Mansfield Continue Winning Ways

Spalding 24 Mansfield 50

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2014 09:44pm
Oak Tree, Mansfield
By Andy Foster
Share |

Mansfield continued their rehabilitation from a mauling by ONs two weeks ago with another impressive win, this time over Lincolnshire neighbours Spalding. Make no mistake though, the final score tells one story but the road travelled to that point was by no means smooth.

The Blue & Whites were made to work for every blade of grass before they finally took a hold of the game after an hour of play. In fact Mansfield had barely descended the bus steps when Spalding gathered the ball from the kick off and scored within two minutes in the corner for a 5 nil opener.

It was time to regroup and have a go back. Although the home scrum had complete dominance at this point Joe Symcox started in typical rumbustious style and set the tone for the rest of his game with a hit on the opposition Scrum Half that seemed to spur his colleagues into action.

Despite a period of pressure from the visitors they still has nothing to show for it and a smartly taken catch and drive from the home team saw them extend their lead to 10 nil after 24 minutes. However virtually from the restart Jonathan Colley set the tone for his afternoon by bursting through several tackles to score wide of the posts which John Ross Ward converted with a confident strike of the ball.

Shortly after Joe Symcox was dispatched for a 10 minute breather at the Referee’s behest John Ross Ward slotted a penalty to level the scores. Then right on the stroke of half time, from deep inside his own half, Ward decided to break the pattern of play with a deft chip over the heads of the onrushing defence. He sprinted through gathering his own kick and flicked it inside to Jonathan Colley who then beat one defender to smartly return it to him, for what was an impressive try to watch, regardless of which team you were supporting. The half time score now read 10-15 to Mansfield.

Despite a yellow card just after the restart and lots of Mansfield pressure, Spalding continued to battle back and despite great defence from Callum Wood they were the first to score in the second stanza being awarded a penalty try after a certain score was impeded by the visiting defence. They had now retaken the lead 17-15. 

With just fifteen minutes left on the clock and still two points behind Mansfield entered a purple patch with a bullocking try from Aiden McGregor coming off the bench after a two week hiatus through injury. This try was built on the foundation laid by great work from his colleagues Liam Grant, Skipper Phil Donaldson, Toby Leiber, Will Limb and Dan Littlewood.

This was the catalyst for what became thirty five unanswered points in a period that saw Andy Simms at lock produce another impressive display along with Ollie Stanford at Full Back who is clearly growing in confidence with every minute of rugby played. Pat Johnson and Danny Ellis added the extra grunt allowing the backs to continue their good work.

With ten minutes to go Jonathan Colley brought a super afternoon for him to a close with his brace which Ward converted and three minutes later. Joe Symcox added another with Ward’s extras bringing the score to 17-36. The clock suggested five more minutes to play when Symcox halted an attack and then impressively drove the man in possession twenty metres back before John Ross Ward collected the ball from the tackle and sprinted 50 metres under the posts for Mansfield’s bonus point try which he then converted. 

With the score at 17-43, big brother Alan, of the Symcox dynasty, was not to be outdone as he crashed through several tackles to bag a try of his own bringing the score to 17-50. However, in a final act of defiance, Spalding who had opened the scoring in both halves, were to have the final say by producing another well taken bonus point try of their own, bringing the final score to 24-50 in favour of the visitors. 

A beaming Head Coach Neil Stent said, “I’m so pleased for the lads to come back with such resolve over these last two weeks. This was a tough game that needed to be won as they were not going to give it up easily and it proved to be a real test of character”.

Mansfield host Bedford Athletic this weekend and the Kick-off is the final one of this season at 3:00pm. You can follow the action on Twitter, just go to @MansfieldRugby.


blog comments powered by Disqus