Mansfield take table toppers Mellish to the wire
Mansfield took unbeaten league leaders Mellish to the wire in Saturday's 10-5 defeat.
Earlier in the season, unbeaten league leaders Grimsby came to Eakring Road and were beaten.
Mellish so very nearly suffered the same fate, and, but for a missed tackle, Mansfield could have claimed another scalp.
As it was, despite a fairly ferocious game, the visitors managed to eke out a victory that kept them unbeaten.
Head coach Wayne Robinson couldn’t help but rue the one that got away: “I think we played very well and showed how much we’ve progressed.
“We could have won it but we’ll take heart from the fact we disrupted their game.”
The first score came from a home maul within the first quarter as Zak Walters gleefully dropped down over the line. The conversion was missed but the advantage was with the home team.
The half ended on something of a sour note with the visitors receiving two yellow cards and the home team receiving one, but at 5-0, the game was still anyone’s.
The second half was much like the first.
Mansfield’s defence was a completely different beast to previous weeks, it stood up well and turned over ball.
However, the visitors scored first and converted their try which took them in to a two point lead.
To their credit, the Mellish attack worked well on this occasion, an inside ball finding its man and breaking through the otherwise solid home defence.
Mansfield struggled to hold on to the ball and were beginning to get on the wrong side of the referee, giving away numerous penalties.
One of these penalties was converted to take the score to 10-5 which would be the final score.
The visitors tried their best to add more but the home team’s defence stood strong until the end.
Mansfield Ladies produced a well-fought victory over local opponents Ashfield.
But Ashfield were hampered by being depleted on numbers and at one point going down to 10 players, effectively ending the game.
To their credit, Mansfield loaned five players to the visitors and, while the official game had ended 26-10, the final 15 minutes were played with just as much competitive spirit and ended 31-17.