Siddal fall prey to rampant Lions

Rugby league - Siddal v Featherstone Lions at Brighouse Sports Club. Brent Taylor for Siddal.
Rugby league - Siddal v Featherstone Lions at Brighouse Sports Club. Brent Taylor for Siddal.

Siddal were unceremoniously bundled out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on Saturday, beaten 31-12 by a highly-proficient Featherstone Lions side.

In a game switched to Brighouse Sports Club due to pitch work at Chevinedge, the visitors powered clear in the second half after leading 10-6 at the break.

Lions, coached by ex-England half-back Jamie Rooney, are clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They will be playing in Division Two of the Conference this season but had too much strength and guile across the park for a Siddal side regularly in the upper echelons of the Premier.

Siddal had breezed past a big but limited RAF side in the first round and that proved insufficient match practice.

They held their own in an even, error-free opening but alarm bells started ringing after nine minutes when tall Lions centre Ricky Williams powered through some flimsy tackling on the right for an unconverted try.

Siddal were unable to crack an uncompromising defence after Chris Brook’s high kick had been knocked on and successive penalties took play back to the other end.

Winger Davi Garahan crossed wide out but the pass was forward. However, Danny Glassell went striding through from half-way and dummied a pass to a supporting teammate before going in behind the posts. Lewis Young’s kick made it 0-10 after 23 minutes.

Hooker Dean Gamble’s grubber kicks to touch kept Feathertone on the front foot and they went close to adding to their tally before Siddal got just the fillip they need with the half-time whistle imminent.

Brook’s ‘bomb’ landed just in front of despairing fullback Ian Jackson and Siddal skipper Shaun Garrod hacked on the loose ball and scored by the side of the posts, fullback Liam Coe converting.

Lions took only three minutes of the second half to stretch the scoreline out to 6-16.

Home centre Danny Gregory knocked on in front of his own posts and intense pressure yielded a try for Glassell, converted by Young.

Siddal tried to hit back but in spite of the promptings of Garrod they lacked the firepower to break through.

A monster clearance from Rich Frankland - the ball hit a post pad at the other end - paved the way for the omnipresent Gamble to force his way over for Lions’ fourth try on 55 minutes, converted by Young.

The gap was down to 10 points again just past the hour mark when Siddal second row Tom Garratt replied from close range and Coe converted.

However, the seemingly harsh sin-binning of prop Iain Davies entering the final 10 minutes allowed Lions to stretch away.

A Gamble drop goal made it 12-23 and after Coe had been all at sea under Frankland’s high kick, Young touched down and added the goal.

Frankland put the icing on Lions’ cake with an audacious penalty attempt from half-way in the final minute, the ball sailing high between the posts.