Siddal surge to summit

Actions from Siddal v Hull Dockers at Chevinedge'Scott Caley
Actions from Siddal v Hull Dockers at Chevinedge'Scott Caley

Siddal powered to the top of the National Conference League with a 52-0 home win over Hull Dockers at Chevinedge today.

They made light of a raft of changes to score nine tries, six of them coming in the last 25 minutes as Dockers’ resistance melted away in the face of their hosts’ relentless efforts.

Gareth Greenwood’s men were making it six wins out of six and they went above Leigh Miners Rangers, who lost 36-20 at Pilkington Recs.

“This must be the best start a Siddal team has had in a long, long time,” said Greenwood, who thought his side had raised their game after being “a bit flat” in their previous two successes.

Sunshine and a firmish pitch suggested summer had arrived, but that brings its own distractions and eight Siddal first teamers were otherwise engaged, while star loose forward Byron Smith was injured.

Siddal plugged the gaps impressively, aided by recruits from rugby union in Gavin Stead and Elliot Hodgson, with Greenwood admitting he would have settled for a one-point win beforehand.

The home side monopolised the early possession against a Dockers side who had got off the mark against Rochdale Mayfield in their previous outing, going 12-0 up inside eight minutes.

Main playmaker Shaun Garrod wasn’t quite at his best in the first half but still fired the passes for winger Stead and loose forward Ross White to cross. Stead added the first two of his eight conversions.

There was no addition to the scoreline for the next half hour with both sides defending well.

However, Siddal had a territorial advantage for most of it and crossed the visitors’ try line on three occasions without being able to ground the ball.

Impressive second rower Tom Garrett eventually gave Siddal a little more breathing space with a converted try just before half time for an 18-0 lead.

After a quiet opening to the second half, Garrod’s break out of defence and grubber kick which centre Scott Caley was just unable to gather, prompted a points spree.

A couple of slap-tackles were never going to halt Garrett, who crossed for his second, closely followed by Stead from Garrod’s long pass. Stead’s only missed shot at goal left it at 28-0.

Fullback Freddie Walker showed fine pace to go almost the length of the field to touch down and Caley’s break and inside pass sent Aiden Hema behind the posts.

When young replacement Eddie Ainley went over from close range and Caley sent winger Ben West over to bring up Siddal’s half century, Dockers were desperate for the final whistle.