Rugby League: Mayfield Preview

Date published: 28 February 2019

Saturday is a big day for Mayfield, with both open age sides beginning their seasons playing premier division rugby in their respective leagues.

This is a first for the Mayfield and shows how far the club has come over the last few years.

After a very strong pre-season the NCL side get their 2019 campaign under way with a trip to Underbank Rangers.

With three highly competitive games under their belts Mayfield have performed strongly with a narrow defeat to Hornets and two fantastic away wins against premier division outfits, Kells and the much-fancied Thornhill Trojans.

After losing several players to pro clubs and a change of coaching staff many thought Mayfield would not be a force this season, but Sam Butterworth and Steve Wood have certainly got the best out of their players so far.

Once again, this year will see a fairly young squad take to the field each week in search of glory and they are aiming for a place in the end of season play offs.

Sam Butterworth will be looking for the best possible start and hopes to welcome back Liam Whalley who has been side-lined with a broken jaw, sustained while playing for Lancashire, and Luke Fowden back from playing Union.

These are two quality players, who would bolster any team, and Sam Butterworth will be glad to see them pushing for a place in a side that has already shown up well.

Mayfield play Underbank in the first game of the season and the honours were even between the teams last season and Underbank finished in 6th so this should be a real contest between two top sides.

A spokesperson for Mayfield said: "There has been a great team spirit in the games so far and the coaches have built on that in training sessions.

"There has been a real willingness to work in the sessions and the coaches and players are confident that they have the ability to have a real go at Underbank on their own ground.

"The recent dry spell will also favour Mayfield who have a mobile pack and a young fast paced set of backs.

"The forwards have shone so far but the firmer grounds should see the backs come into their own and start moving the ball around which is what Mayfield do best."

The NWML side who gained promotion to the premier division last season are relishing the opportunity to get going at this higher level.

They too are on the road with a trip to Wigan to face Ashton Bears.

Ashton finished a creditable mid table last year and this will be a stern test for Craig Whites side.

Their preparation was disrupted when last weeks fixture against Manchester Rangers was cancelled and left them without a pre-season game, so they go into this one cold and will be hoping they have enough experience in the side to steady the ship.

Again, this is basically a young squad, but one that is packed with quality players, Craig Whites will just be hoping they don’t pay the price for that cancellation last week.

Fixtures 2 March 2019

NCL Premier Division: Underbank v Mayfield KO 2.30pm

NWML Premier Division: Ashton v Mayfield KO 2.30pm

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