May­field fail at smaller de­tails

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -


MAY­FIELD trav­elled to St He­lens to face the reign­ing Cham­pi­ons, and de­spite some bright spots, came away dis­ap­pointed and with­out the com­pe­ti­tion points.

May­field have started the sea­son poorly with a lack of at­ten­tion to the de­tail of the small things needed to win Rugby League games, and this game started the same way as they failed to take the ball from the kick-off and im­me­di­ately sur­ren­dered field po­si­tion to put them­selves un­der pres­sure.

The de­fence just held strong on the first oc­ca­sion but con­ceded a penalty on the next de­fen­sive set then missed sim­ple tack­les to al­low Thatto Heath in first the first try.

6-0 swiftly be­came 12-0 as May­field again con­ceded a penalty whilst try­ing to han­dle en­thu­si­as­tic play and then failed to num­ber up on a sim­ple wide pass­ing move.

May­field seemed un­able to do any­thing right and lost the ball at their own scrum then con­ceded the third try in the open­ing ten min­utes from a sim­ple drive at the posts. May­field fi­nally started to ex­ert some con­trolled ag­gres­sion and won pos­ses­sion in the home-sides half for the first time.

On the last play Zak Hart­ley leapt high­est for a cross­field bomb to score but then in­ex­pli­ca­bly chipped the con­ver­sion well wide.

The visi­tors fi­nally showed some dis­ci­pline and won field po­si­tion that saw Cal­lum Mar­riot force his way over the line from 10 me­tres out. May­field had a way back into the game at 18-4 but con­tin­ued the spi­ral of un­forced er­rors and penal­ties, and Thatto Heath re­mained on top de­spite show­ing lit­tle other than en­thu­si­asm.

With half-time loom­ing May­field showed some glimpses of what they are ca­pa­ble of as they de­fended a Thatto Heath at­tack and Jake Board­man took at in­ter­cept on his own line to race half the length of the field.

Quick plays looked to be pres­suris­ing and open­ing up the de­fence but Zac Baker couldn’t hold a Si­mon Moore off­load and the chance was lost. Thatto Heath made May­field pay for that er­ror as they again passed wide to ex­ploit poor num­ber­ing and score a try for 24-10.

Matty Chrimes was try­ing hard and strong tack­les by him and Jimmy Con­naughton re­gath­ered the ball in the Thatto Heath half, and Paul Brear­ley forced his way over the line only to have the ball stripped from him – the loose ball was col­lected by the de­fend­ing full-back who then in­ex­pli­ca­bly passed it to the grate­ful Jimmy Con­naughton, who touched it down for a try. Zak Hart­ley con­verted for 24-14.

The se­cond half con­tin­ued much the same as the first, as de­spite some con­trolled patches that saw Paul Brear­ley de­nied a try when drop­ping the ball over the line and both Ai­dan Glee­son and Ma­cauley Don­nelly held up over the line, mess­ing in the tackle, bad choice trick plays and poor con­cen­tra­tion cost them dearly.

A badly ex­e­cuted sim­ple tip-on saw Thatto Heath re­gather the loose ball to race full length for a try and 30-14. Paul Brear­ley then had the ball stripped from him when clear­ing his line and the May­field de­fence failed to re­act and Thatto Heath scored an­other for 34-14. May­field tried hard in the dy­ing min­utes and got the re­ward when fi­nally be­ing awarded a penalty and Matty Chrimes took ad­van­tage to arc in at the corner – too wide for Zac Hart­ley to con­vert for 34-18.

In the end May­field were beaten by the en­thu­si­asm and dis­ci­pline of their op­po­nents and their own ten­dency to make un­forced er­rors, but coach Matt Cal­land saw the green shoots of re­cov­ery and re­mained pos­i­tive af­ter what was af­ter all, just the third game of a long sea­son.

May­field North West Coun­ties side in ac­tion against Leigh

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