Rugby league: Mayfield preview

Date published: 12 April 2024

What an afternoon of rugby is in prospect this Saturday (13 April), as NCL champions, Hunslet, visit Mayfield Sports Centre, for what is undoubtedly the NCL Premier Division game of the day. This fixture last season provided an absolutely cracking match for the large crowd and this weekend is promising much the same. Hunslet are top and Mayfield are in the third spot and even at this early stage, this is an important game.

Last season saw both sides win their respective home fixtures by narrow margins and both games were bruising encounters. This season is already suggesting that these two will be up there in the play off places come the end of the season and today is a chance for both teams to state their intentions.

Games between these two are usually decided by the strongest set of forwards and coaches Sam Butterworth and Steve Wood will be hoping their missing forwards will be declared fit for selection. Last week there were at least four forwards on the injury list and Sam and Woody will be looking forward to welcoming them back.

The Mayfield backs are looking strong again with full back Jordan Parr on top form and half backs Sam Wright and Devlin Long picking up where they left off last season, while the centre pairing of James McDade and Dakota Tolhurst are one of the strongest Mayfield have had for a number of years

The NWML side are also at home, where they entertain West Bank Bears. Apologies here from Curly, who wrongly advertised this as last week's fixture. Widnes based West Bank are top of the league with three wins from three outings so they will be a tough opposition this afternoon, but as the coaches say, these are the games you live for. Tough opposition means tough games and that's what rugby league is all about. Reedy is confident that he will have a strong squad today as the senior players return and he is confident that if they stick to the plan for eighty minutes they have enough in them to take the victory and maybe sneak up into the top three in their division.

The Rochdale Masters are also at home on Saturday afternoon with an early kick off of 1pm, so they don't clash with the first and second team games. The opposition for Carl Abrams side is a combined Bury Broncos and Cadishead Rhinos select. Carl has a strong squad to select from and everyone will get a game. If you're interested in getting involved with the masters game please come along, you'll be made more than welcome by some of of Rochdale's great names from the world of rugby league.


The halfbacks, including Dec Sheridan (pictured) will be looking to have an impact on the game
Dec Sheridan (centre)


One player missing from the action today will be Dec Sheridan. To say Dec has had some bad luck recently would be an understatement. Dec broke his leg last season, which was a huge blow to both himself and the club. He worked hard, did his rehab and hit training again hoping to get ready for the new season but bizarrely he broke the same leg again in a freak accident. Lesser players may have called it a day but not Dec. He worked hard and regained his fitness pulling on his boots for the second team at Leigh Miners in March. All looked well, but then he was struck down with a serious illness that looks like it will see him sidelined for the rest of the season. This lad is as tough as they come though and he will get through this, without doubt. He has been a Mayfield player since virtually before he was born, coming up through the youth set up as one of the great 'Garties boys' team.

Dec captained the U18s to the Lancashire cup final victory where he scored two tries and took the MOM award after a superb performance. Spokesman for the club, Curly Kershaw said: "Dec is part of the fabric of our club. He is both a great player and a great bloke. You couldn't wish for better. He is known and respected by everyone here.

"From the youth to the open age everyone knows Dec and he's always willing to lend a hand wherever it's required. Everyone loves watching Dec on the field, he can run a game and he causes opponents no end of problems with his creative play and elusive running. Everyone at the club wishes Dec all the best and a speedy recovery."

Fixtures 13 April

  • U14s girls: Mayfield v Drighlington, kick off 11am
  • Rochdale Masters v Bury/Cadishead, kick off 1pm
  • NCL Premier Division: Mayfield v Hunslet, kick off 2.30pm
  • NWML Division 2: Mayfield v West Bank, kick off 2.30pm

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