Stags ease to Hawks win to open campaign in style

Mirfield's Wayne Wilson charges towards the Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks defence during the opening Yorkshire Men's League Division One clash. Picture Steve Horsfall.
Mirfield's Wayne Wilson charges towards the Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks defence during the opening Yorkshire Men's League Division One clash. Picture Steve Horsfall.
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Mirfield Stags cruised to a 64-12 victory over Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks in their opening Yorkshire Men’s League fixture.

Following a closely-contested opening period, the rampant Stags ran in nine unanswered second-half tries to seal an emphatic 13-try triumph.

Mirfield opened the scoring after nine minutes through debutant Josh Plunkett-White, with Francis Maloney adding the extras.

Centre Oliver Rounding intercepted a wayward pass and ran in untouched to double the hosts’ advantage.

Hillsborough hit back through Oliver Williamson but Stags back-rower Luke Manning forced his way over.

Hawks winger Kieran Howard scored in the corner but Mirfield regained control when Maloney darted over from close range and his third conversion put the Stags 22-12 ahead.

Front-rower Lance Hamilton, whose introduction from the bench gave Richard Silverwood’s side a real lift, was the first to score after the break.

The one-time Scotland rugby union international charged through the Hawks’ backline and powered over.

The impressive Wayne Wilson scored an excellent solo try and three-quarter Rounding added his second, before prop Andy Berry crashed over for the Stags’ fourth try in eight minutes.

A Maloney drop-goal attempt incredibly cannoned back off the crossbar, straight into the hands of Jake Shaw, who strolled across the line.

Shaw went over again on the hour mark, running from deep inside his own half and beating the full-back with ease.

Hawks had Williamson sin-binned for a late challenge on Maloney and player-coach Andy Wright followed after a heated debate with the referee.

Mirfield made their numerical advantage count during the latter stages of the Division One clash, adding a further three tries through man-of-the-match Lewis Hardy, Wilson and Iain Moyser to seal an impressive opening-day triumph.