The first meeting of these sides since the 2015 Grand Final proved a damp squib for Miners and for any neutrals in the Bank Holiday Saturday fixture but very much one to enjoy for Siddal and their partisan following as the league leaders moved two points clear of Miners with this comprehensive win. The Leigh side played with plenty of spirit and their overworked defence battled hard from start to finish but they made little impression on Siddal with ball in hand and a hyped-up home side, brimming with physical and verbal aggression, took full advantage.
The writing was on the wall inside five minutes as Chris Brooke lofted a kick to the right wing and young centre Josh MacDonald soared between Jimmy Muir and Gareth Paine to pluck the ball from the air and touch down, Gavin Stead adding the first of six goals. Five minutes later and a stroke of fortune the Chevinedgers barely required, a pass so far forward it was almost a quarterback’s throw being allowed to stand as Siddal raided down the left and three pairs of hands later it was back rower Jason Boults roaring through for a second six pointer. Miners though rallied somewhat to stem the flow, although they rarely looked like finding a way through the home defence where Freddie Walker was a faultless presence at fullback. Some heroic defence on Miners’ part, led by Danny Jones and Mick O’Boyle, looked set to restrict Siddal to that twelve point lead at the break until in the final minute of the half an attempted charge down of Brooke’s kick on the half way line deflected kindly in-field for Aiden Hema to gather the ball in and put Scott Caley away for the try and 18-0.
Three minutes into the second half and it appeared Miners could be at risk of sinking without trace as Tom Garrett took four defenders with him as he drove over the line and touched down beside the posts. Stead kept the scoreboard ticking relentlessly on with the conversion and a penalty for a shoulder charge and with twenty minutes remaining the home side’s appetite for tries showed no sign of abating as Walker slipped through the tackles to dive over the line. Finally Miners had some respite as young winger Declan Taylor was first to reach Jonny Youds’ kick in-goal and touch down, Youds with the touchline conversion, but Siddal had the last word as Jack Georgiou drove to the line and slipped the pass out for fellow substitute Canaan Smithies to crash over the line.
Siddal – Freddie Walker, Gareth Blackburn, Gavin Stead, Josh MacDonald, Scott Caley, Shaun Garrod, Chris Brooke, George Ambler, Craig Sanderson, Iain Davies, Jason Boults, Aiden Hema, Tom Garrett Subs – Canaan Smithies, Jack Georgiou, Ben West, Ben Hinsley
Tries – MacDonald (5), Boults (10), Caley (40), Garrett (43), Walker (56), Smithies (73)
Goals – Stead 6
Miners – Jimmy Muir, Gareth Paine, Jonny Youds, Chris Meredith, Declan Taylor, Tom Farrimond, Scott O’Brien, Martin Gray, Danny Jones, Darryl Kay, Mick O’Boyle, Connor Ratcliffe, Frankie Halton Subs – Chris Bower, Mark Nicholson, Matt Astley
Try – Taylor (65)
Goal – Youds
Referee – Liam Staveley