The Hawks travelled to Sale FC 2nds’ Heywood Road stadium on Saturday, 2nd December, with a well balanced squad, strong in the forwards and with pace in the backs.
Due to a lack of Sale front row, the game was played without a contest in the scrums, often the main back bone of the Sale team. The weather was also going to present a challenge with the rain being light but fine and could create handling problems for both teams.
The first quarter demonstrated both teams had ambition and were willing to play attacking rugby, However, some excellent defensive play meant that most of the rugby was played out between both 22 metre lines. Eventually, a penalty was awarded to Fylde just inside the Sale 22 which was successfully converted by Danny Carlton.
Sale were keen to make amends and, after five minutes of attacking, crossed the Fylde line for the first try of the game. This was successfully converted. Score 7 – 3. With five minutes remaining in the first half, Jake Foster was able to cross the Sale try line in the right corner to score Fylde’s first try. 7 – 8.
In the 37th minute, Blake Wilkinson forced his way over the white line and the conversion was successfully taken by Danny Carlton. The last minute of the first half saw Sale awarded a penalty, which was successfully converted. Half Time Sale FC 10 – 15 Fylde.
The first 10 minutes of the second half continued in pretty much the same vein as the first half, with both teams playing open attacking rugby against solid defensive lines. In the 52nd minute Henry Pearson scored a try and Danny Carlton converted. Fylde had now worked out how to break down the Sale defensive line with all ball carriers making both the Sale forwards and backs work extremely hard to defend.
From the 65th minute, Fylde’s pace and strength across the field allowed Sam Fisher to score three tries, and Josh Oldland and James Torkington to score one try apiece. Danny Carlton kicked five conversions in the 2nd half.
The final score Sale FC 2nds 10 – 55 Fylde Hawks.
Whilst the score clearly shows that Fylde had the best of the day, the game was competitive throughout the full 80 minutes, with both teams wanting to play open rugby. Full credit to the Sale FC players whom worked hard throughout the game and kept going during the second half when Fylde clearly had the upper hand.
Overall, there were some outstanding performances, with Jake Christmann getting MoM for his accuracy and speed of passing, Danny Carlton for his kicking and distribution, Sam Fisher for three tries, and Gregor Aitken for his leadership on the pitch. More importantly it was the team performance that proved to be the winner.
FYLDE: 1 Tom Fox, 2 Blake Wilkinson, 3 Josh Oldland, 4 Karl Capstick, 5 Nick Ashcroft, 6 James Torkington, 7 Tom Steer, 8 Gregor Aitken (c); 9 Jake Christmann, 10 Danny Carlton, 11 Jake Foster, 12 Henry Hadfield, 13 John Taylor, 14 Sam Fisher, 15 Henry Pearson. 16 Stanley Graham, 17 Mark Capstick.
Ian Pearson, Jon (Sports Therapist)