Sockett stars in Stags victory

CONNOR Sockett and Ross Hayden bagged four tries each as Mirfield Stags romped to a 52-22 success over Milford Marlins A in round three of the Forty-20 Cup.

A waterlogged pitch at the Stags’ Castle Hall home meant the match was switched to Milford at late notice.

The impressive Stags took the lead after just three minutes.

In a sign of things to come, Oliver Rounding – promoted from Mirfield Academy ranks – made an instant impact, breaking from deep inside his own half to send man-of-the-match Hayden racing away to open the visitors’ account.

Shortly after, the pair linked up again to produce an almost identical try. And Hayden completed a hat-trick inside 20 minutes, courtesy of a jaw-dropping, jinking run from deep inside his own half.

On the half-hour, Milford hit back through stand-off Brad Wilson.

But Mirfield quickly responded as a series of quick-fire passes sent Rounding over in the corner.

Captain Francis Maloney added extras to three of the four tries, handing the Stags a commanding 22-6 advantage going into the break.

Mirfield took less than nine minutes of the second half to get going again, as two moments of brilliance from scrum-half Sockett put the result beyond any doubt.

The Stags’ leading try-scorer twice chipped over the Marlins’ defensive line to brilliantly re-gather and touch down.

And former Super League star Maloney was on hand to add extras to both of the youngster’s efforts from out wide.

To the Marlins’ credit, they continued to come at the dominant Stags and were rewarded when loose forward Chris Roda powered over from close range twice in quick succession.

Sockett added his third and fourth tries, diving over from close range and finishing off an excellent break from loose forward Wayne Wilson, before full-back Hayden crossed to complete a try-scoring quartet of his own as he glided through the Marlins’ now helpless back line.

Milford were awarded a last-minute penalty try when veteran prop Paul Tharme was adjudged to have had the ball stripped as he was about to score.

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