Hard-fought win puts Stags into Grand Final

Ross Hayden in action for Mirfield Stags against Hull Wyke in the Yorkshire Men's League semi-final. Picture: Dave Wood
Ross Hayden in action for Mirfield Stags against Hull Wyke in the Yorkshire Men's League semi-final. Picture: Dave Wood

Mirfield Stags will compete for their first piece of silverware after reaching the Yorkshire Men’s League Division One Grand Final.

The table-topping Stags beat fourth placed Hull Wyke 24-21 in a hard fought encounter, playing at their new Hillrich Park home for the first time

Mirfield now meet Siddal A, who overcame York Acorn A in the other semi-final, in the Grand Final at Castleford Tigers’ Mend-a-Hose Jungle this Saturday.

Wyke took a 23rd minute lead when Alec Hardie crossed for the game’s opening try.

The full-back converted his own score to give the visitors a six-point advantage.

It took the Stags just five minutes to level the scores as Reece Spurr went over and Ross Hayden added the extras.

With five minutes left in the first half, Hardie slotted over a drop goal to give the East Yorkshiremen a one-point lead at the break.

The Stags took their first lead of the game less than four minutes into the second half when Spurr crossed for his second try of the afternoon, Hayden was again on target again with the boot.

Mirfield’s lead was short lived and Wyke were back in front when back-rower Kane Jackson went over.

Hardie again added the conversion to restore the visitors’ one-point advantage.

The lead quickly changed hands again when Richard Casanove scored a 53rd minute try.

Hayden continued the game’s 100 per cent kicking record to give the Stags an 18-13 lead.

With less than ten minutes left on the clock, Francis Maloney, in the penultimate game of his fine career, scored the crucial try to give the Stags breathing space.

Hayden was again on target to extend the hosts’ advantage to 11 points.

The visitors refused to lie down and set up a nervy finale, scoring back-to-back tries.

Substitute Owen Jones-Barker and hooker Steve Mass both went over but Hardie was unable to convert either effort and the Stags held on to win an enthralling contest.