Super Smith scores hat-trick for Stags

Super Smith scores hat-trick for Stags

ELLIOT SMITH scored a hat-trick in the space of six minutes to help Mirfield Stags get back to winning ways as they overcame Hull Wyke at Castle Hall.

After coming from behind, Mirfield led narrowly at the break but were forced to cling on during the dying stages as the visitors threatened a comeback.

Robbie Hunter-Paul returned to the fray as head coach Silverwood adjusted his side following last weekend’s loss to Beverley.

The Stags, playing on their own patch for the first time in almost a month, gifted possession straight to the visitors, fumbling the kick-off, and they were immediately punished as Wyke front-rower Gary Sutton crashed over from close range, from a drop-out.

However, an error from the winless away side handed the ball straight back to the Stags and, after repeat sets close to their opponent’s line, scrum-half Hunter-Paul released skipper Wayne Wilson to score.

Hunter-Paul put Mirfield in the driving seat shortly after, after pouncing on a loose ball before stepping his way around a pair of would-be tacklers to touch down.

The Stags increased their lead little over five minutes later when towering front-rower Ben Mather, who was superb once again coming off the bench, powered across the whitewash.

Hull were still very much in the game, though, and got themselves back to within two points courtesy of an Anthony Horne touchdown.

With the final play of the half, Mirfield produced arguably their try of the season so far as Smith stylishly finished a flowing move which began deep inside the Stags’ half.

A fast start to the second period saw Mirfield outfit race to a 16-point lead, and the constant attack continued as a Hunter-Paul pass gave Smith the space he needed to charge over for his second.

Then the bulldozing forward Mather charged through the defence before a quick play-the-ball got the Stags on the front foot and a sweeping move to the right was brilliantly finished by Smith to seat his hat-trick.

To the visitors’ credit, their heads didn’t drop and they brought themselves back within touching distance thanks to a pair of quick-fire tries of their own. Alec Hardie and Rob Lilley were the scorers, their efforts making for a tense finish in Mirfield.

But the second-placed Stags, who now sit just one point behind league-leading York, all but put the game beyond Hull when full-back Conner Sockett’s dart and offload found loose forward Wilson, who dived over the line for his second try of the afternoon.

Wyke interchange Kane Jackson bagged a late consolation try with the final play of the game to bring a close to a hard-fought, highly-entertaining encounter.

• Meanwhile, Mirfield Stags Academy fell to a narrow 32-18 defeat at the hands of Guiseley Rangers in RFL Yorkshire Men’s League Division Four.

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