Mansfield give unbeaten champions a run for their money

editorial image

Afetr saving themselves from relegation the previous week, Mansfield ended their season on a positive note with an encouraging performance against unbeaten champions, Nottingham Casuals.

Although they fell to a 52-26 defeat, the blue-and-whites played well for large parts of the game and at least picked up a try bonus point.

They have finished ninth in the 12-team Midlands 3 East (North) division of the National League, but they have lost no fewer than seven games by a single score and five by just one point.

Head coach Wayne Robinson said he was pleased with the way his side acquitted themselves aghainst a Casuals team who have won all 21 of their fixtures and top the table by a massive 23 points.

He said: “I thought our performance deserved more. I am happy with how we played in parts, although we did give away a couple of soft tries and they really took the wind out of our sails.”

Mansfield started with no respect for the visitors’ record and surged into a 7-0 lead thanks to a try by Harry Brough and a conversion by Taran Elms.

Casuals hit back with three tries of their own to lead 24-7 at half-time, but the hosts kept fighting and a converted try from Kian Johnson cut the deficit to 24-14.

Next came the giveaway scores that enabled Casuals to ensure victory. But, inspired by man-of-the-match Conway Evans, Mansfield kept the board ticking over as Brough struck again and Phil Pogmore bagged their fourth try late on.