FACED with expulsion from the Pennine League for missing their last two fixtures, Siddal’s thirds produced a team worthy of representing any in Halifax, writes David Beaumont.
A minute’s silence was observed due to the passing of local GP and sports doctor, Roger Brown, father of Whitehall player Rhys Brown.
The Warriors kicked off down the slope with their ex-Siddal prop Stuart Syme leading the charge down the hill.
Blockbusting runs from fellow prop Pete Williams tested Siddal but the home side closed ranks and defended brilliantly.
Siddal suffered a major blow losing influential skipper Martin Scrimshaw who pulled a muscle in a melee.
It took a touch of individual skill from hooker Lee Nellist to crack the solid defence as he chipped through and won the race to the ball. Jamie Holroyd converted.
Experienced players for Siddal, namely Johnny Lawless and Gary Lewis came on the counter attack but were stopped in their tracks by a determined Whitehall.
Nellist worked a set piece move with ever improving second-rower Andrew Johnson whose angled run and upper body strength sent him powering over the line. With Holroyd’s conversion the Warriors were 12-0 up.
Siddal dug deep and, inspired by the evergreen Lawless and Gary Lewis got a try in the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time.
Growing in confidence after their breakthrough and playing with the slope, Siddal showed Whitehall how to play this pitch.
Probing kicks from Antony Waite contained the Warriors in the bottom corner and eventually Tom Gaffney’s strong run produced a try.
Siddal were on the rampage and on the last tackle threw the ball out wide.
Ben Charnock was too strong to hold and Siddal grabbed the lead.
A massive tackle by Lawless on Whitehall’s Mark Bolger freed the ball and Charnock did not need asking twice as he bagged his brace of tries and put his team 20-12 up.
The Warriors fighting spirit kicked in as Baz Stead managed to throw the ball through his legs to Rhys Brown who was unmarked.
An 80-metre dash and an inside pass to Whitehall’s man of the match, John Handscomb, got the Warriors the try and goal they desperately needed.
Siddal rallied their troops and Gary Bailey and Johnny Moore took the ball to the Warriors line. Dave Heslop showed the dummy and extended Siddal’s lead to 24-18.
With a minute left on the clock, Whitehall threw everything into attack.
Handscomb found a gap and raced 50 metres to the Siddal line, drew the full-back and passed to wingman Andy Feeley who grounded the ball as near to the sticks as he possibly could.
With ace goal kicker Jamie Holdroyd off injured the goal kick was left to Steve Helliwell.
He put the ball wide denying Whitehall the draw which both teams agreed would have been a fair result to this exciting match.
On Saturday Whitehall entertain their local rivals Brighouse Rangers ‘A’ (2 pm).