Rugby League: Siddal 26 - 24 Rochdale Mayfield
Date published: 10 July 2019
Mayfield made the short journey to Halifax with coach Sam Butterworth hoping the week off had improved the team's enthusiasm after recent poor performances in the league. The players didn't let him down, as they more than matched the hosts in every aspect, except perhaps their discipline - which eventually cost them the two valuable league points.
Mayfield made a good start to the game as patient play and secure passing earned them field position and on five minutes Cole Connolly took the ball to the line to pass short to Luke Fowden who smashed through. Cole Connolly added the goal for 0-6.
More quality play on 20 minutes saw Mayfield again get to their last tackle kick, and pressure from John Foy on the Siddal winger forced a knock on. Cameron Connolly directed play to the posts and slid through a delightful kick, touched down by Wayne Bannister for a try in the left corner. Cole Connolly again kicked successfully to take the score to 0-12.
The props Jimmy Connaughton and Nick Hargreaves took a rest from their solid opening stint as coach Sam Butterworth rotated the engine room looking to maintain the pressure, but from the restart their replacement knocked on and Siddal took full advantage of the gift to score on a last tackle play for 6-12.
Penalty followed penalty from Mayfield's replacements and Siddal hit the short side to barge over the top of centre James McDaid - a try they converted for 12 all. Mayfield's early confidence was hit and Siddal added a simple score to take an 18-12 advantage into half time.
Discipline had cost Mayfield dearly and they had lost the momentum of their good start, but early in the second half an enthusiastic kick chase and massive hit by Sean Mulcahy rocked the home side and John Foy intercepted a loose pass to race 90 metres to the line for a try that was again converted by Cole Connolly for 18 all.
It was set for set and hit for hit as both teams fought hard. Wayne Bannister made a couple of half breaks, Cole and Cameron Connolly probed the defence and the pack hit hard - with Luke Fowden particularly to the fore, but indiscipline again kicked in and Siddal capitalised on their field position to take the lead again with a converted try at 24-18 with 15 minutes to go.
Mayfield tried hard to hit back - too hard as it turned out when Jack McConaghie charged down a kick and when the ball was recovered by Mayfield they were adjudged to be offside. Siddal converted a penalty to take an eight point, two score lead.
The injustice spurred Mayfield on, and they stepped up the pressure. Wayne English - again imperious at fullback was held up over the line and Nick Hargreaves just missed out on touching down a kick through before Cole Connolly found a gap to score a try he converted himself for 26-24. Cole had one last chance to convert a penalty from halfway as Siddal wilted, but it went just wide and took with it Mayfield's hopes of the league point.
Wayne English. John Foy, Lewis Butterworth, James McDaid, Wayne Bannister. Cameron Connolly, Cole Connolly. Jimmy Connaughton, Harry McDonald, Nick Hargreaves, Jack McConnaghie, Rob kershaw, Luke Fowden. Mark Biggins, Sean Mulcahy, Andy Taylor, Shaun Hurley.
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