Depleted Mansfield’s Midlands One East league season ended in defeat on Saturday as they went down 43-16 at Market Rasen & Louth to finish ninth.
In a game where pride was the only thing to play for both sides produced a performance of endeavour and no little skill.
This was another much changed side for Mansfield which saw No.8 Alan Symcox pressed into action at fly half and veteran, once retired, full back, Wayne Robinson forced to strap on the boots one last time.
The visitors did manage to score first through an Ash Wills penalty after four minutes and enjoyed a great deal of possession and territory in the first half.
However, they were kept out by some staunch home defence and Rasen conjured a try of their own plus an unfortunate interception try when it looked as though Mansfield were about to score a try of their own.
Ash Wills added two more penalties to bring the half time score to 12-9 with the home crowd feeling a little nervous.
However, the nerves evaporated as the home team crossed for another try after just four minutes, bringing the score to 19-9 and leaving a big hill to climb for the visitors.
Mansfield continued to press but Rasen made their forward dominance work by employing a very successful catch and drive tactic.
This yielded three more unanswered tries and helped them amass 43 points by close of play.
Ash Wills had an eventful afternoon as he scored all Mansfield’s 16 points which included an interception try of his own, plus receiving a red card for an illegal shoulder charge tackle which proved to be the final act of the game.
Mansfield now have one last outing in the final of the Notts County Cup against Paviors.
This game will be played at Newark Rugby Club on Sunday, 4th May (3.30pm).
Mansfield’s second XV will also play Paviors seconds in their county final for the Ron Rossin Shield (1.30pm).