal moved the ball sharply to the left to centre Chester Butler who was stopped just short. Oulton were penalised though for holding down which prompted a brief altercation between several players.
Siddal wing Gareth Blackburn was sin binned for dissent but the home side increased their lead from the resultant penalty when Garrod guided a short reverse kick in behind the posts and Sanderson was first to get some downward pressure on the ball. Coe added his fourth conversion for a 24-6 lead. Siddal were completely in charge now and kept Oulton pinned in their own half forcing two further restarts from under the sticks. On the hour mark they stretched their lead again when White capped a fine performance by scoring his third try this time twisting out of three attempted tackles on a fine angled run to the line. Coe added conversion number five.
To their credit Oulton hit straight back. Recovering their own restart the ball was moved to right centre Dan Hardy who evaded Butler’s challenge to score a deserved try and with Flanagan’s goal Siddal’s lead was cut to 30-12.
Hardy’s next involvement two minutes later wasn’t as good as he suffered concussion after tackling Butler and had to leave the game.
The try of the game came in the 70th minute. Oulton were on the attack and prodded the ball into Siddal’s in goal. Siddal substitute Joel MacFarlane fielded the kick and managed to evade several Oulton chasers though still behind his own line.
MacFarlane threw a risky pass to right winger Taniela Bakosa who just managed to get round his opposite number right on the touchline and then ran 100 metres to score a great try under the posts. Coe hit his sixth and final conversion.
Oulton didn’t give up though and on 75 minutes Rob Stanley pushed through some weak Siddal defence to get a try he deserved. Flanagan added his third successful goal to complete the scoring.
Best for Siddal were hat trick man White and fullback Walker. Oulton were well served by prop Rob Stanley and halfback Andy Williamson.