Siddal’s fightback not enough

George Ambler was in good form for Siddal
George Ambler was in good form for Siddal

Siddal were beaten 29-18 in their grudge match at West Hull yesterday in the National Conference League.

The pair went into the contest having suffered only one defeat each in their opening five Premier Division games and the hosts’ strong first half showing was decisive.

They built a 22-4 lead and although Gareth Greenwood’s men hit back, they had left themselves too much to do and West Hull are level on points with Wigan St Patricks at the top.

Siddal were returning to the scene of last season’s play-off shambles. They beat West Hull on a golden score, only for the Conference to order a replay and then fine Siddal £500 when they were unable/unwilling to go across to the east coast again at short notice.

West Hull went on to win the Grand Final and they showed their quality by taking the game to Siddal.

Their wingers did much of the damage, Joshua Hart scoring twice and Luke Foster once as the visiting defence was stretched.

Second row Sam Radford and replacement Aaron Hickingbotham got Wests’ other tries while scrum half Ian Kerman kicked four goals and prop Aaron Spavin a drop goal.

Prop George Ambler was outstanding again for Siddal and he was among the visitors’ scorers, along with backs Shaun Garrod, Richard Lopag and Steve Hope.

The normally accurate Gareth Blackburn only managed one conversion.

Elland followed up their runaway win at Stanley Rangers with a 24-6 home success over Waterhead in Division Two.

Karl Fairbank’s side took an 18-6 interval lead and solid defence ensured Waterhead were unable to get back into it, loose forward Chris Dyson being Elland’s star performer.

Ovenden recovered from a 20-4 interval deficit to snatch a 22-22 draw on the long trip to Askam.

Player-coach Gareth English led the way with a powerful display up front.

Centre Jason Dodd, long-serving loose forward Matthew Turner, replacement Ashley Taylor and stand off Niall Brady got the visitors’ tries, Brady also kicking three goals.

Ovenden are third and Elland sixth in the table.