Blow to Siddal play-off hopes

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Siddal’s bid for an end of season play-off place is hanging by a thread after another disappointing home defeat, this time by 14-10 against Kells yesterday.

The Cumbrian visitors are fighting to stay in the division and the two points they earned at CWC Park took them out of the bottom three.

Kells were first on the score sheet when centre Craig Benson brushed off some weak tackling to touch down after 10 minutes. Scrum half Ross Gainford missed with his goal attempt.

It wasn’t long before Siddal drew level. Half back Christian Ackroyd’s grubber kick evaded the visitors’ defenders and Ackroyd managed to follow up to drop on the ball over the line. Gareth Blackburn’s kick was narrowly wide and it was 4-4 on 14 minutes.

Sam Walsh thought he had put Siddal ahead after 20 minutes when he took Jake Smith’s kick and touched down but a try was ruled out.

A mixture of good defence and incomplete sets meant a scrappy final 20 minutes in the opening period.

Kells went in at half-time with a 6-4 lead after a high shot was penalised and Gainford’s kick was successful.

Siddal’s tendency to start slowly was again on show when three minutes into the second half, second rower Lewis Wilson was put through a gaping hole in the home defence. His try and Gainford’s kick stretched the Cumbrians’ lead to 12-4.

The visitors’ pack was being led superbly by props David Lowrey and Tony Burns, who ensured their side were dominating field position.

Siddal’s frustrations spilled over with a penalty for dissent after 53 minutes. Gainford’s kick put Kells 14-4 up.

Siddal managed to reduce the deficit with a last minute try and conversion by Gareth Blackburn.

Siddal are seventh with four games left. They lost West Hull next weekend.