Rugby league: Oldham St Annes 28 - 48 Mayfield
Date published: 16 August 2021
Photo: Aidy Gleeson Snr
Aidan Gleeson backed up by Liam Donnelly
Mayfield put in their best performance of the season so far on Saturday (14 August) as they put Oldham St Annes to the sword. The first half in particular was superb as Mayfield at last showed their true potential.
Annes opened the scoring in the first few minutes after some good defence by Eric Johnson and Liam Whalley had kept them out, they lead 6 - 0.
Mayfield showed their pedigree though as they came straight back at them and good work from Aidy Gleeson was rewarded when Whalley powered through the would be defence to get his first, Cole Connolly converted to level the score, 6 - 6.
Whalley was the beneficiary again when strong running from Nick Hargreaves put in for his second, Connolly again added the two, 6 - 12.
Mayfield were in complete control now as Connolly and Zac Hartley dominated the middle of the park and the rest of the team thrived on this. Corey Newsham managed two more tries both converted by Connolly and then Ieaun Higgs finished a brilliant spell of rugby with a try converted by Hartley, 6 - 30.
A rare switch off by Mayfield saw possession coughed up and Annes cut the deficit on the stroke of half time. 12 - 30.
That score galvanised the home side and they held Mayfield out for the first fifteen minutes of the second half until Jack McConnachie broke the stalemate with a well taken score, Connolly added the two for 12 - 36.
The second half didn't live up to the first as Mayfield allowed themselves to be dragged down with some poor decision making. They were defending well with Niall Bradley,Joe Schofield, Liam Whalley and Liam Donnelly outstanding in the tackle.
Against the run of play Annes grabbed another try and the sides swapped scores for the rest of the half through Hartley and then McConnachie with both improved by Connolly. The game finished 28 - 48 but that scoreline flattered the home side after Mayfield had let in three very soft tries.
Coaches Butterworth and Wood were well pleased with the first half play, Wood commenting that it was a fitting send off for Dubai bound Aidan Gleeson. The second half left a lot to be desired as Mayfield showed some of their early season frailties again.
Overall it was a good outing for the Rochdale side, Rob Kershaw played well as did Nick Hargreaves. Newsham and Whalley had great games and Aidan Gleeson put in a man of the match performance. Aidan leaves for Dubai on Tuesday and chairman Neil Wood reflected on Aidans Mayfield career. He said: "Aidan has been a true Mayfield rock with over twenty years service to the club he loves. There is no doubt that he will be sorely missed both as a player and a friend but everyone at the club wishes him and Jenny the very best in their new life."
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