Siddal success in Cumbria
Siddal made it five wins from five games in the National Conference League's Premier Division with an 18-6 win away to Egremont Rangers on Saturday.
They didn’t hit top form in Cumbria, but never really looked in danger of losing against a spirited home side buoyed by their first league win the previous week.
The long bus journey was still in Siddal legs as Egremont took an early lead. After forcing Siddal to restart from under their own posts, hooker Matthew Henson forced his way over the line from close range on the last play. The easy goal was added by centre Matthew Bewsher.
Siddal hit back almost immediately. After props George Ambler and Iain Davies had made the hard yards up the middle, scrum half Chris Brooke placed a neat grubber kick to the left corner where left centre Ben West capitalised on a neat bounce to touch down. Brooke couldn’t convert.
Both sides were giving away needless penalties and losing possession carelessly. Egremont though, with the benefit of the slight slope, put Siddal under sustained pressure, and forced several more restarts from Siddal courtesy of a fine kicking game.
When Siddal had good field position they looked more likely to score and took the lead on 28 minutes. Once again it was the Egremont right side defence that breached.
Brooke and Shaun Garrod combined to bring fullback Freddie Walker into the line and his clever pass to West enabled him to score his second try. Brooke’s conversion attempt failed.
Siddal had control of the last 10 minutes of the half and only some scrambling defence and poor execution prevented further scores. However, Siddal did grab their third try on the stroke of half time.
Mark Boothroyd made a break in centre field but was hauled down on the Egremont 20 metre line. Sanderson switched play to the right and Garrod, spotting the home defence was short, threw a long cut out pass to right wing Taniela Bakosa, who scored wide out in his last game for Siddal. Again Brooke couldn’t convert but Siddal went in at half time 12-6 in front.
With the advantage of the slope and breeze Siddal expected to dominate but a combination of poor ball control and a high penalty count against both sides made for a frustrating half.
The high spot was the game breaker - a fine individual try by skipper Garrod who jinked through to touchdown by the posts after 50 minutes. Brooke’s goal increased Siddal’s lead to 18-6.
Despite promising breaks by Tom Garratt, Walker and centre Billy Hammond, Siddal couldn’t add any more points. Whenever Egremont had chances to attack Siddal’s try line the Siddal defence was too good.