Stags take sting out of Hornets in cup victory

Stags' Conner Sockett on the charge against Wath Brow. Picture: David Wood.
Stags' Conner Sockett on the charge against Wath Brow. Picture: David Wood.

Mirfield Stags are through to the BARLA National Cup quarter-finals after overcoming two-time winners Wath Brow Hornets 9-6 last Saturday.

The magic of the cup came to Hillrich Park and it was Richard Silverwood’s men who raced into an early lead.

Despite a late charge from the visitors, the Stags defended valiantly to hold on for an impressive triumph on home soil.

Stags captain Reece Spurr opened the scoring after a somewhat one-sided opening quarter of an hour, with Braden Hunter adding the extras.

Stand-off Hunter stepped up to make it 8-0 soon after as he landed a penalty goal from in front of the posts.

The Cumbrian visitors were not going to give up without a fight, however, beginning their comeback just moments later.

Wath Brow clawed their way back into contention with a well-taken try and they went into the break trailing by just two points.

The Hornets charge was halted prior to the hour mark when loose forward AJ Boardman landed a drop-goal to stretch the Stags lead to 9-6.

The closing stages of the tie were extremely tense and Wath Brow threw everything at Silverwood’s side.

But Mirfield, much to the delight of a large home crowd, held firm and clung on to ensure victory over the National Conference League Premier Division outfit.

The Stags are enjoying a terrific debut winter season as they are also two points clear at the top of the Pennine League Championship Division, having won all five matches to date.

The Stags travel to New Earswick All Blacks in the league this Saturday.

Having received an 18-0 walkover against Hunslet Club Parkside in the National Cup first round, Mirfield can now look ahead to a first appearance in the last eight on March 26.

They face a tough test with a trip to unbeaten Pennine Premier Division leaders and Yorkshire Cup finalists Fryston in the quarter-finals.