Delighted Mansfield edged out local-derby rivals Ashfield in a tense, sun-bathed Notts Intermediate Cup final at Lady Bay.
The blue-and-whites lifted the cup after a 16-12 victory that owed much to their solid defence as they soaked up wave after wave of Ashfield attacks for large portions of the game, particularly in the second half.
Ecstatic head coach Wayne Robinson said: “We have grown massively as a squad this year. To beat a very good Ashfield side is the perfect way to end the season. It is the culmination of two years of graft.”
The match shaped up to be a thriller from the opening stages when Harry Brough kicked Mansfield into a 3-0 lead. In response, Ashfield threw everything they had at their opponents but, by half-time, the advantage had been extended to 10-0. The points included Mansfield’s only try of the afternoon as, with an Ashfield player in the sin-bin, Joe Ducker was unleashed to weave around two defenders to score under the posts.
In the second period, Ashfield cut the deficit to 10-7 with a converted try, but while they missed two crucial penalties, Mansfield kicked a couple, both via the trusty boot of Brough, and although Ashfield added another try, it was not enough.