Mason's extra-time try ends dramatic contest
SLAITHWAITE Saracens have beaten Newsome Panthers in an absolute classic!
At the end of a gripping Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy first-round clash, Pennine League Division IV Saracens were celebrating a magnificent 21-14 extra-time triumph over Second Division Newsome.
The sides were level at half-time, level at full-time and level at half-time in extra time.
But in the final 10 minutes the outcome was finally settled.
A drop goal from Richard Flooks appeared to have been the score to seal the tie.
But with minutes remaining, the match was put beyond doubt as Slaithwaite scored the try of the game.
Martin Haigh broke from just inside his own half and, just as he was about to be bundled into touch, he fed the supporting Lee Mason to score a try, converted by Flooks, to wrap up an unforgettable contest.
And it was the perfect way to announce their arrival at their new base at Spa Fields.
However, it was the visitors who made the brighter start, taking the lead after 10 minutes when Ben Feehan collected a Ross Studholme chip to touch down.
Studholme was unable to convert but added a penalty minutes later before Slaithaite drew level with a converted try from Kyle Dyson.
Five minutes later Feehan added his second try after linking up well with Nathan Chappel and Studholme converted.
But just before the break, Keiron Blacker crashed over and Flooks added the extras to make it 12-12.
The second half proved just as tight, with defences on top.
Darren Hawkyard nudged the Saracens ahead for the first time with a 49th-minute drop goal.
But when Studholme knocked over a penalty to restore Newsome's lead after 70 minutes, it looked like the Panthers were going to snatch it.
But such was the classic see-saw nature of the contest that Hawkyard calmly slotted over a second drop goal five minutes later to take the tie into extra time.
And that was just the start of the drama!