Stags secure bragging rights with derby win

Mirfield's Dominic Flanagan beats Batley Boys' Declan Casey to touch down during last Saturday's Pennine League derby. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
Mirfield's Dominic Flanagan beats Batley Boys' Declan Casey to touch down during last Saturday's Pennine League derby. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
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Mirfield Stags earned the bragging rights with a 22-4 victory over Batley Boys in a derby clash played in horrendous conditions last Saturday.

The weather was so bad that players from both sides were forced to leave the field at various stages and the referee called an early halt to proceedings.

The result stood however and Mirfield extended their winning run to five matches to go four points clear at the top of the Pennine League Championship.

Driving wind and rain battered a sizeable crowd in attendance at Hillrich Park but, having made a fast start, Richard Silverwood’s Stags never looked back.

The Stags held a slender interval lead and had done enough by the time referee Tony Martin ended the contest.

Following an impeccably-observed minute’s silence to pay tribute to the father of Stags half-back Jordan Anderson, Dave Batchelor, who passed away last week, Mirfield, donning black armbands as a mark of respect, got matters underway.

Mirfield were quickly out of the blocks and almost opened the scoring inside three minutes, only for a Ross Hayden effort to be chalked off by the referee.

This did not dampen their eagerness though and, minutes later, some neat interplay released AJ Boardman for the game’s first points.

Full-back Hayden incredibly converted the centre’s effort from the touchline, against all odds, to make it 6-0.

Mirfield went close to scoring again shortly after but did not have to wait long as visitors Batley struggled to cope with conditions.

Danny Flowers chipped through the Boys’ line and Hayden was on the end of it, the former Cleckheaton rugby union man making it 12-0 with the conversion.

Batley hit back with a superb try as Josh Whitehead ran the length of the field to provide the visitors with some hope going into the break.

But Batley were left with too much to do by the time the referee brought matters to a premature end.

Hayden got himself on the end of another kick-through to put daylight between the two teams, before Dominic Flanagan burst through a tiring Batley backline to seal the away side’s fate.

Hayden managed to add extras to Mirfield’s final touchdown of the afternoon and, having seen players from both sides leave the field due to the conditions, the match official abandoned the remainder of the clash.

The Stags are due to travel to the only other unbeaten side in the Championship as they visit Queensbury on Saturday (ko 2pm).

Queensbury have played only two league fixtures so far, winning them both.

Batley Boys will aim to bounce back when they host Allerton Bywater.