Garratt clinches Siddal win

Rugby League - Siddal v Wath Brow Hornets. Jack Georgiou for Siddal.
Rugby League - Siddal v Wath Brow Hornets. Jack Georgiou for Siddal.

Siddal got back to winning ways after a couple of away defeats in the National Conference League’s top flight with a 20-8 success against a useful Wath Brow Hornets side at CWC Park yesterday.

The game was played at a fast pace throughout and both sides did well to sustain the intensity to the final whistle.

Siddal opened strongly with George Ambler and Jack Georgiou leading from the front. They secured a repeat set when Jake Smith and Gareth Blackburn tackled Gregory Howland behind his try line after Smith’s kick on the last tackle.

This set the tone for the game and on the next set Chris Brooke’s last tackle kick was spilled by the Brow defence. Five tackles later Brooke put a cross field kick for Connor MacCallum to beat the Brow defender to the ball and touch down after eight minutes. Blackburn’s kick put Siddal 6-0 ahead.

Siddal were pinning the visitors back with great tackling from Ben Hinsley, Danny Williams and Tom Garratt. Sean McCormack was making good yards from dummy half and Brow’s frustration spilled over when Brooke was hit late in a tackle. Blackburn made no mistake with the kick for an 8-0 lead after 18 minutes.

Wath Brow started to find their way in to the contest. Stand off Fran King and full back Cole Walker-Taylor were both looking dangerous, but they couldn’t breach the home side’s great defence.

Gareth English, Jack Matthews and Danny Rushworth were all introduced and tackled ferociously.

The defensive effort was typified by a tremendous tackle from Williams when Brow looked certain scorers after 33 minutes. Brow spilled the ball and from the resulting scrum Billy Gaylor fed Josh Greenwood MacDonald, who side stepped his marker from inside his 20 metre line and sprinted the length of the pitch to touch down after 35 minutes. Blackburn’s conversion put Siddal 14-0 up.

Brow once again missed an opportunity to score when a kick through forced a slip in the home defence and with the line at his mercy, Jay Weatherall kicked the ball beyond the dead ball line.

On the stroke of half time, Callum Farrer made a tremendous break down the middle and Siddal were penalised for holding down in the tackle. Walker-Taylor struck the penalty for a 14-2 scoreline.

The visitors were stronger in the second half and it was no surprise when Nathan Lucock wriggled out of a tackle after 49 minutes to touch down under the posts. Walker-Taylor’s conversion made it 14-8.

Brow were dominating territory and Siddal were reduced to 12 men when a penalty and a yellow card were awarded after more holding on.

Full back Fred Walker came to the fore in this crucial period of the game. Walker made a series of pressure relieving runs when peppered with kicks and from one he made 50 metres to take play into the Brow territory.

Siddal missed a penalty after 67 minutes following an offence against Lewis Hosty and the gap remained at six points as the game entered the final phase.

Fran King continued to prompt his team mates and Siddal’s defence held firm with Garratt outstanding and Gaylor making valuable yards with his kicking game.

In the final minute, Garratt’s performance was rewarded with the clinching try and Blackburn converted. Walker was awarded man-of-the-match in a fine team display.