Belper make the most of the uphill battle to victory - in a game of two halves

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After a heavy opening day defeat last week, Belper responded with a 12-8 win over Mansfield on Saturday.

Belper elected to play down the deceptively acute slope for the first half in an attempt to get their noses in front.

Both sides made the most of that particular advantage when they had it, but Belper did were the better when going uphill.

The hosts had the lion’s share of possession for most of the half, ensuring Mansfield had to focus on defending.

The home stand-off had a fine afternoon and was a constant thorn in the side of the visiting defence.

An interception caught Mansfield on the hop and Belper went under the posts to lead 7-3.

Belper had enough territory and possession to put the game away and it was only some robust defence from the blue and whites that denied them more.

Mansfield, with the slope, hit back with a try to make it 8-7 but the conversion was missed. Having taken the lead just two minutes later, the home side scored the decisive try after breaking out of their own half and the stranglehold Mansfield had on the game.

Following a try saving tackle Belper recycled the ball and scored out wide, resulting in the final score of 12-8.

Mansfield missed a late chance. Belper made the most of their’s and the hosts ran out deserved winners.