Date published: June 13, 2022
Ieuan Higgs was chosen by the sponsors as the man of the match
Mayfield showed both sides of his game in his NCL Premier Division clash against Leigh Miners on Saturday, June 11.
The opening 20 minutes saw them play superb rugby as they ran in three converted tries from Jarrod Dash, Nick Hargreaves and James McDaid. Cole Connolly added the extras.
That wasn’t all Mayfield though; The Miners tried hard but were repelled by a strong defence, Ben Metcalfe, Ben Ratu and James Mulvaney led the way in this and by the time they had amassed 18 unanswered points Mayfield was in full control as the forwards , led by Mulvaney and Dash dominated the opposition. Danny Dean was also having a great game, but it wasn’t long before the Miners found their bearings and started to get back into the game. Fortune favored them as their rangey winger recovered a well-placed kick to put his side on the scoresheet. 18 – 6.
Mayfield reacted well and strengthened his defense and a big tackle on the visitors’ ten-yard line forced a punch. From the scrum, the impressive Ieuan Higgs dispatched the ball to the right and Kyle Marvin raced into the corner for a try, 22 – 6.
Again, Mayfield relaxed, as if they thought they had done enough. The miners had other ideas, however, and came right back to Sam Butterworth’s side. They were met by a weak defense as three tackles failed to complete the tackle and the visitors’ center wandered in for a soft converted score. 22 – 12.
The second half started badly for Mayfield as they lost the ball from the kick-off, putting themselves under pressure from the start. Poor home defense made it easy for the miners and they enjoyed a good opening spell to cut the deficit with another converted try, 22 – 18.
It was a real rugby league game now with both teams giving it their all. Scores were traded with McDaid grabbing his second and Miners capitalizing on Mayfield’s failure to deal with a scrappy kick, 26 – 24.
Ten minutes to play and the next score would be very important. The Miners dropped the ball on the restart and Mayfield was on the attack. Marvin was unlucky not to add another but Mayfield pushed on. As they pressured the Miners line, Connolly went for a pointer to swallow the seconds, 27 – 24.
This one could still go either way. Mayfield kept up the pressure and brought up Dash, who was playing through pain with a broken thumb, he went straight down the line with power and pace and, despite the attention of four defenders, managed to reach a free arm to the score that won the match, Connolly scored the extras and the whistle sounded.
The final score was 33-24 and a well-deserved, if a bit nervous, victory for Mayfield.
Coaches Man of the Match was awarded to Jarrod Dash for an action blockbuster of a performance. The sponsors had a different view though and gave it to the ever-improving Ieuan Higgs who once again showed he has a lot to offer this team.