Mansfield RFC fell to a 36-12 defeat at Nottingham Casuals on Saturday in what was their final league game of the season.
Mansfield battled gamely and spiritedly against strong Nottingham counterparts and competed determinedly throughout, defending fiercely and effectively for the most part.
Mansfield opened the game in a purposeful manner only to be caught by a strong Casuals counter attack on ten minutes as a Casuals centre crashed over for an unconverted try.
The visitors almost retaliated immediately only just being stopped short of the try line.
The home side went further ahead on the 20 minute mark when they took advantage of a charged down kick and ran in an opportunistic converted try from just inside the halfway bringing the score to 12-0.
After 25 minutes the combatants were treated to the intense shower of hailstones which threatened to obliterate the pitch markings and a good move from Mansfield only ended when Ash Stirland was unfortunate to knock on in what were now very testing conditions.
Another breakaway try on 35 minutes followed when a hacked through kick sat up nicely for a well taken try close to the post, the conversion striking the upright and Casuals 17-0 up at half-time.
In the second-half Joe Ducker, who had an impressive game, made an excellent foray into the Casuals half only to be stopped short on the 22.
A determined Casuals onslaught followed with a try on 55 minutes duly converted to make it 24-0, and further misery for Mansfield followed when a breakaway Casuals try increased their lead to 29-0.
A trademark try saving tackle by the impressive Ducker on 65 minutes saved a certain further score and a penalty try awarded to Casuals on 70 minutes following a Mansfield transgression ended the their scoring for the day.
Just when it appeared Mansfield’s substantial endeavours would go unrewarded, Josh Hall who had been a thorn in the Casuals side for the entire game, crashed over with most of Nottingham on his back.
A further excellent break from Ducker who showed a swift turn of speed to elude the Casual’s defence on 80 minutes brought a converted try which was some consolation for Mansfield’s team efforts against a strong well organised Casuals team.
Mansfield are in Notts Cup action this weekend when they travel to Nottingham Moderns for a 2.30pm start.