Mansfield Vets Take Centre Stage

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2014 04:34pm
Oak Tree, Mansfield
By Andy Foster
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Mansfield Veterans took centre stage at Eakring Road on Saturday. The opposition travelling from all over the NLD to put the aged Blue and Whites to the test. Mansfield, led by double cup winning Captain of old, Tim Pritchard started the stronger using the home advantage well. Several bullocking drives down the park almost saw the first score within 5 minutes but an opportune turnover ball meant the NLD Vets could stretch their legs out wide to touch down under the bewildered home sides posts. This was well taken as opportunities were few and far between for the rest of the afternoon.

On paper Mansfield looked to have the better back line but ironically NLD scored all their points through clinical centre and wing play. Eric Cranmer showing Mansfield a clean pair of heels on two occasions to score with ease.

On the whole the work started up front with power plays from Mark Ashley at No.8 who broke the gain line frequently to put NLD on the back foot. Scrum halves Booker and Davies linked up well putting men in space to open up play. Veteran winger Bruce Arnold turned back the years, not having played wing for 7 years, more accustomed to playing lock nowadays. He put in a dazzling performance though and his pace and strong hand off suited the game well as did Davies.

Mansfield equalised after 10 minutes with a great forward effort but for Arnold to touch down for one of his three of the day. Long serving player and ex-coach John Tasker who enjoyed his 50th birthday only a week before also sailed over the white wash to record a score from a well worked back row move. 

The game was far from one sided as the final score of 45-17 may suggest. It was a fairly contested game with some respectful big hits that made it a spectators delight.


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