Mirfield Stags chop down Acorn to move top

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Mirfield Stags have moved top of Yorkshire Men’s League Division One after recording a hard-fought 26-20 victory over York Acorn A at Castle Hall.

Mirfield trailed the previously unbeaten pacesetters by a point heading into Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash and after a back-and-forth contest, in which both teams crossed for four tries, the flawless goal-kicking of Mirfield full-back Ross Hayden proved the difference.

The hosts opened the scoring inside three minutes when Robbie Hunter-Paul stepped over the line following Wayne Jowett’s charging run.

The visitors hit back immediately, running the ball on the last play and creating the space for centre Joel Johnson to cross out wide.

An excellent pass from stand-off Michael Piper found Hayden, the league’s top try scorer, and he glided over to add to his impressive tally.

York showed why they had yet to lose a game in 2015, scoring tries from winger Luke Swales and back-rower Karl Harton to take a 16-12 lead.

Ben Mather intercepted a pass and the Stags moved the ball wide for centre Elliot Smith to score and Hayden converted.

Ten minutes into the second half York regained the lead through winger Jamie Stewart.

The Stags piled on the pressure and finally breached the stubborn visitors’ defence when prop Jowett powered over from close range.

Acorn threw everything at Mirfield but a penalty gifted Hayden the chance to extend the lead to six points, which he took with consummate ease, as the Stags sealed victory.