Sarries win in Blackburn rain
Blackburn 2nd XV 5 v Fylde 3rd XV 12 – Sat 3rd Sep 2011
A very wet start to the season saw Fylde Saracens travel to a very bleak Blackburn ground.
Due to the late withdrawal of a couple of players and most notably a front row absentee, and the late arrival of our illustrious scrum half, DJ Uphill, the starting team was shuffled around last minute.
However, this disruption didn’t shake the Saracen’s spirits or commitment in what was a mistake driven first half from both teams, given the ball's resemblance to the proverbial bar of soap.
Fylde started briskly and benefitted from the physical presence of a certain Rob ‘Horse’ Griffin who was a late addition from his native Bournville. He added some much needed beef to the Fylde Saracens pack who were in some positions light on experience but made up for it in hard work and scavenging for loose ball.
Due to ashoulder injury to Andy Hall before half-time, meant that the game slightly played into Blackburn’s hands with their larger back-row, but attacks were eventually snuffed out by Fylde’s defence.
This meant there was some great resolute defending on their own line from Fylde who just before half time, who put in several last ditch tackles to dislodge the ball from Blackburn’s grasp, even when they were over the Fylde try-line.
The game was finely balanced at half-time at nil all…due to a poor decision not to go for goal in front of the posts to break the deadlock before half time.
The half-time team talk saw stern words from captain Lightowler who left the lads remembering that the previous 10minutes defending would probably win the game, as long as we did the same in the second half.
A few Fylde attacks near the Blackburn line had opened up their defence, only being thwarted by the final pass going to ground.
The second half was now Fylde’s turn to add the pressure and forced Blackburn’s handover of the ball several times due to astute positional kicking from fly half McNamee. A kick at goal in front of the posts wasn’t spurned this time and Macca broke the deadlock. Further pressure meant that two more penalties were well taken by Macca.
Then Blackburn’s try came out of nothing really, a kick over the top and fly hack through sent the ball bobbling into Fylde’s in-goal area. The ball for those in close attendance appeared to hit the deadball line before it was touched by a diving and sliding Blackburn player. The Fylde lads were not unduly bothered until the referee some 30 yards away decided to award the try.
Un-nerved by this Fylde continued to pile on the pressure in the Blackburn half and Macca finished a great Man of the Match performance for his kicking and slotted another penalty goal to seal Fylde’s win.
Other players to note was the performance of Tom Nightingale stepping into the breach at scrum half due to DJ’s late arrival after picking up family from the airport!! Andy Hall for moving from the back row to cover front row and getting injured in the process!! Also to Sam Callaghan, for playing out of position on his senior rugby debut. So too for Rob Russell and Chris Roe for reasonable debuts. Jamie Blakey for great lineout steals and good linking in open play. Tim Holloway for a great display at fullback keeping it all together.
All in all a great win for a young Saracen’s team, learning how to dog out a win with great discipline from a niggly Blackburn side!!
Here’s hoping the home game against Ashton on Saturday does not cause as many late selection issues.
Report by Neil Lightowler.