A SECOND-HALF fightback proved in vain as an injury-hit Mirfield Stags suffered a disappointing 28-22 defeat at the hands of Norland Sharks in the Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division.
Another slow start saw Mirfield go 18-0 down inside the opening quarter.
Richard Silverwood’s men battled back after half-time and pushed their Hull-based opponents all the way during the latter stages of the round-five contest.
But in an error-strewn performance Mirfield fell short of the mark and were made to pay for completion rates either side of the interval, as Norland clung on to claim victory.
It took two minutes for the hosting Sharks to get their teeth into the Stags, opening the scoring through Liam East, who intercepted a wild pass before racing 40 metres to touch down.
Warren Smithies and Stuart Crooks added further Norland tries in quick succession and Andy Goodwin was on target with all three conversion attempts, leaving Mirfield with a mountain to climb.
Reece Spurr made a break on the stroke of half-time, laying the platform for a try he would later score, which certainly stemmed the home side’s flow.
But mistakes were aplenty early in the second half and the Stags paid the price, as Norland extended their lead to 22-4.
Mirfield hit back shortly after and looked set to eventually overtake their opponents, only for another wayward pass to fall directly into the path of a Norland player. And the East Yorkshire outfit took their chances, making it 28-10.
With less than nine minutes remaining, Mirfield forced a tense finish as Phil Shotton and prop Alex Dawson crashed over for tries in quick succession.
And the visitors had a chance to steal a point in the dying seconds, only for another error to cost Silverwood’s Stags dear.
Mirfield, who now sit eighth in the table following their third loss of the season, host Beverley Braves tomorrow (Saturday June 4, 2.30pm).