Mirfield Stags complete quick-fire double over Earswick to stay joint top of Championship

Mirfield Stags completed a quickfire double over New Earswick All Blacks, after coming from behind to sink the York side for the second time in seven days.

Friday, 25th March 2016, 3:18 pm

Richard Silverwood’s side edged a 34-32 thriller the week before at Hillrich Park and followed up with a 32-28 win last Saturday.

The hosts led for much of the first half, before a late surge saw the Stags take a commanding 18-6 lead into the break.

New Earswick battled back after half-time but Mirfield held out to claim another vital two points which keeps them level at the top of the Pennine Championship.

All Blacks scored an early try but the Stags his back when Ross Hayden made a 50 metre break and sent Braden Hunter over for the try.

Hayden added the extras and the full-back improved another effort soon after, converting arguably the try of the day.

Man-of-the-match Hunter collected a Hayden chip-kick, ran 30 metres and found the Stags star back on his inside, returning the earlier favour.

Coach Silverwood introduced Andy Ellis and the powerful front-rower made an instant impact.

Oliver Rounding pounced on a loose ball and found Ellis in support, the prop darting 40 metres to claim his first try in first-team colours. Hayden converted.

The All Blacks responded with a try of their own, before Hunter laid a superb platform for Lewis Hardy to bundle his way over.

Earswick pulled back to within six points, before Hayden kicked a penalty for offside.

Mirfield led 26-18 but made a mess of the restart, allowing the All Blacks to score a converted try.

Rounding collected Phil Shotton’s wild pass and the pacey three-quarter touched down.

The All Blacks scored from the final play of the match but it was only a consolation.

This was a fine display from the Stags, with debutants in Tom Coates, Mark Smith and Anthony Owens all impressing.