HARLEY Axe’s dismissal proved costly for Heworth as they fell to an 18-10 defeat at Siddal in the NCL Premier Division.

Forced to reverse the fixture due to an unfit pitch at Elmpark Way, the sides instead played out a tough and uncompromising match in the swirling wind in Halifax.

The Villagers once again earned plaudits for an impressive all-around display in which they matched their opponents in all aspects of the game.

However, they found themselves at a disadvantage in the 33rd minute when, holding a 10-6 advantage, substitute forward Axe was dismissed after an alleged punch.

The hosts capitalised almost immediately to edge themselves 12-10 in front at the break and despite a spirited and valiant second-half effort from Heworth, they finally took advantage of their extra man to post the match-winning try with just 12 minutes left on the clock.

The Halifax outfit took an early lead after winning a goal-line drop out five minutes into the contest. With the ball held up in the wind, they moved the ball quickly to the right and scrum-half Christian Ackroyd went over for the opening try which full-back Lewis Hosty converted to put them 6-0 to the good.

Heworth though were undeterred and despite committing a number of basic errors which led to a turnover of possession, they kept their line intact and took the game to their opponents at every opportunity.

And with 20 minutes on the clock, that persistence paid off as they levelled the scores, with second-rower Liam Richmond showing good strength to twist in the tackle close to the line and force his way over to the left of the posts.

Danny Allan added the extras with a well-judged kick into the swirling wind.

Buoyed, the Villagers went straight back on the attack and just minutes later they went four points in front when winger Billy Sturdy gathered a pin-point cross-kick from hooker Jack Sadler to touch down in the right corner.

Then came the game-changing moment just after the half-hour, with Axe’s dismissal forcing Heworth to play with 12 men for the remainder.

The hosts inevitably seized their advantage just two minutes later when substitute forward Conner McCallum muscled his way over from close range.

Hosty failed with the conversion but made no mistake to edge Siddal 12-10 ahead on the stroke of half time after they had won a penalty for dissent.

The Villagers were fully aware that it would take a monumental effort in the second period to come out on top in the game, but they came mightily close to doing just that.

However, it proved to be a bridge just too far, and with 12 minutes remaining, home stand-off Harry Milnes crossed for the match-winning try before Hosty’s third goal ensured an 18-10 success.

The Villagers are on the road again next Saturday when they head to Bradford to face West Bowling (2.30pm).