Rugby League: Mayfield preview
Date published: 14 March 2019
Photo: Aidan Gleeson Snr
Liam Whalley, Mayfield
At last, after four successive away games, Mayfield are finally on home soil on Saturday (16 March).
It’s been a tough time for Mayfield with three Coral Challenge Cup games and a Kingstone Press NCL game, all away, but it has also been a character-building experience for Sam Butterworth and Steve Wood's young side.
With the cup now off the table, it’s time to concentrate on the league and to gain some much-needed points even at this early stage of the season.
Saturday's game will be a tough encounter: Egremont are a good side with a proven pedigree. They were unlucky in the opening fixture, going down 8-11 at home to Thatto Heath so they will be looking to right that at the Mayfield Sports Centre.
This is a repeat of last season’s second game and Egremont claimed the victory in that one, as well as repeating the feat when Mayfield travelled to Gilfoot Park at the end of June. So, the scales are set for a cracking game of rugby league with Mayfield taking a strong squad into the game.
There is a lot of belief and confidence within the team and they are taking that onto the pitch on game day.
The forwards have been a real force and the backs are now picking up on that and exploiting the chances created by them, but for the giving away of needless penalties last week it would have been a different story but rather than dwell on that at training they have concentrated on the positives, and there were plenty of them.
The last twenty minutes was a fantastic effort from the boys, and they will be looking to start like that and then maintain the intensity for the full eighty minutes.
Liam Whalley put in another strong shift at centre while Lewis Sheridan showed he is maturing rapidly with a good defensive showing plus a couple of clean breaks.
The interchanges between the Sheridans means there is always a fresh hooker on the park and that is catching oppositions out as they struggle to cope with the sharpness of these two.
In the packm Mark Biggins is in great form while Shawn Hurley, like Butterworth, is maturing rapidly.
Another player in great form at the minute is Nick Hargreaves, whose strong straight running and willingness to work is causing many problems for defences.
The coaches are confident that if they play to their potential, they will have no trouble in securing the points.
Sponsors for the game are Paul Ormerod and Dave Marcroft.
Craig White is hoping for a better showing from his NWML side after the disappointment of two weeks ago, when due to holiday/work commitments they failed to raise a side.
With back-to-back promotions, this was always going to be a challenging season for the side but this has been compounded with the professional signing of six players from the first team squad, meaning that players have had to step up.
There should still be enough strength in the squad, plus utilising some of the U18s to put out a side more than capable of holding their own and training has shown a marked improvement this week.
Saturday’s game sees them journey to Wigan to face Orrel St James.
Orrel lost last week at Thatto but are a strong side.
Whitey said: “I am sure that if we train and take what we learn into these games we can be up there pushing for a play-off spot come the end of the season.”
Fixtures 16 March 2019
- NCL Premier Division: Mayfield v Egremont KO 2.30pm
- NWML Premier Division: Orrel v Mayfield KO 2.30pm
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