Hinckley lead our trio of winners, securing a late win from an extremely tight game against Tynedale whilst Derby County Ladies and Mansfield Town both secured 1-0 wins.
Hinckley returned to winning ways in a thriller against Tynedale at Leicester Road on Saturday afternoon. Both sides were determined to run the ball and served up a treat for the crowd, running in 8 tries in a superb spectacle.
The game didn’t come to life until the 13th minute when Hinckleys first excursion into Tynedales 22 resulted in a turnover which allowed the visitors to go the length of the pitch for winger Olly Walker to score under the post. Ash Smith added the conversion.
From the Kick-off Hinckley struck back when Joe Wilson finished off a patient build-up, going over in the corner. The conversion was missed and Tynedale led 5-7.
Tynedale came back again, collecting the ball on their own 22 and putting together a good combination of interchanges between the backs saw Will Miller touch down under the posts with Smith again converting.
Back came Hinckley and another patient build-up led to Sam Driver with a typical charge breaking the line to score. Joe Wilson converted to keep the home side with two points.
With half-time approaching a Hinckley line-out steal on halfway eventually saw Mitch Lamb go over under the posts. Again, Wilson was successful with the conversion and so Hornets went it ahead 19-14 at half-time.
Following the break Tynedales response was swift, flanker Joe Mills scored under the posts, giving Smith an easy conversion.
Three minutes later a quick tap penalty by Tynedale on the 22 line looked to have caught Hinckley out but Wilson intercepted, with a hint of good fortune, and ran unopposed to score. The conversion made the score 26-21.
Again, Tyne came back, hard riving from a lineout saw Nick Cairns go over to bring the scores level and see both sides secure the bonus point with half-an-hour to go.
The final half-hour was anything but dull with both sides running the ball at every opportunity but neither side was able to break the deadlock, with Wilson missing a penalty on the hour mark and the draw looking the most likely outcome.
In the end it was the home side that grabbed their chance and secured a vital win. A foolish penalty for not rolling away gave Wilson the opportunity and Wilson obliged to kick the winning points, 29-26.
The result leaves Hinckley in third, in the play-off place and 6 points ahead of Sedgeley Park, and Tynedale who are 3 points further back. However both of the teams chasing the Hornets have two games in hand.
Derby County Ladies FC
Lauren Cresswell scored the only goal as Derby County Ladies recorded a 1-0 win against Fylde Ladies in the FA Northern Premier Division at Mickleover Sports to maintain hopes of a top 4 finish this season.
The Ewe Rams controlled the game for large periods but had to settle for a solitary goal.
The home side were lively from the off with the hardworking Andi Bell creating space by working the channels. The game would eventually produce five yellow cards and the first came within the first 15 minutes when Derby’s Camilla Newton was hacked down.
Bell went close soon after, the in-form forward outpacing the Fylde defence and forcing a good save from goalkeeper Rachel Derbyshire. After surviving the early pressure from the Derby side Fylde started to settle but Derby remained on top. A long ranger from Cresswell went narrowly over, and only a last-ditch tackle prevented Amy Sims getting an effort in on goal.
Despite the Ewe Rams controlling proceedings, the sides went in to half-time at 0-0.
After the break, the home side went in search of the all-important opening goal with Molly Johnson’s shot narrowly wide, whilst Andi Bell had a goal ruled out for offside.
The home team finally got the breakthrough their play had deserved when a corner from the left dropped into the six-yard area and Cresswell was on hand to poke the ball home.
The goal sparked Fylde into left and they went in search of the equaliser. The closest the came was with a deflected free-kick which wrong-footed keeper Sarah Morgan and struck the post, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as Derby reasserted control.
The home team should have had a second when Hannah Ward nipped in front of defender and goalkeeper after indecisiveness in the area, only for the referee to harshly rule the goal out for a foul by Ward.
The Ewe Rams comfortably saw the game out with an element of control that has been missing over the past few games to take all 3 points.
Andi Bell was awarded Player of the Match for the second game running, her tireless running causing constant problems for the Fylde defence and creating space for her teammates.
Mansfield Town recorded a superb away win on Saturday afternoon as top-scorer Danny Rose’s first-half strike moved them to fourth in Sky Bet League Two with a 1-0 triumph against Exeter City.
Stags deservedly took home the three points, after they dominated for long spells at a St. James Park where Exeter City have been very strong all season.
Stags started the game on the front foot and it was Alfie Potter, buoyant from his mid-week hat-trick, who asked the first questions of the Exeter defence his whipped cross from the right being well cleared by the home defence.
It was from a fifth-minute corner that Stags had the best sight of goal in the opening stages, as Danny Rose stabbed an effort against the post via what looked like a save from goalkeeper Christy Pym.
Exeter were being restricted to shots from range and in the 23rd minute, the ball fell nicely for Grecians’ midfielder Lloyd James 25 yards from goal, but he volleyed wide.
Two minutes later Mansfield created the best chance of the game so far, CJ Hamilton cutting in from the left to curl a right foot shot which looked to be heading for the corner of the net before Exeter skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor intervened.
The Stags finally took the lead in the 38th minute and it was top scorer Rose who got it with his 17th goal of the season.
Continuing his good form winger Alfie Potter darted into the box and angled an excellent cross into the six-yard box to Kane Hemmings who smashed his volley against the bar with the rebound falling to Rose who made no mistake from around eight yards out.
Mansfield went into the break looking excellent value for their lead and maybe a little disappointed that they were not further ahead. The home side reacted to The Stags dominance with a double substitution and they certainly improved after the break but failed to create any real chances.
If anything, Mansfield looked the more likely to add to their lead as Rose fired wide and then Moore-Taylor made a vital clearance from an Alex McDonald free-kick with Krystian Pearce poised.
1-0 is always a precarious lead and it almost proved that way in the 94th minute when Exeter midfielder Dean Moxey went down in the box under a challenge from Krystian Pearce but, the referee waved away the appeals.
Moments later the whistle blew and Mansfield had moved up to 4th in Sky Bet League Two with a fine away win.