Rugby League: Thornhill 20 - 30 Mayfield
Date published: 11 February 2019
Photo: Aidy Gleeson Snr
Nick Hargreaves, Mayfield
Mayfield put in a performance of sheer hard work and determination on Saturday to beat a much-fancied Thornhill Trojans on their own ground.
Thornhill are a big physical side and came at Mayfied hard and strong, showing that they will more than hold their own in the Kingstone Press NCL premier division this season.
Sometimes it’s not enough to be big and strong, especially when you come up against a defence as well drilled and eager for work as Mayfield were.
Lead as always by Callum Marriott the forwards were again outstanding with two and three men in the tackle and Jimmy Connaughton and Nick Hargreaves putting in a proper shift. It wasn’t just the forwards though as Munya Samanyanga, Lewis Butterworth, Zac Baker and the 'rock' that is Wayne English, were putting down men twice their size, stopping them dead in their tracks.
It took Mayfield less than ten minutes to stamp their authority on the game after a penalty put them in the Thornhill twenty. Lewis Sheridan supplied a great pass back on the inside for big prop Sean Hurley to crash onto and force his way over the line for a Zac Hartley converted score, 0 - 6.
After a couple more cynical, needless penalties by the home side, the first to give Mayfield field position and the second comfortably in range for the now reliable boot of Hartley, and Mayfield were up 0 - 8.
It could have been a different story but for Lewis Butterworth tackling the Thornhill winger into touch as he sprinted for the line. Butterworth then showed he's not just a defender as he made forty yards up field and was awarded a penalty, again well in range, despite a swirling wind. Hartley gratefully accepted the two points on offer to extend his sides lead to 0 - 10.
Despite being ten points to the good Mayfield were not complacent knowing that Thornhill would come good at some stage. After all, as the fans kept reminding the Mayfield contingent, they had beaten Hunslet a fortnight ago.
A sloppy passage of play saw Mayfield lose possession and the home side seized the opportunity to reduce the arrears 4 - 10.
This was now an enthralling game of rugby league with both teams making a great contribution.
A Trojans knock on, on their own twenty, saw Lewis Sheridan work his magic, feeding Hartley who in turn drew the defender before putting Samanyanga through the gap, Hartley then added two points, 4 - 18.
Mayfield were unlucky not to stretch the lead when Cole Connolly crossed the try line only for the referee to adjudge English's final pass forward.
Trojans welcomed the half time whistle more than Mayfield did as they looked like they were well and truly on the ropes.
Trojans were on a mission in the second half they did not want to lose this game and they gave it everything, but more indiscipline gave Hartley another two points to add to his tally, 4 - 20.
Trojans then seemed to realise they had to do something more in this game if they wanted to be in the draw for the third round on Monday. The half backs and the big pack started to stamp their authority on the game and it was Mayfield's turn to let the cheap penalties creep in and back to back infringements saw them on the Mayfield line and a quick tap saw the hooker dart over for a converted try 10 - 20.
The visitors weathered the storm and continued to play rugby and a brilliant break from Baker saw him feed the supporting Connolly who in turn put John Foy clear to sprint forty meters to score a very important try, but the wind swept Hartleys conversion attempt wide, 10 - 24.
With Thornhill now pulling out all the stops the next score was going to be crucial. Hard work and enterprise saw it go Mayfield's way as Sheridan, revelling in his role as club captain effectively sealed the game with a great solo effort from ten yards out, Hartley again brilliantly added the two taking his personal tally to fourteen points and the score to 10 - 30.
The enormous Trojans pack then started to work overtime, pounding the Mayfield line with everything. Mayfield again defended valiantly but you can only do so much against a team like this.
The last fifteen minutes saw Thornill score ten more points mostly from mistakes and lost possession but it wasn't enough for them to overcome another impressive Mayfield display.
This was such a good all-round performance from all seventeen involved that picking a man of the match proved difficult.
Eventually the Trojans coach went for Aidan Gleeson who never stopped working and being creative whereever he could.
So Mayfield are in the third round of the Coral Challenge Cup and will be hoping for a home draw when their number cames out on Monday evening.
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