Stags edge out Sharks in closely contested derby

Mirfield Stags team photo after their opening game against Shaw Cross A.'Pic Steven Horsfall
Mirfield Stags team photo after their opening game against Shaw Cross A.'Pic Steven Horsfall
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Mirfield Stags twice came from behind as the overcame Shaw Cross Sharks in a closely contested pre-season friendly.

A shaky start saw the Stags concede two early tries and Richard Silverwood’s men appeared to be heading for defeat in their opening fixture.

A knock-on close to the Mirfield line allowed Shaw Cross ro score an unconverted try in the first minute.

Handling errors continued to put the Stags under pressure and Shaw Cross added a second try.

Coach Silverwood introduced front-rowers Ben Mather and Andy Berry and it had the desired effect as Mirfield hit back.

Francis Maloney hoisted a high kick and Danny Taylor gathered to touch down.

Full-back Conner Sockett then jinked his way to the line on the last tackle and Maloney converted from wide out to edge the Stags 10-8 ahead.

Winger Clive Stewart had a try disallowed for a forward pass and from the resulting scrum, Shaw Cross edged back in front following some neat interplay.

Cross dominated the early stages of the second half but the Stags tightened their defences and produced a host of try-saving tackles, to keepthem in the game.

Strong tackling, combined with Maloney’s relentless kicking game, relieved pressure on the Mirfield line.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, loose forward Wilson took four Sharks across the line with him to grab a crucial try. Maloney converted .

Solid defence from Andrew Parkin, Luke Manning, Hellings and Marcus Ely kept the hosts at bay as Mirfield secured a debut victory.