Mayfield fail at smaller details
KINGSTONE PRESS CONFERENCE PREMIER THATTO HEATH...........34 MAYFIELD.....................18
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