Mirfield Stags let lead slip to suffer first home defeat
Despite leading by eight points twice and scoring five tries Mirfield Stags’ promotion hopes suffered a blow as they lost their second game of the season in Division One of the Yorkshire Men’s League.
The Stags led by eight at one stage in the first half and were ahead again after the break, but lost out 34-28 to King Cross Park who made it four wins from four in 2021.
Park put the first points on the board when a sweeping left to right move created a gap for their full-back to go over for a try that was converted.
Mirfield were quickly back on level terms as Dom Flanagan powered his way over the line from close range. Andy Bates added the goal, but King Cross scored again in the corner to lead 10-6.
The Stags took the lead for the first time when debutant Adam Allerton showed powered over for a try and Bates kicked the conversion.
Another score followed for the hosts as Casey Canterbury broke through the middle before finding Nathan Hadfield, who in turn supplied the final pass for Matty Harding to cross the line.
With Bates again converting Mirfield looked in charge with an eight-point lead as the interval approached.
But a loss of concentration saw the restart not dealt with and King Cross took full advantage of regaining possession to score their third try, with the conversion added to bring their deficit down to just two points at the break.
The Stags made the better start to the second half and early pressure led to another home try as Canterbury danced his way over. Bates’ goal gave them a two-score lead once more.
But again the visitors hit back and after exerting some pressure of their own they were rewarded with a try.
Two more scores followed and the game had been turned on its head with the Stags now doing the chasing.
Although tired in the hot conditions, Mirfield kept battling and scored again through Jarrod Ward from Canterbury’s kick.
But they were unable to come up with a further score that could have brought them a draw and had suffered a first home reverse of the season.
Mirfield are at home again this Saturday and face a potentially tough test when hosting Fryston Warriors, who were unbeaten until they lost to title favourites Westgate Common last weekend.
Stags head coach Richard Silverwood felt his side were made to pay for making too many errors against King Cross.
He said: “it’s a red hot day and the last thing we wanted to be doing is defending like we did.
“We weren’t smart on the field, we were making errors and just didn’t learn our lessons.
“I feel sorry for the likes of Casey (Canterbury), who busts his gut every week. You are only as good as your weakest link and there’s lads unfortunately that are letting us down.”