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Leigh Miners Rangers 14 Siddal 34

Oct 25 • Senior Club News, Uncategorised • 1363 Views • Comments Off on Leigh Miners Rangers 14 Siddal 34

Siddal stormed into the NCL Grand Final as they carried their red-hot end of season form into this qualification play-off, with league winners Miners Rangers the latest side to succumb to the high-octane attack and redoubtable defence of the Chevinedgers. The last time Siddal won at Twist Lane, they went on to claim the Grand Final and they appear in similar mood this time around as they overwhelmed their hosts with halfbacks Shaun Garrod and Chris Brooke, pack leaders George Ambler and Ross White, and two-try towering centre Chester Butler on top form. Miners, with internationals Darryl Kay, Adam Thomason and Tommy Parkinson all absent through injuries sustained in the closing weeks of the campaign, battled but had little in the way of response save a valiant effort by Danny Jackson and two late tries to avoid the ignominy of a whitewash.

The home side actually led early on through Jonny Youds’ penalty but Siddal had already demonstrated their intent and struck their first blow when Butler crashed through out wide. The big centre then had a try disallowed and Youds’ try-saving tackle denied Garrod as the tie appeared poised at 4-2 approaching half time, only for two further Siddal tries to put the visitors well on top. First Butler again proved unstoppable from 25 metres out and then White breaking the line on half way and cutting clean through to score under the posts, Gavin Stead with both conversions for 16-2.

When the visitors scored again minutes into the second half the writing on the wall was underlined in bold, Garrod flighting a kick to the wing and the ball soaring over the Miners’ defence for Gareth Blackburn to gather and touch down. Miners were on the rack and only some desperate defence to twice hold Siddal players up over the line prevented further damage, but they couldn’t hold out for long. Garrod himself was on the scoresheet soon after as Siddal turned a scrum near the line into further points, the stand-off wrestling through the defence to touch down. Even when the visitors were reduced to twelve men with the sin-binning of veteran Richard Merville they not only remained unbroken defensively but added further to their tally, the ball whipped right and Taniela Bakoso in space to touch down out wide. Miners finally had some scant consolation as Scott O’Brien chipped the line, regathered and found Youds who in turn passed to Jimmy Muir to dive over the line, but Siddal swiftly responded as Craig Sanderson passed to Blackburn to finish off for his second. Youds, one of the few bright sparks for Miners, engineered a second home try as he chipped and regathered to put Shaun Dowie in, but the home side must bounce back swiftly against another in-form, free-scoring side in Mayfield if they are to earn a second crack at Siddal and keep their treble dreams alive.

Gamestar – Chester Butler with two tries and a towering game out wide

Gamebreaker – Two Siddal tries before half-time turned a tight 4-2 contest into 16-2

Miners – Andrew Groves, Harry Gagen, Jonny Youds, Brad Hargreaves, Gareth Paine, Jimmy Muir, Scott O’Brien, Chris Bower, Danny Jones, Tom Farrimond, Mick O’Boyle, Danny Jackson, Ellis Grimes Subs – Shaun Dowie, Martin Gray, Matt Astley, Connor Ratcliffe

Tries – Muir (71), Dowie (78)

Goals – Youds 3

MoM – Danny Jackson

Siddal – Freddie Walker, Gareth Blackburn, Chester Butler, Gavin Stead, Taniela Bakoso, Shaun Garrod, Chris Brooke, George Ambler, Craig Sanderson, Richard Merville, Ross White, Danny Williams, Gareth English Subs – Sean McCormack, Canaan Smithies, Tom Garrett, Iain Davies

Tries – Butler (13, 36), White (38), Blackburn (43, 75), Garrod (53), Bakoso (68)

Goals – Stead 3

Sin-Bin – Merville (65, team persistent offending)

MoM – Chester Butler

Referee – Paul Marklove

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