Rugby league: Mayfield 36 - 26 Egremont
Date published: 22 March 2022
Photo: Aidy Gleeson Snr
Darcy Maroske on the break
A depleted Mayfield took to the field on Saturday (19 March) to face Egremont Rangers; coaches Sam Butterworth and Steve Woods resolve had been put to the test in the days leading up to this one with players retiring, pulling out with injury and three players away for the weekend.
They managed to put a side together but were given little chance of victory as lads stepped up from the NWML side. Both teams started strongly and the defence was strong from both sets of players Shaun Hurley, Si Moore and James McDaid lead the way. Cole Connolly put his side on the scoresheet with a well taken try off a great ball from Dec Sheridan. Connolly added the extras, 6 - 0.
Egremont were undeterred and began to take hold of the game but the Mayfield defence were working hard and it took until the 20th minute before they managed to draw level after Mayfield had again given up possession, 6 - 6.
Within two minutes they had taken the lead after a speculative kick was gathered by the winger who went over out wide, 6 - 10.
The home side responded well and reclaimed the lead when Connolly put in new signing James Mulvany for a great score, Connolly also added the two, 12 - 10.
Mayfield then showed their inexperience as the mistakes crept in, they lost the ball from the restart and struggled to keep the visitors out. A series of missed tackles allowed Egremont to cross the line for a converted try, 12 - 16.
Things got worse as Mayfield then conceded three consecutive penalties culminating in Darcy Maroske getting yellow carded. With a man down, Mayfield soon conceded another try just before the half time whistle, 12 - 20.
It looked like the end for Mayfield as heads went down; knowing they'd start the second half a man short made it a task too far.
What happened in the dressing room, nobody knows, but the turn around was spectacular, as Matty 'The Bull' Brown rampaged through the Egremont defence creating problem after problem for them. Mayfield narrowed the lead as James McDaid squeezed in in the corner from a clever Connolly kick, Connolly converted, 18 - 20.
Mayfield's tails were up and the crowd were right behind them now. Mulvany, Brown and Biggins picked up the effort and took drive after drive. Maroske and Moore combined in a great spell of play to allow Lewis Butterworth the opportunity to put his side back in front with another Connolly converted try, 24 - 20.
Both sides were producing quality rugby now Ben Higginson, Jack Green and Luke Hartley all played important roles in the fightback while Moore, Maroske and Connolly were a constant thorn in the Egremont players' sides. Rob Kershaw was marshalling the defence well, jamming them in when under pressure but they slipped up out wide, allowing the opposition winger in for a converted score and the lead changed hands again, 24 - 26.
20 minutes left and this game could have gone either way, the next score was vitally important and it went to Mayfield in the form of James McDaid after good work on the left, Connolly was sure footed again as he slotted over for two extra points, 30 - 26.
Mayfield tasted blood now and upped the pace again, Egremont were flat out and had nothing left in the tanks. Brown, Moore and Maroske just kept banging away at the line and the biggest cheer of the day went up when young Matty Brown powered his way through the line for the match clinching try again converted by Connolly, making it six out of six for the kicker, 36 - 26 and the game was won.
Mayfield deserved this win - the way the boys performed was an absolute credit to the coaching staff, the lads on the pitch, and the club as a whole.
Mayfield chairman Neil Ramsden was over the moon with the victory. He said: "That win and that performance typifies what is going on at this club at the minute. We've got good people in the right places all working tirelessly, on and off the pitch. We were under the cosh today and a lot of people had written us off, but we didn't sit back and complain. No, we got on with the job at hand and pulled out a performance like that. I can't praise the lads enough but that game is gone now and we're looking forward to next week now. Get to training lads, prepare well, play well. well done."
The coaches man of the match was awarded by the Egremont coach and went to Darcy Maroske while the match day sponsors MJ Kelly Builders went for Cole Connolly. They must have been pushed all the way though by Si Moore whose second half showing was inspirational.
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