Ashfield 10 – 20 Mansfield

Mansfield emerge the victors after tough local encounter

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2016 04:43pm
Oak Tree, Mansfield
By Andy Foster
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In a tough local derby just before the festive break one team was always going to get the Christmas present they wanted and the other would be disappointed. Mansfield and Ashfield produced an exciting and uncompromising performance full of grit and determination befitting two local clubs vying for local bragging rights and it was Mansfield who ultimately come out on top. 

Head coach Wayne Robinson, playing at Centre, was very happy with his team and the determination they showed in the face of some outstanding play from the home side, “This was always going to be a tough game and both teams put in a top effort given that we both needed the points”.

Although the blue & whites left with the points the victory did not come easy and indeed it was the home side who struck first. A speculative kick ahead was fumbled and some dogged determination saw the home side kick ahead again to pounce on the loose ball for the first points of the game. The conversion meant an early 7 nil lead was the result.

Just two minutes later Mansfield rallied back and although a penalty was missed the pressure continued. The result was that after twelve minutes of play, a catch and drive led to a maul and as the mass of forwards lurched closer to the line, scrum half John Ross Ward grabbed the ball and darted to the blind side to dive over securing the visitor’s first try bringing the score to 7-5. 

It only took Ashfield two minutes to respond as they built some pressure of their own and following a Mansfield transgression they had the chance to extend their lead by slotting a sweetly struck penalty and the scoreboard now read 10-5.

The first half an hour had been an exciting contest with both sides defending really well. However, Mansfield had the opportunity to zip the ball down the line to Ricky Wild who outpaced the covering defence to score in the corner. John Ross Ward converted the score with an excellent touchline kick to put his team into the lead for the first time.

The rest of the half played out with the score at 10-15 to Mansfield. The visitors also suffered a blow just before the break as, in form Flanker, Bobby Ogunode was stretchered of with a broken leg. This unfortunate injury has halted a fine run of games for the back row forward who, having converted from Wing has really made a mark in the forwards. We wish him well for a speedy recovery.

The second half turned into a real arm wrestle as the home team exerted their authority in the scrum impressively and showed some top class lineout work. For their part Mansfield repelled every attack with determination and ultimately preventing the home side from scoring again.

The half wore on with the blue & whites enjoying a fair amount of pressure and territory. It was in the dying seconds that a cohesive and decisive attack finally closed the game out and denied the home side a losing bonus point.

Following several forward drives, the ball was send wide to player/coach Wayne Robinson, who showed his class by drawing the final cover tacklers to release a perfectly times pass to Winger Joe Ducker who continued the last ten metres to the line unimpeded scoring in the corner and taking his team’s final tally to 20 points.

Mansfield’s next league game will be at Eakring Road on Saturday 7th January when they host Belper. KO is 2:15pm and you can follow the action on Twitter, @MansfieldRugby.


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