Gilman eases nerves with late try to clinch win for Veterans

Stamford Rugby Club Vets' Jules Bunney deals with a Harborough hand-off   Photo: Harvey Warters
Stamford Rugby Club Vets' Jules Bunney deals with a Harborough hand-off Photo: Harvey Warters
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Stamford Veterans fielded a strong squad of 20 players, featuring only two aged under 40, when they took on Market Harborough Vets.

Always a physical fixture, the game began with tenacious play from both sets of forwards, with Stamford gaining an early upper hand in the scrummage.

Captain and scrum half Tony Pickford supplied neat ball to the three quarters, allowing Nick Maunder to sidestep his opposite number.

Maunder fed inside to Nigel Stanford who was stopped inches short of the line. However, he popped the ball to flanker Paul Farmer, who picked it up at ankle height to score.

Stamford’s second try followed scrappy ball from the forwards.

Stand off Robert Macmenemey cut back inside and got caught up in the Harborough defence.

From the ensuing ruck the ball was duly fed to the backs allowing centre Stanford to score under the posts. MacMenemy converted .

The second half brought a renewed set of visitors onto the park and a period of concerted pressure led to Town conceding a number of penalties and eventually the visitors crossed the line to score a converted try.

Stamford increased the gap to 12 points following a move that saw winger Justin Howells break through the gain line before feeding Maunder, who once again rounded his man and touched down under the posts for a converted try.

With only 20 minutes left, Harborough caught up to within two points, with two further tries.

Stamford’s number eight Mark Robson was sin binned and quick ball from the resulting penalty saw four Harborough players clean through with only one man to beat.

However, the ball carrier failed to off load before a ferocious tackle from full back Pip Warters saw the ball spill forward giving Stamford a scrum on their own 22.

The final score came from a penalty given away by the Harborough centre.

While the visitors were still questioning the decision, Rus Morley took a quick tap and slipped the ball to Howells, who put Pete Gilman into the corner. Macmenemey converted.

Man of the match was prop Jules Bunney.