Mansfield RUFC coach says club will bounce back after relegation all but sealed

Mansfield v Ilkeston
Mansfield v Ilkeston

Mansfield RUFC head coach Neil Stent says his side will bounce back after their relegation to Midlands Two was all but sealed on Saturday.

The Blue and Whites now need a miracle to avoid relegation to Midlands Two after they were beaten 49-10 by Ilkeston in their final home game of the season.

With the home side occupying the third relegation spot and four points from safety there was no margin for error.

They also needed Derby to do them a big favour by denying Newark any points from the other cross border encounter at Kelham Road.

As it transpired neither event materialised as Ilkeston left Eakring Road with a well-deserved victory, whilst a close encounter at Kelham Road saw Derby leave with the win but the home side collect two crucial bonus points in defeat.

Whilst the gap between Mansfield and Newark is still only five points, given the Blue and Whites vastly inferior points difference, it would take a miracle of biblical proportions for Mansfield to avoid the drop.

Stent said: “There is real frustration and disappointment in the dressing room, it has been a difficult season, but there was a real belief ahead of today’s game that we could take something and go to Kettering next week with everything still to play for.

“That said, the league doesn’t lie and relegation issues are not decided on the basis of single game. We’ve had a difficult season, but there are still many positives and we are confident we will recover from the disappointments of this season and get back to winning ways very quickly.”