Com­mand­ing lead al­most lost by er­rors

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

MAY­FIELD’S North West coun­ties side picked up an­other valu­able two points on Satur­day as they beat Leigh Min­ers at the May­field Sports Cen­tre. But in the end it was a game they could eas­ily have lost.

They started brightly with Joe Schofield cross­ing for a John Mars­land con­verted try af­ter about two min­utes. New sign­ings Joe Muir and Chris­tian Avis bol­stered the side and added a touch of class while young­sters Sal Mah­mood and Jack­son Kelly played with a youth­ful vigour which rubbed of on the rest of the side.

Kelly es­pe­cially was su­perb in at­tack with ball in hand and Sal was the same; show­ing no fear when up against more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

Kelly added to the score­line as he ex­ploited a gap out wide to go over 10 - 0.

Lee Atkin­son led his side around the field well and caused prob­lems for the op­po­si­tion all af­ter­noon.

When Avis and Kelly added tries and a con­ver­sion by Kelly made the score 20-0, it looked like May­field would run in a cricket score they where com­pletely in con­trol.

Rob Ker­shaw played a real cap­tain’s role or­gan­is­ing the side and do­ing the hard work when re­quired and Corey New­sham was awe­some at full back tak­ing the sting out of any Leigh at­tack and dif­fus­ing sev­eral high kicks from the Leigh stand off.

To their credit Min­ers showed they are a class side grab­bing a score be­fore half time to make it 20 - 6 at half time. The se­cond half was a dif­fer­ent story as May­field tired and the mis­takes crept in. With the tired­ness came the penal­ties and Min­ers be­gan to get a foothold in the game.

They slowly chipped away at the May­field line and man­aged to get the score to within four points as May­field opted to con­vert a penalty sens­ing the dan­ger posed by visi­tors.

At 22 - 18 with min­utes to go Min­ers pressed again and it took a huge ef­fort from Avis, Schofield, Ker­shaw and Mah­mood to keep them out.

Kelly stepped up and drove his side up field to re­lieve the threat but Min­ers held firm.

The game could have gone ei­ther way at this point un­til the ref pe­nalised the visi­tors for a mi­nor in­fringe­ment as they tried to get out of their own ten.

May­field grate­fully ac­cepted the award and Lee Bradley used his power and ex­pe­ri­ence to drive through the de­fence and ground the ball, Kelly added the con­ver­sion, 28-18.

May­field had an out­stand­ing first half and showed great char­ac­ter as things went wrong for them in the se­cond.

They played some fan­tas­tic rugby but also made some ba­sic er­rors giv­ing away soft penal­ties which could have ended up cost­ing them the game.

On the bright side there were good per­for­mances from New­sham, Ker­shaw, Schofield and the new­com­ers Avis and Muir the Min­ers coaching staff gave Atkin­son the MOM but Kelly must have pushed him close af­ter an all-ac­tion 80 min­utes.

May­field NWML v Leigh

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