The sun was shining at Mansfield RFC as the NLD Senior XV gathered to take on old rivals Cumbria on Saturday.
The game started at a great pace with Cumbria taking advantage of the firm ground and making good progress into the NLD half. Some early penalties for the away team saw them kick to touch to gain territory and they moved into the NLD 22.
This quick start from Cumbria galvanised the home side into action and Jake Lamb (Ilkeston) was first to break the deadlock as he scored a fantastic try to get the scoreboard moving. Having gone over just to the left of the posts it was a straightforward conversion kicked by Alex Taylorson (NTU). 7-0 NLD.
Cumbria came back fighting and scored out wide, the conversion was missed but the score stood at 7-5.
Lee Monks (Sheffield Tigers) was next to cross with white wash to extend NLD’s lead although the conversion was missed this time. Baptiste Chamagne (NTU) continue to pour the pressure on with a fantastic try under the posts and with the conversion good from Taylorson, plus a penalty NLD went in at Half Time with the score standing 22-5.
In the first 5 minutes after the break it was another penalty to NLD and Taylor duly did the business to take the score to 25-5.
Chris Starns (NTU) was the next player to join the NLD scorecard with a super try from the Wing. Taylorson added the points and took the score to 32-5.
For the next 20 minutes Cumbria fought back and showed the spirit that has seen them as regulars in the County Championship Shield Final. They ran in three unconverted tries in quick succession to take the score to 32-20.
Stretching the lead to 35-20 Taylorson kicked a fantastic penalty from just inside the Cumbria half. He did the same not long after and took the game out of the reach of Cumbria to 38-20. In the last play of the game Cumbria scored under the posts but it was too little too late and the score finished 38-27.
Huge credit must go to the NLD side who secured the first NLD victory over Cumbria for some years. Attention will now turn to this weekend’s match between Cumbria & Staffordshire and the calculators will be out to see who will be making it through to the Semi Finals.