National Conference League: Siddal beat Thornhill Trojans

Canaan Smithies was Siddal's man of the match against Thornhill
Canaan Smithies was Siddal's man of the match against Thornhill

Siddal got off the mark for the season at the third attempt in the National Conference League with a 22-17 home win over Thornhill Trojans yesterday.

Two tries in three minutes in the final quarter helped the Chevinedge side turn an 11-10 deficit into a 22-11 lead but the visitors from Dewsbury scored again to set up a nervous last five minutes for home spectators.

Trojans, promoted last season, were a physical side who used their size well.

The visitors thought they were about to take the lead after nine minutes but Declan Tomlinson’s race for the line was halted when the referee ruled that the final pass was forward.

It was Siddal who managed to score first when the returning Henry Turner was on the end of a flowing move to glide over the line after 18 minutes. Gareth Blackburn converted.

Thornhill made it 6-6 four minutes later when stand off Joel Gibson dummied his way through and Tomlinson bagged the conversion.

The home side rallied and George Ambler charged over the try line but was held up as he tried to ground the ball. From the next play, Sam Walsh managed to get his hand on the ball first following a well-judged Blackburn kick. That made it 10-6 after 27 minutes and there was no further scoring before half time.

Thornhill again drew level when loose forward Casey Johnson touched down following an off-load from Zach Johnson on 48 minutes.

The visitors then went ahead on 64 minutes when Gibson landed a drop goal.

Facing a third consecutive home defeat, Siddal put in their decisive burst. Forward Jack Georgiou crashed over after 66 minutes and then Walsh was on hand to finish off a great move. Blackburn converted both tries and Siddal suddenly had an 11-point advantage.

Thornhill reduced the deficit after 73 minutes when Will Poching scooted over from the play the ball and Tomlinson’s kick set up a tense finale but Siddal’s defence held firm.

Canaan Smithies was man of the match for the hosts.

Siddal face a long trip to Kells next Saturday in the Premier Division. The Whitehaven side were without a league fixture yesterday, having won their home opener 6-0 against Hunslet Club Parkside on March 2 before losing 18-6 away to Thornhill on March 23.