Mirfield Stags head coach Richard Silverwood was left delighted by the performance of his new-look squad in Saturday’s win away at Illingworth.

The Stags emerged 44-4 victors against their Division One rivals, ahead of the start of the Pennine League season on Saturday.

Silverwood said: “I was delighted with the performance at Illingworth. We have trained for six weeks and you could see the lads were ready to play.

“There were some very good individual performances and I thought our middles especially set the platform.

“Andy Berry is as fit as I have seen him and took his pre-season work into the game.

“Ben Kendall was Ben Kendall – an awesome individual carrying the ball.

“Nathan Hadfield was solid defensively and Wayne Jowett gave his usual captain’s shift.”

The Stags boss was also impressed by the input of several players who are totally new to the club.

“Adam Allerton is going to be a very good strike centre, who carries strongly, while Aaron Nicholson was my Man of the Match.

“You could tell he has played at a good level and he will cause teams lots of problems this year.

“Additionally, Connor Redgewick is another you could tell has played at a good level with a strong display in the back row.”

Silverwood was also pleased by the display of his half-back pairing of Casey Canterbury and Brad Delaney, and believes the combination has the potential to blossom in the weeks and months ahead.

“Casey and Brad I hope will get better and better the more they play together.

“Finding a partner for Brad has been difficult, but Casey, who is usually a nine, slotted in perfectly.

“It also worked very well switching Casey to nine and Nathan Hadfield to six at certain points of the game, as Casey is very much a running threat.”

The match marked the first run-out for the squad as a collective and provided a useful work-out ahead of this Saturday’s home league opener against East Leeds.

“All in all, it was a good start and that should be our minimum standard going forward.

“The scary thing is we won the game with ease and I still think there are massive improvements in us, which bodes well.”

Silverwood added: “The lads are buzzing with confidence and can’t wait to play on home soil for the first time in more than two years this Saturday.

“We aim to have a team Mirfield can be proud of again – and to show up this Saturday and deliver.”