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Hinckley move second with hard fought away win

Hinckley RFC continued their promising season with arguably their most impressive win so far, whilst Mansfield missed chances and succumbed to an 87th-minute equaliser to record their third 1-1 draw in four games.

Hinckley RFC

Opponents Tynedale were unbeaten at home and had lost just once on their travels and were looking to close the gap on leaders Stourbridge at the expense of one of their principal rivals. Tynedale had already beaten the 2 sides (Sedgeley Park and Sale) who had beaten the Hornets this season so there was no doubt this was going to be an uphill struggle for the Leicester Road men.

Conditions were not conducive to quality rugby, however, with a very strong gusting wind expected to induce errors from both sides.

Joe Wilson kicked off into a howling gale and the Hornets were able to exert some early pressure but it came to nothing as Tyne marched upfield via a break from Tyne wing man Guy Pike which eventually resulted in Ash Smith putting over a penalty for the home side to take the lead. An unconverted try from Oli Walker saw Tyne extend their lead and another Smith penalty saw Hinckley going in at the break 13-0 down. It was all looking a little ominous for the Hornets but at least the wind would be behind them in the second half.

The second half did not start well, however. With only 14 men on the field after Tyne No. 8 Scott Powell had been carded, Pike put Tyne 18 points clear.

This Hinckley side are anything but quitters, however, and with Captain Alex Salt as usual leading from the front, the Hornet’s pack began to exert some pressure. Their reward came six minutes later when Gaz Turner forced his way over and with Joe Wilson landing the conversion, a glimmer of hope began to appear. A Wilson penalty on 62 minutes pulled it back to 18-10 and with just 10 to go, Salt forced his way over. Wilson’s conversion brought Hinckley to within a point. The comeback was complete when Wilson landed another penalty on 78 minutes to take it to 18-20 and Hinckley played out time to grab a victory which stunned the home crowd.

This was an epic battle between two well-matched sides with different strengths. The wind was a great leveler on the day but ultimately it was the kicking of Joe Wilson who did not miss a scoring attempt that won the day for the Hornets. The Tyne kicker missed both a penalty and conversion attempt.

The win moves Hinckley into second place in the table purely on the basis that the Hornets have beaten Tyne in the one encounter we have had. The two teams are locked together in second and third place in the table on 34 points having both won 7, both registered 6 bonus points, and both having a points difference of 88. Stourbridge, however, are widening the gap at the top and now stand 11 points clear at the top. They have yet to visit Hinckley.

Next week, it’s Macclesfield at home, kick-off 3.00.

Mansfield Town FC

Mansfield-born Lee Holmes denied Stags of victory this afternoon as he scored an 87th-minute equaliser for Exeter City to steal a 1-1 draw at One Call Stadium.

Stags had to settle for their third successive 1-1 draw in Sky Bet League Two, despite bossing the encounter.

Mansfield opened the scoring in the 18th minute when striker Kane Hemmings slotted home from close range after midfielder Jacob Mellis had put it on a plate for him at the end of a swift counter-attack.

The Stags had the better of the chances for much of the second half but were pegged back in the 87th minute by Exeter substitute Lee Holmes, who tapped in from 16 yards after goalkeeper Conrad Logan had parried an effort by striker Liam McAlinden.

Derby County Ladies did not play at the weekend.