Mirfield Stags head coach Richard Silverwood has reflected on Saturday’s first League loss of the season at Drighlington and challenged his players to find the response that will help them win next month’s league decider against Upton.

The Stags held a commanding lead in the second half against Drig, but let that advantage slip to suffer their first reverse of the league campaign.

The defeat means it’s winner takes all when Mirfield visit Upton on 14 March.

Silverwood said: “It was a really disappointing result for us on Saturday.

“To go 20-8 up with 20 minutes to go, the game should be put to bed, but through our own errors we allowed Drighlington back into it.

“I am taking nothing away from Drighlington, who have been great in all three games we have played them.

“But our attitude to see the game out wasn’t there and many players let themselves down performance-wise.

“Drighlington clearly didn’t want a three-nil whitewash and you could see they wanted it more in that final 20 minutes, which was disappointing from our point of view.”

The loss means Mirfield and Upton have identical win-loss records ahead of the showdown at Quarry Lane, so victory for either side would see them take the Pennine League Division One title.

Silverwood said: “We now have a clear objective – one game to go and it’s a ‘must win’ against Upton.

“The lads have been great all year, and the stand-out team, but a repeat of Saturday’s attitude and performance away at Upton and it will all count for nothing, as we will be second best.”

He added: “We have three training sessions to get things right.

“Competition for places will be strong with a full squad to choose from and a team will be picked on past performances, as well as on who is willing to put the hard work in at training and show that determination to finish the job off.”