Rugby league: West Bowling 24 - 30 Mayfield

Date published: 06 June 2024

Mayfield were expected to steamroller second bottom club West Bowling in their game on Saturday 1 June. They travelled to Bradford with a strong team; Ben Metcalfe, Zac Baker and Sam Wright were all back in action.

The team and travelling supporters must have been confident of victory. This confidence looked well placed after Max Riseham powered over for a try with just five minutes on the clock, 0 - 4 and more points were looking likely.

Unfortunately nobody had told West Bowling. The next twenty minutes they racked up 24 unanswered points to leave Mayfield reeling at 24 - 4 down. Butterworth's team looked genuinely shell-shocked as their hosts threw everything at them in an attempt to kick start their season.

Any neutral supporters watching could have been forgiven for thinking they had got the league positions of these two teams the wrong way round; West Bowling looked sharp, strong and indeed were in control.

Luckily for Mayfield they had a secret weapon in their armoury and when Butterworth introduced Sam Wright, the game changed completely. Wright took immediate control of the game, directing the plays and getting the best from his team mates. With less than five minutes to half time Wright crossed for the try that signalled the comeback, Parr slotted over the conversion to make the half time score 24 - 10.

Even at three scores behind there was no panic in the Mayfield ranks and Wright continued the second half much as he finished the first; in charge. Zac Baker had found his stride after three weeks out and he proved unstoppable as he took a great ball from Dev Long, Parr again added the two, 24 - 16.

Mayfield had now clicked into gear and were playing the rugby they are capable of. A slick move saw the ball shift out wide and Harry Sheridan  showed his opposite number a clean pair of heels as he sped down the wing for another great team try, Parr converted, 24 - 22.

The home side knew they had a battle on their hands now and a bit of indiscipline saw Mayfield awarded a couple of pressure relieving penalties. It was one of these penalties that saw Parr take the opportunity and slot the ball between the uprights to level the scores, 24 - 24.

It looked like another Mayfield draw was on the cards, but with seconds remaining Dave Mills stepped up, took the ball from Wright and steamed through the defence for the match winning score, Parr converted, 24 - 30. Game over, the hosts couldn't believe what had just happened. A game they looked like winning easily had just been stolen from them.

In the final analysis Mayfield did enough to win, but only just. If they are serious about improving on last year's finish come the end of the season, they must do better. With no games next week due to the Betfred Challenge Cup Final Butterworth will be hoping he can get a couple more of his injured players back on the field in time for the Lock Lane game in a couple of weeks.

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