Mirfield Stags suffer President’s Cup exit at hands of impressive Illingworth

Dom Flanagan: Scored in the Stags President's Cup defeat.
Dom Flanagan: Scored in the Stags President's Cup defeat.

Mirfield Stags suffered a first defeat of the season as their hopes of the treble were ended by a 26-16 loss away to Illingworth in the Pennine President’s Cup last Saturday.

mpetitions going into the tie and had also captured the Yorkshire Cup over Christmas but that run ended at Mason Green.

The Stags broke the deadlock on the quarter hour as two penalties set the platform and quick hands saw Dom Flanagan cross wide on the left but the conversion attempt fell short in blustery conditions.

Illingworth hit back midway through the first half when a loose ball was gathered by second rower Luke Dennis and he went in unopposed to level the scores.

The home pack, with Ryan Jepson and Joss Bentley to the fore, began to dominate and a grubber kick from captain Andrew McElroy bounced up into the hands of full-back Graham Charlesworth to score between the posts, giving Kieran Nicholson a straight forward conversion.

Charlesworth doubled his try tally finishing off a good crossfield passing move evading several attempted tackles on his way to the line. Nicholson converted from wide out to give the home side a 10-point advantage.

That lead was cut as the break approached when Stags full-back Brad Delaney broke from inside his own half, off loaded to Omar Albani who went between the posts and Delaney’s conversion made it 16-10 at half-time.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Stags levelled matters when winger Lewis Holliday went over for a converted try.

However, Charlesworth was on the end of a crossfield passing move to grab his hat-trick on the hour mark with Nicholson again adding the conversion from wide out.

The Illingworth full-back then bagged his fourth try, capping off a period pressure on the opposition line, to condemn the Stags to a first defeat of the season.

Mirfield remain two points clear of Upton at the top of Division One and return to league action this Saturday with a home derby clash against Hanging Heaton.

Hanging Heaton go into the game on the back of a 26-18 defeat away to Drighlington in the President’s Cup last week.

Shaw Cross Sharks eased into the next round of the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy thanks to a 40-4 victory away to Crigglestone All Blacks.

The Sharks are unbeaten in Division Two and are two points behind leaders Fryston with four games in hand ahead of Saturday’s clash between the top two.

Thornhill Trojans exited the Andrew Bennett Trophy, losing 20-16 to Eastmoor Dragons.