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Winning run halted by local rivals

Paviors 28 - 20 Mansfield

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2014 05:47pm
Oak Tree, Mansfield
By Club Reporter
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Mansfield made the short journey to Burntstump Park in good spirits after 4 consecutive wins in league and cup competitions, the hopes of the travelling fans were boosted in the first few seconds of the game when Liam Grant secured possession from the kick off.

The ball was slipped to Ash Wills who broke the Paviors line and set the Mansfield backs away, winger Richard Donaldson did exceptionally well in keeping the ball in play with a neat inside pass to Jonathon Williams who took the ball infield towards the posts, when the full back committed himself to the tackle a simple pass to Ash Wills saw the Mansfield centre touch down under the post allowing Williams the easiest of conversions. Mansfield 7 points to the good inside the first 90 seconds.

Paviors gathered themselves after that start and came back at Mansfield applying considerable pressure to the Mansfield defence, both sides were guilty of conceding penalties throughout the game with Paviors opting for territory rather than points. The line outs were well defended with Josh Hall and Mansfield skipper Phil Donaldson stealing or spoiling many of the Paviors throws. On the 20 minute mark good work in the line by Hall saw another steal which was fed to Mansfield flanker Joe Symcox who set off on a powerful run into the heart of the defence, the ball was laid back superbly allowing scrum half James Boler to release the backs, good hands from Ogunode, Williams, and Wills got the ball to young fullback Jackson Clarke who was halted just short of the line. The Mansfield pack shoved the Paviors scrum back towards the try line and a hurried kick into the middle of the park was gathered by Clarke who again went for the line. This time he was stopped illegally and the subsequent penalty was well struck by Williams to increase the Mansfield lead to 0-10.

Unlike the earlier kick off this time the ball was not secured by Mansfield and the bouncing ball allowed Paviors to apply pressure once again and within 30 seconds of the Mansfield penalty Paviors crashed over the line for their first try of the game which was duly converted reducing the lead to 7-10.

The run up to half time was littered with penalties conceded by both teams with kickers given the chance to clear into touch and line outs being challenged by both sides. With the break approaching Mansfield were awarded a free kick at the scrum which was taken quickly by Alan Symcox, the ball was moved along the backs who were bearing down on the Paviors line when the final pass was intercepted by the outside centre giving him a free run of 75m to score under the posts allowing his fly half the simple conversion and his side a 14-10 half time lead.

When the second half started it was Mansfield who conceded the first two penalties and the patience of the referee finally snapped, he issued the first yellow card of the match to Mansfield flanker Joe Symcox, the resultant kick into the corner gave Paviors a line out 5m from the Mansfield line, a good throw, catch and drive saw the home team over the line for the third try giving the fly half a difficult kick from wide right to secure the conversion, the kick was excellently struck and 2 further points were added. With the one man advantage the next few minutes were going to be hard work for Mansfield but the players rose to the challenge and the defence was good with some towering kicks from Williams clearing the lines time and time again. A scrum just in the home side half was lost by Mansfield but an over anxious Paviors player was penalised allowing Williams to reduce the lead by 3 points. Mansfield back up to full strength were still not out of this game.

The game was now being played out in midfield with both sides having charges up through the middle of the pitch, a loose ball was hacked on by Paviors which Mansfield seemed to have covered but it was not gathered in cleanly and allowed the home team to force Mansfield back towards the try line, at the resultant scrum the referee judged Mansfield to have deliberately collapsed and awarded a penalty try which was duly converted giving a 4th try and a valuable bonus point to Paviors.

Mansfield had no choice now but to attack, a line out catch and drive was stopped illegally and once again the yellow card was produced this time Paviors reduced to 14 men. Still the game was being contested in midfield with both sides charging into each other but the 10 minute loss of a player was not capitalised on by Mansfield it was thought that would be that, however a 3rd yellow card was produced, the Paviors open side flanker had been massive in defence but the last few minutes would be played without him. The penalty was kicked into the corner and a good line out throw from Ellis to Phil Donaldson secured the ball, a quick pass to Alan Symcox, a powerful drive for the line taking the ball and defenders with him gave Mansfield a 3rd try which was duly converted by Williams.

Mansfield were now one score away from a bonus point but despite yet another charge by Joe Symcox it was not to be, the final whistle heralded celebrations from the home side and their supporters while Mansfield look to next weekand a home game against Peterborough. Kick-off is 2:15pm and you can follow the action on Twitter, just go to @MansfieldRugby.

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