Rugby League: Mayfield 12 - 25 Wath Brow
Date published: 23 July 2019
Mayfield were bolstered before the start of this game by the arrival of Zac Hartley who returned from the USA to help his team in their attempt to avoid relegation, and what a difference he made to the side, bringing the team together and providing much needed quality.
Both sides started strongly with defence on top for both sets of players.
James Tilley lead the way with a powerful first half performance, showing that he is settling in at the club and looking like he will make a real difference as he reaches full fitness.
Both sets of forwards battled for supremacy with Mayfield looking the better for much of the first 30 minutes, Tilley, Luke Fowden and Shaun Hurley making a big impact.
Brow had a try disallowed for a forward pass, before Hartley produced a touch class to finish a flowing move on twenty minutes with a perfectly timed pass to James McDaid, who scythed through the line for a great try out wide, Hartley was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt, 4 - 0.
The referee’s decisions started to go against Mayfield and it seemed as though every 50/ 50 went against them.
With the penalties came the easy yards for the opposition and they capitalised as a missed tackle allowed them in for an easy score, 4 - 4.
With a couple of minutes to go to half time Mayfield were awarded a penalty, making the penalty count 1 - 6, they sensed a close game with every point counting and opted for the conversion, 6 - 4.
Mayfield taking the lead seemed to galvanise the visitors and they started the second half with real purpose injecting pace into the play.
As they pushed the Mayfield line, a superb offload put the player through the gap for a converted try, with only five minutes of the second half gone.
Brow pushed on showing why they are top of the league with solid defence and power and pace in possession.
Another converted score put them 6 - 16 in front and another penalty pushed it to 6 - 18.
Mayfield could have gone under at this stage, but showed great tenacity and spirit as they fought back.
James McDaid, Wayne Bannister and Dec Sheridan upped their games and matched the visitors, they picked their side up and Mayfield at last seemed to build some momentum as Cole Connolly put Luke Fowden through for a converted try, 12 - 18.
This was a game between two evenly matched teams for the most part of the game, and with just five minutes to go Brow began to look for the drop goal opportunities to keep them two scores ahead, it didn't take long before the outhalf slotted one over, 12 - 19.
Mayfield had to try everything in an attempt to rescue this game, but it wasn’t enough as Brow managed to grab a converted score right at the death, 12 - 26.
The scoreline flattered the visitors and they knew they had got out of jail.
On another day the result could have been different, but it wasn't to be, and another two points slipped from Mayfield’s grasp.
This was a massively improved Mayfield performance and showed that there is still a shot at retaining their top-flight status, but they desperately need to string a couple of wins together.
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