Rugby league: Leigh Miners 12 - 26 Mayfield

Date published: 28 September 2021

With a severely depleted squad Mayfield made the trip to Leigh on Saturday 25 September for the first round of the NCL Shield competition, knowing they were in for a tough time. Coaches Sam Butterworth and Steve Wood knew it would be a big task with four of the under 18s in the side against a vastly experienced Miners side but the youngsters stood up on the day and did everything that was asked of them and more.

On virtually their first attack a pin point pass from Zac Hartley put Liam Donnelly in to open Mayfield's account, Hartley converted, 0 - 6.

Leigh were having more than the lions share of possession and it took some sterling work in defence from Mark Biggins, Si Moore and Harry McDonald to keep them at bay. It could have been a different story if Leigh had capitalised on their possession and opportunities but fortunately for Mayfield the ball went to ground on more than one scoring chance. Mayfield pushed forward and a cracking inside ball from McDonald found Hartley who crashed over and converted his own score to make it 0 - 12.

Mayfield were well on top now and the crowd cheered them on. It was Hartley who turned provider next after good work from Ben Higginson and Donnelly, Moore made good yards and found Hartley whose offload found Brandon Wood who carried three defenders over the line as he touched down, 0 - 16.

Mayfield were controlling the game at this point but the ref handed Leigh a lifeline as she red carded Wood for swearing. The home side picked up their game but bombed several tries just before half time.

The second half saw Miners continue to try and get something out of this game and they managed it after five minutes with a converted try 6 - 16.

They were again pushing the Mayfield line when Jack Green showed a great reading of the game as he intercepted and put Donnelly into space, he found Sheridan who managed to squeeze in in the corner, Connolly converted, 6 - 22.

A cynical high shot from Leigh was penalised on the half way line and Hartley opted for the two points coolly slotting the 50m kick over, 6 - 24.

Both sides lost a bit of discipline and some composure at this point making simple unforced errors and giving away needless penalties. Miners settled back first and cut the gap as they used the extra man to create an overlap out wide and their winger went over for a converted score, 12 - 24.

Another needless Miners penalty gave Hartley another shot at goal. He obliged and made the score 12 - 26.

Leigh again tried to break Mayfield down the middle for the final ten but the blue and white held firm until the final whistle.

This was a great victory for Mayfield in the face of adversity to secure their place in the next round.

Biggins, Hartley and Donnelly did well for Mayfield but all action Si Moore claimed the Man of the Match award after a great performance.

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