Finally, a proper game in 2012 for the lads from the Vale, with last weeks scheduled League confrontation with University of Derby resulting in a disappointing no-show from the opposition side, and Mosborough 2nds travelled to the welfare for this hastily arranged friendly fixture. Wind and rain swept across the welfare ground and a brave decision by first time captain Willy Murphy
meant Vale would play the first half uphill and into the wind.
Several key players were missing through injury or unavailability, but nevertheless Vale were able to select a strong starting XV with Murphy captaining the side from the Tighthead prop position, Jim Smith
returning to the back row, and the regular midfield of Rhodes, Mason and Dawson all eager to show there mettle.
Somewhat unusually, Vale wasted no time in exerting their authority on the game, with the pack of forwards working hard both in the loose, where the weather largely dictated an "up the jumper" approach, and in the set pieces, where Vale set down a marker for what was to be a difficult days scrummaging and lineout work for the Mosborough forwards. Successive drives left an inkling of space for blindside flanker Luke Cullington to barge through for the line and open the scoring for the Vale men. Not being much of a day for the kickers, the score went unconverted, to no-ones great surprise.
Handling errors from both sides bought plenty of knock ons, the odd forward pass or two caught on the wind, and the packs got plenty of scrummaging practice, which only handed a further advantage to the strong Vale eight. More driving play lead to a great bullocking score by player / coach Liam Peters which again went unconverted. 10 - 0 to the Vale men at half time.
With scarcely an attacking threat from Mosborough in the first half when they had the advantages of the conditions, Vale entered the second half with the wind and their backs and confidence high. Whether it's the smell of pasties or the call of the bar, Vale always seem to enjoy playing back towards the club house and today was no exception. within 5 minutes of the re-start, Loosehead prop Chris Guy picked up from a ruck and drove 10 yards to cross the line to extend Vale's lead to 15. Vale's back line were increasingly breaking the gain line, with Jez Dawson
hitting very good lines and making good impact up the centre channel. Not long later Guy collected a pop pass from a tap penalty 5 yards out to cross the line virtually unchallenged to double his personal tally for the day.
Forward dominance from Vale had started to take its toll on Mosborough and the last 15 minutes of the game were played with uncontested scrums to minimise the chance of an injuries. With less work to do in the tight, it wasn't long before Willy Murphy
capped his first game as captain with a driving try of his own from 6 yards close to the touch line. Against all odds, this final score was converted by Brad Rhodes
and the score would remain at 27-0 until the final whistle.
Vale came off the pitch a very happy bunch indeed and maximum credit should go to Mosborough for playing the game in such a great spirit and competing strongly for 80 minutes in lousy conditions. Vale's man of the match award went to Fly half Brad Rhodes
, who later proved that he couldn't down a pint if his life depended on it.