Mayfield reign in driving rain
TORRENTIAL rain hit Mayfield Rugby Club, and Rochdale, at weekend but Mayfield made light of the weather and terrible conditions to score thirty points against one of their closest opponents for a top four finish in the league.
West Hull brought a depleted team over the Pennines and with Mayfield still seemingly suffering from the horrors of last weekends showing, added to the awful handling conditions, the game had a poor start as both teams made a number of unforced errors.
West Hull were first to take advantage and scored a converted try on 7 minutes to take a 0-6 lead.
This seemed to spark Mayfield into life and with Declan Sheridan introduced to the play, they started to make inroads. Prop forwards Jimmy Connaughton, Luke Fowden and Aiden Gleeson drove upfield and Declan himself darted through a gap but was stopped just short.
Not to be deterred, Declan dummied left and right on the line and Callum Marriott smashed through for a try, converted by Zak Hartley to level the scores on 12 minutes.
Aiden Gleeson repeated the feat five minutes later, again off solid forward play and quick actions from Declan Sheridan. Zak Hartley converted for 12-6 and Mayfield seemed to have got to grips with the game as Jack Francis and Nick Hargreaves added to the forward strike power.
Callum Marriott was in imperious form on attack and defence, and he scored his first try on 30 minutes as Mayfield ripped upfield through quick play the balls then kicked deep and Liam Whalley chased hard to trap Hull in the corner. Whalley then followed up with a massive tackle to dislodge the ball and drew a high tackle penalty as he drove the loose ball to the line.
From the penalty, Declan Sheridan again took advantage and found Callum Marriott on a great line with short pass. Zak Hartley converted for 18-6.
West Hull refused to give up though and with half time looming they forced two drop-outs and earned a penalty to pressure the Mayfield try line, benefitting from poor communication on Mayfield’s right of defence to take a converted try for 18-12 at half time.
Mayfield had shown glimpses of strong play but needed to show more.
They did just that in the first five minutes and controlled play well with a deep kick that pinned the visitors back on their own line.
Strong defence forced good field position for Mayfield and on the last tackle Zak Hartley found the match sponsors Rochdale Borough Darts manof-the-match, Callum Marriott, with a short pass and he did the rest, crashing through the defence to complete his hat rick of tries, again converted by Hartley for 24-12.
The weather again turned for the worse and the game remained scoreless for 15 minutes despite Mayfield being on top. Jack Francis worked hard chasing a kick to the ingoal but was denied a try as the officials, mistakenly, thought he slid over the dead ball line.
The injustice seemed to spur the prop forward on and on the next set he powered through the defence 40 metres out, scattering defenders, and showed great pace to round the full back for a great try, converted by Hartley for 30-12.
In the last 20 minutes Mayfield pressed hard without reward as first James McDaid was denied a try as he just stepped in touch whilst speeding down the right flank and then Declan Sheridan, Sean Watkins and Nick Hargreaves were held just short of the try line.
The game seemed to have a fitting finale as great hands right to left drew defenders and found space for Lewis Butterworth to fly in on the left corner, but the effort was denied for a forward pass and the game finished 30-12.
Declan Sheridan was awarded the official manof-the-match.
This was the final regular season game in the league and the win left Mayfield solid in third place in the league, three points above Wath Brow who have to win their last two games to overhaul them.
Either way a home play-off beckons for the Rochdale team, to be played on 30th September.
Wayne English, Lewis Butterworth, Matty Ashton, Liam Whalley, James McDaid. Chris Hough, Zak Hartley. Luke Fowden, Callum Ogden, Jimmy Connaughton, Sean Watkins, Callum Marriott, Zac Baker. Nick Hargreaves, Declan Sheridan, Aiden Gleeson, Jack Francis.
●●Jack Francis storms in for a try against West Hull at Mayfield Sports Centre