Mirfield Stags head coach Richard Silverwood believes his team holds the advantage as the race for the Pennine League Division One title heads into the final stretch.

The Stags overcame no shortage of adversity to triumph away at Drighlington last week, which puts them six points clear at the top of the division.

The players now have a week off before playing Drighlington on 22 February, and a potential showdown away at second-placed Upton in March.

Silverwood said: “It now puts all the pressure on Upton to win every remaining game – they have to send it to a decider in the last game of the season with us.

“As we beat Upton 14-10 at home, they would need to win all their remaining three games and then beat us by five points to win the league, so it very much is advantage Mirfield at this stage.”

The Stags earned a crucial win last Saturday, despite a number of players carrying knocks, notable absences and injuries sustained during the game.

Silvewood said: “I was absolutely delighted with the effort we showed on Saturday.

“For a couple of weeks now we have been carrying knocks and we haven’t been able to train due to numbers.

“We’ve been giving lads chance to recover, so to go over to Drighlington and win a close game like that was an outstanding effort.”

He added: “We lost Wayne Jowett, who is massive for us, due to pressure on the neck in a tackle and then lost Ben Cole to an eye injury, as well as Craig Miles feeling a rib injury he has carried for a couple of weeks.

“We then had Ryan Fenton getting a knock, so at one point we had no subs left.

“Nathan Hadfield hasn’t played since the very first week of the season and Phil Shotton is still getting over a knee injury, and not 100%, so there was a lot of adversity.

“And to come up against a very capable and well coached side in Driglington on their home patch, you can understand the character, team spirit and effort the players put in.

“We did make some poor errors with ball in hand and completed at 30% both halves, which is terrible really, but the lads dug deep and defended for their lives.”

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