Siddal’s Grand dream is ended after thrilling tie

Siddal narrowly missed out on a fourth successive Grand Final following an enthralling semi final against Wigan St Patricks.

Young winger Emerson Newburn crossed the line three times, but it was not enough to prevent a home defeat for a Siddal side who threw away a 16-0 lead when St Pats scored twice in a two minute spell before half-time to reduce the deficit to just six points.

Siddal started off the stronger with teenage full back Joe Martin being held short of the line. A quick play the ball resulted in Steve Illingworth sending Newburn over in the corner on the five minute mark.

Scott Law, Gareth English and Danny Williams created work for the St Pats defence with some forceful running which promised to yield dividends.

Shaun Garrod was the instigator of the next try with a break through the middle before offloading to Simeon Hoyle who managed to slip the ball out in the tackle and send Illingworth racing in under the posts. Gareth Blackburn added the conversion to give Siddal a 10-0 advantage.

St Pats looked threatening at times, but strong tackling from James Simeunovich, Matt Batley and Nialle Berrett held them back.

Siddal edged further ahead when Martin neatly kicked the ball through the St Pats line for Newburn to outpace the defence to touchdown in the corner. Blackburn superbly converted from the touchline to give his side a commanding 16-0 lead.

Two minutes before the break St Pat’s scrum half Dean Hatton made a break and sent in supporting centre Danny Higham for a try.

Then just before the halftime whistle, St Pat’s winger Dan Birkett capitalised on a loose ball to scramble over the line. Ian Schofield converted to make the score 16-10 at the break.

St Pats levelled seven minutes into the second period when the Shaun Boylan eased his way through some poor defending to touch down under the posts. Schofield added the extras.

Blackburn then edged Siddal ahead again with a well taken penalty on 49 minutes.

At one point Siddal were down to 11 men after Craig Sanderson and Jamie Wrigley received yellow cards for separate incidents.

Schofield put St Pats ahead after following up on his own kick towards the Siddal try line. Martin slipped as he went for the ball and Schofield capitalised to touchdown. Schofield added the goal to put the visitors ahead at 18-22.

Siddal replied well after a Blackburn break. Nick Smith fed an inside ball to Newburn who crossed the line for his hat trick, and levelled the score at 22-22 with eight minutes remaining.

However, the decisive score came from Dean Hatton with a well taken drop goal on 76 minutes.

Both sides had chances in the final minutes; Blackburn had a try disallowed after knocking on near the line while St Pats winger Jayden Sandford had a try disallowed after referee Mr Laing ruled a forward pass.