MIRFIELD Stags were narrowly defeated by West Bowling in the first-ever meeting between the two sides, going down fighting in a 20-18 verdict in the Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division contest.
It was West Bowling who made an instant impact on proceedings, with a try coming from a clean break down the Stags’ right wing.
Despite the early set-back, Mirfield more than matched West Bowling with a relentless spell of pressure in a fast-paced opening quarter.
However, the Stags were once again undone by a counter-attacking run as Ben Head went on a solo sprint, weaving in and out of the defensive line to give West Bowling a 10-0 lead.
Mirfield winger Sam Thornton hit back with a fine individual effort, galloping down to the left edge to touch down.
But that wasn’t to be the last action of the half as Adam Reardon managed to play in James Crabb to extend the hosts’ advantage, leaving the Stags with a small mountain to climb as the heavens opened over Bradford.
From the outset of the second half, it became a test of endurance as a thunderstorm brewed, swinging the balance of the game in the away side’s favour.
Mirfield looked the more threatening of the two sides and were the first to make the breakthrough as Alex Muff barged over to reduce the arrears to just two points.
As the torrential rain continued, both sides struggled to adjust to the difficult conditions and handling proved difficult.
West Bowling moved clear with a try on the hour mark.
But Mirfield had a late say, with Braden Hunter touching down.
Sadly the home side held firm in the remaining 90 seconds and clung on to claim the two points.