Mayfield 50 - 18 Saddleworth Rangers
Date published: 11 April 2012
What a difference a weekend makes. After a dismal showing on Good Friday Mayfield pulled out all the stops on Easter Monday as they ran fifty points up against premier division Saddleworth Rangers in the Oldham Standard Cup Final.
Mayfield fielded five changes after injuries and work commitments left players unavailable.
The players who stepped in played as though their lives depended on it, it only took five minutes for Jack Sampson to make his mark as he scooted from his own twenty metre line, evaded four would be tacklers and raced over untouched for the first score. Aiden Gleeson converted.
Within minutes Mayfield were pressing the line again and when a crunching tackle forced a dropped ball over the line Ben Butterworth showed lightening reactions as he pounced for an easy try. Aiden Gleeson converted.
Saddleworth pushed hard and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle, a quick tap resulted in a soft try out wide.
The introduction of Mark Biggins and Ben Simpson had an immediate impact as the defence could not hold them, they both made breaks into the oppositions twenty, Taurean Sheehan capitalised as he chipped through, Butterworth again proved too quick for the defence as he claimed his second. Sheehan converted.
Mayfield were looking like a winning team now, not a side who are struggling in the league and when Paul Brearley scooted over, Sheehan's conversion made it 24 – 4.
From the kick off slack tackles allowed Saddleworth to grab another try.
Apart from a couple of lapses the Mayfield defence was superb with Ben Butterworth, Jack Sampson, Rob Kershaw and Si Moore working overtime.
Bigginns and Simpson again made yards up field where Brearley sold the dummy and left his marker flat footed as he claimed his second, Sheehan converted.
As the half time hooter sounded the Saddleworth stand off attempted a kick down field only to see the ever alert Sheehan pluck the ball from the air and sprint through a bemused defence. He converted his own try, 36 – 8.
To their credit Saddleworth staged a mini comeback in the opening minutes of the second half grabbing two tries to make the score 36 – 18.
Mayfield again dug deep and good work from Sammy Sampson and Matty Moore's steadied the ship.
Tod O’Brien and Eric Johnson were causing endless problems with electric runs from half back and it was from one of these breaks that Brearley collected the ball and spun a twenty yard pass out to Jack Sampson, who outpaced his opposite number for his second try.
Matty Moore's was next on the score sheet as two defenders crumpled beneath him as he crashed onto a ball from O’Brien.
Liam Whalley rounded of the scoring for Mayfield as he collected his own kick through and and touched down by the sticks. Sheehan converted. 50 – 18.
A Mayfield knock-on near the end allowed Saddleworth a consolation but this did not detract from a very good all round performance from the Rochdale side.
Paul Brearley showed some touches of class, as did Jack Sampson, but it was the all round improvement and effort put in by all seventeen players that left the sizable crowd applauding the Mayfield victory and looking forward to their team carrying this through into the league this week.
Fixtures for Saturday 14.04.12
NCL Div 1: Mayfield v York Acorn, KO 2.30
NWC Div 4: Mayfield v Leigh East, KO 2.30
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