Wizards left cursing after top Stags show

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HEMEL Stags continued their fine recent run with a clinical 60-26 victory at Warrington Wizards to consolidate fourth place in the league table.

The Stags were intent on revenge for their narrow 23-22 defeat to the Wizards at home earlier in the season and, despite going behind, dominated for most of the game against a gutsy Wizards side.

Warrington opened the scoring in the 15th minute when good work close to the Hemel line saw the ball reach second row Paul Reynolds – and he managed to squeeze over in the left corner.

Hooker Warren Ayres added the conversion but four minutes later, Stags scrum half Ryan Butcher found substitute Connor Boyd-Barnes from a penalty, and the latter powered over on the left. Butcher converted to level the scores.

Hemel continued to press and took the lead as good work from Eddie M’Baraga released prop Guy Adlam to touch down on the right.

Butcher added the extras, and the Stags increased their lead shortly afterwards courtesy of Boyd-Barnes’ second try.

Boyd-Barnes completed his hat-trick soon after, and Ilija Radan added to the Hemel tally with a try shortly before the interval to give his side a 26-6 half-time lead.

Stags maintained their intensity after the break, and soon increased their advantage as Seb Ward made a break down the left and found centre Mitch Henderson who raced 40 metres to score.

Butcher arrowed his kick through the posts, before releasing Ward to add his name to the growing list of try-scorers.

The Wizards, however, responded through Dan Stubbs, who stepped round the cover defence to score between the posts and give Ayres a simple conversion.

That just served to increase Stags’ ruthlessness, though, and the Hemel side hit back with a Tim Thompson-Essex try.

Christian Taylor went over for a debut score for Warrington, but Hemel hit back immediately as M’Baraga grounded to restore the advantage.

And Hemel brought up their half century when fine work from full back Barry-John Swindells led to another M’Baraga try.

To the credit, the Wizards responded with two late consolation tries courtesy of Taylor and Alan Redcliffe, but it was too little too late as Stags secured the win.

Next up for Hemel is an away trip to Kippax on Saturday.