John Mooney: Myton v Siddal
Despite propping up the NCL Premier Division since the start of the season and not recording a victory, Myton Warriors have been involved in some exciting clashes without coming away with the spoils. An opening day 18-18 draw with Kells , where they lost an 18-0 lead, then a gut-wrenching 50-48 defeat at champions Thatto Heath Crusaders, left the Warriors with just one point - that is until another epic encounter with Siddal at Cranbrook Avenue on Saturday.
Looking a bit stronger than in recent weeks, Myton appeared to be heading for another drubbing as the visitors began rattling up the points at a rate of one-a-minute. Without even touching the ball, the Warriors were 6-0 down after prop Jack Georgiu lumbered over for the simplest of scores then influential half-back Jake Smith caught out a flimsy defence with an outrageous dummy. Both tries were converted by Billy Gaylor, who again had no problems adding the extras to another pushover try from Georgiu after the home side's winger Ellis Wray had been sin-binned for holding down.
At this stage the visitor's, aided by a huge penalty count in their favour, were so dominant that a cricket score appeared likely but things changed dramatically on the half-hour after a fracas in which Lee Fewlass for Myton and Ben Hinsley for Siddal were dismissed and the home side's skipper Kris Walker was sent to the sin-bin for dissent. For whatever reason the incident galvanised the Warriors into action and they pulled a converted try back when Lee James got onto the end of a Natty Slater kick and Ash James added the extras. With just a couple of minutes remaining of the half the excellent Liam Ward shot through a huge gap after a fine off-load and with James being rested, Ryan Walker converted. The Warriors went into half-time just 12-18 down and it was now game on.
The second period began almost exactly as the first as Siddal winger Josh Greenwood-Macdonald went over in the corner, too far out for the conversion, but Myton gathered themselves and it wasn't long before Ben Cartmell bulldozed over from short range with Kris Walker becoming his side's third successful kicker. The Warriors were now just as dominant as the visitor's had been in the opening period with big props Aaron Pearce and Ash Shaw crashing into the Siddal forwards at every opportunity. Kris Walker and Slater began to run the game and incredibly the home side went ahead through hard-running centre Jono Douglas with James again converting. Siddal were now in disarray as the Warriors stormed forward and winger Ellis Wray put the finishing touches to a sparkling move with James converting from the touchline in off a post.
With just a few minutes left James appeared to have put the game to bed with a penalty taking his side to an eight-point lead but Siddal had other ideas and classy full-back Lewis Hosty dragged the score back with the try of the match after a superb break from sixteen-year-old Oliver Lewis Gaylor's conversion pulled the gap back to four points and it was now all Siddal as the Warrior's desperately held on. Another drive saw the visitor's heading for the line and it looked all over for Myton when they crashed over but the referee had blown for a forward pass in the move, much to the chagrin of Siddal's forward and assistant coach Gareth English, who was dismissed after exchange with the official. That was the last action of the match and the Warriors had gained an unexpected victory over last season's league leaders, a victory that may now give them some much-needed impetus to climb the league.
West Hull's second successive weekend in Cumbria ended in a dismal 42-8 drubbing at second-placed Egremont. Wests only travelled with sixteen players and they paid the penalty with what was described as 'a bad day at the office'.
Skirlaugh travelled to Division One title-challenging Milford Marlins and though going down 28-18 it was a creditable effort against a very good side but Dockers were beaten 26-34 at home to Hunslet Warriors in Division Two.
Beverley made it nine out of nine in Division Three with a 16-35 victory over Gateshead Thunder in the north east.