John Mooney: West Hull v Siddal
WEST HULL TOUGH IT OUT
After successive defeats in Cumbria, West Hull got back to winning ways with a 20-6 victory over a tough and uncompromising Siddal at the Community Centre. Without skipper Ryan Steen and pack-leader Ryan Wilson, plus Nathan Hill and Ryan Langton, on duty with Hull University, the Green and Golds fielded several players from their youth set-up in a fixture that is invariably hard-fought.
Honours were even for the first half-hour though Wests lost influential hooker Callum Windley to a knee injury obtained in a brave attempt to score under the posts but up stepped Nathan Powley into the role from his half-back spot. And it was he who finally broke the deadlock with a typical 'Powley special' burying himself under three defenders and stretching out for the line from the play-the-ball. Scott Spaven converted as he did a few minutes later when Jordan Rowan reacted best to a clever Ben Arbon grubber kick. Wests then had to show exceptional resilience in defence as the visitors, aided by successive penalties, battered away at their line for several minutes before the half-time whistle sounded.
With the wind at their backs, Siddal were certain to come out all guns blazing and it wasn't long before influential half-back Jake Smith burst over from close range though many observers were convinced he'd lost the ball in scoring. The referee, who was on the spot, awarded the score which was converted by classy fullback Gareth Blackburn and it was game on. The encounter was becoming more and more fractious with tempers fraying but the calming influence of Scott Spaven was having the desired effect on West's discipline and with props Lee Cator and Oscar Ellerington tackling like demons and, along with the returning Jacob Moore making hard yards, they withheld a sustained effort by the visitors. With 15 minutes to go, Rich Wilkinson, one of several youngsters to impress, scooted over near enough the posts for Spaven to convert and a final penalty gave the home side a welcome victory. With another two home games to come, plus a double weekend against Myton Warriors, Wests are well set to start climbing the table into a play-off spot.
After last week's heroics, the Warriors were brought back to reality at unbeaten league leaders Hunslet Club Parkside, going down 40-6 but Dockers had a good win in Division 2 seeing off Drighlington 25-18 and climbing up to sixth place.