Rugby league: Mayfield preview
Date published: 15 September 2023
Rochdale Mayfield club crest
Mayfield finished the regular season last week at Siddal with a whimper rather than the hoped for bang.
With players returning from injury and suspension, coaches Butterworth and Wood were hoping for great things from their team. It was not to be though as Siddal handed them a lesson. Mayfield took an early lead with a try from Travis Long but then the wheels came off and it was all Siddal. With sin bins and a sending off Mayfield were their own worst enemies and the home side ran out 34 - 6 winners.
Mayfield put this game behind them straight away. It's gone and nothing can be done to alter that. So it's on to the play offs now, a third place finish means a home tie against the team that finish in sixth place. That team is as yet undecided, as the NCL has deemed that the remaining league fixture, which will decide who finishes sixth, will go ahead on Saturday 16 September instead of midweek. This now means that Mayfield can't play their first play off game until midweek next week and then if they win that they will be at home again on the following Saturday, that's two games in five days at this stage of a really tough season. This will make the play offs even tougher for Mayfield, but, undaunted, Sam Butterworth's boys will carry on and wait to see what Saturday (16 September) brings. Kells will play at St Pats and if they win, that will mean they clinch the last play off spot, on points difference, from Thatto Heath who currently hold it. All this means that Mayfield will be at home next Tuesday 19 September to either Thatto or Kells.
Coach Sam Butterworth said: "It's out of our control who or even when we play but what is in our control is how we play and the lads know they can't perform like they did at Siddal. It was a bad day but better to have one last week instead of next. We have three training sessions planned before the next game and we all know we have to get it right, and we will. There is no doubt we underperformed at Siddal and there is no doubt that we will be on our game come Tuesday night. We are at home and we are in the play offs, which is what the whole season has been about, getting here and winning and moving on to the next round, which will also be at home when/if we win."
Club chairman Neil Ramsden echoed Sam's thoughts. He said: "This has been a long tough season and we have had more than our fair share of injuries, some of them bad ones, Lewis Butterworth and Dec Sheridan to name but two. Probably the most pleasing thing to come out of it is the way we have dug deep. We have shown a strength in depth that we haven't had for a long time at Mayfield. The lads who have stepped up have performed admirably.
"To say we're not happy with the current fixture situation is an understatement but we have to accept it, move on and make the most of it. There will be lads who have to miss the game through work commitments and the relatively short notice but again that is out of our control. So come Tuesday we will extend our usual warm welcome to either Kells or Thatto Heath and then hopefully do the business on the pitch and progress to the next round. Also worth noting is that the kick off time is yet to be confirmed as the opposition is unknown and travelling will affect the timings."
Tuesday 19 September 2023
NCL Premier Division play offs: Mayfield v Thatto Heath or St Pats, kick off TBC
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