This was a pulsating game on a blisteringly hot day at Heslam Park. The game providing value for money for the crowd but not necessarily for the Scunthorpe coaches.
The first half was littered with penalties and yellow cards as the referee strove to put his mark on the game. Scunthorpe started shakily and gave away a try in the first 5 minutes through flanker Newton, fly half Shaw missed the extra two. The Green forwards then woke up and began to put some pressure on the Mansfield line, all they could do was commit penalties, young Mark Woollard had his kicking boots on and duly accepted the three points. Mansfield nearly doubled the try count when Scunthorpe gave away a penalty for holding on, Mansfield attacked and had a two man overlap, luckily for Scunthorpe they were penalised for crossing and escaped. Three minutes later No8 Dave Garbutt scored a great forwards’ try, the pack pressed again and the Mansfield defence creaked, they once again committed penalties but the referee played advantage and the try eventually came. Woollard converted and the score stood at 8-3.
On 21 minutes the Mansfield second row Spencer was issued with a yellow card for persistent offences at the breakdown. The referee then decided that Steve Parker was holding on in the tackle even though the opposition player was lying on the ball preventing him from releasing, No10 Shaw converted for 3 points. Then, to the disbelief of the crowd, Scunthorpe scrum half Dan Mclean was sent to the bin for handling on the floor. The Mansfield kicker, who had struggled with his conversion rate, missed the extra three points. Despite being two men down Scunthorpe came back down the field and once again the forwards put Mansfield under great pressure, their only repost was to commit another penalty and it was Dave Garbutt who claimed his second try, which Woollard converted with aplomb from the touch line. Unfortunately Garbutt was deemed to have acted inappropriately after being tugged back and he too was given a yellow card just on half time.
Scunthorpe nudged ahead as Tom Foster executed a rare drop goal after further Green pressure. Unfortunately Mansfield came back with a well taken try from their left wing Storey, the conversion was once again unsuccessful. On 42 minutes there was welcome return to young prop Al Fagan, who was returning from injury, he replaced Scott Taylor. Chris Neal then scored the try of the game. It came from a Mansfield drop out, Scunthorpe secured quality ball, moved it to Tom Foster who with some superb inter-play with Neal eventually engineered the space and the young full back stepped through the defence to score under the posts. Woollard converted and at 27 – 13 up it looked as though Scunthorpe were going to go on and secure the two points. Flanker Callum Davies had to be replaced by Roger Hensby due to a rib injury and Mansfield came back at Scunthorpe with a penalty. On the hour Dan Mclean then took a quick tap and scorched through, he off loaded the ball to Woody Vaimoso who strolled over for his first try of the campaign, Woollard converted and at 32-16 it looked as though the game was won. However Scunthorpe took their eyes off the ball and seemed to tire in the heat, Mansfield were energised and scored a further two tries, converted one and clawed their way back within 6 points 34-28. On 77 minutes Mansfield gave away yet another penalty, this one though was on the half way line. The young 18 year old Woollard showed nerves beyond his years, stepped up, hoofed the ball and it bounced on the cross bar and fell over for the three points. The Greens were now two scores in front with two minutes to go hung on for the victory 37 -28. The master class display of kicking with 14 points earned Mark Woollard the Fallen Hero man of the match award. Scunthorpe’s defence has been rock solid of late and it was disappointing to see so many points conceded. Next week The Greens travel to Market Bosworth and coach Tim Robinson will look to cut out the errors and continue with the attacking play.