Rochdale Mayfield 19-23 Latchford Albion
Date published: 23 April 2012
For the first game in the NWC Men’s Summer League 2 encounter, Mayfield took on Latchford Albion at Mayfield Sports Centre. Sporting their new kit sponsored by Walsden Flooring, Mayfield were hoping to do the sponsors proud.
The game started with strong defence from both sides, but the ball control was quickly being identified in the slick conditions and both sides giving possession away in the early exchanges.
Latchford were the benefactors of some Mayfield penalties and capitalised by scoring under the posts by stretching the defence following 4 sets in the Mayfield half, but unfortunately hit the crossbar with the conversion attempt.
Mayfield managed to seize the initiative with some strong running from Ashworth, Greaves, Johnstone and Nyland and a deft kick through from Marsland saw Hancock touching down beneath the posts and Lee converting.
The home side pushed further and following a midfield high bomb, the impressive Hargreaves touched the ball back for the old stager Duncan Simpson to swoop on the loose ball to slide under the posts for Mayfield to stretch their lead to 12-4.
Latchford pressed and secured a try from slack defence, this time converting the effort to pull Mayfield's lead back to 12-10 at half time.
The start of the seocnd half saw both teams step up defence and this lead to some hard hits.
Mayfield crossed the line after the Latchford full back spilled the ball under great pressure from Hargreaves and Devlin, with speedster Devlin touching down and Lee again converting the effort.
This spurred the away side and two quick tries down the right side with none converted saw the sides locked at 18-18.
From the kick off Mayfield got the ball back and after strong running to the line, Lee took his tally up to 7 points by slotting over a drop goal.
Latchford had an attempted penalty goal slice wide and it looked as though Mayfield may come out the winners, but following ill-discipline from Mayfield, Latchford slid into the corner and took the spoils, winning by 23-19.
Outstanding performers were Ashworth, Percy, Senior and Hargreaves, but the man of the match by a long chalk was Andy Lee who directed the home side around the pitch.
Mayfield have a lot to work on, but more positives than negatives came from this match and coach Ashworth will have a tough choice in team selection next week with 26 in competition for places. He said: "Things are looking very positive and the commitment from the players this week shows that we forging a strong team ethic, and the wins are very close."
Next week’s opponents are Wigan St Jude and will be a strong test for Mayfield following the disappointment of Saturday, but they will work hard in training to capitalise on the good effort shown.
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