Hawks season opener proves to be a tough win.

The Hawks travelled to Sale FC 2’s for the first game of the Halbro North West Cotton Traders Premier League fixture on Saturday 1st September 2018. Sale 2’s had fielded a very strong side, including four players whom had been pivotal in the 1st team’s promotion to National 1 last season, as well as their ex-first team captain and a Zimbabwean international.

Often Sale have a strong pack who work hard to control the game and today was no exception.

Fylde also had a last-minute replacement with Blake Wilkinson coming is as a front row replacement.

As with most games that were played today, the pace was fast and furious, with both teams working hard both in attack and defence, to take control of the game. However, it was Fylde’s Sam Fisher who crossed the try line down our left-hand side to open the scoring. The conversion was just missed. Sale 2s responded and earned a well worked try, which was converted.  Score 7 – 5 to the home side. Sale forwards then applied pressure on the Hawks 5 metre line and after four penalties, the referee awarded Sale a penalty try. Score 17 – 5. Fylde responded through a try by Karl Capstick; however, the conversion was missed. Score 14 – 10, which remained until half time.

A few tactical changes in the game management proved to be fruitful for Fylde, with Luke Clitheroe crossing the try line within 5 minutes of the restart. The conversion was missed. Score 14 – 15.  Sale then pushed their forwards hard and after 14 minutes, into the second half had a penalty awarded, which there elected to kick successfully for 3 points. Score 17 – 15.

Fylde whilst going behind by two points continued to keep to the game plan and within the last twenty minutes really started to have the dominance with both forwards and backs working hard in defence, but brutal (and effective) in attack. A penalty kick was awarded and despite missing three conversions, Henry Pearson slotted the ball through the post to score 3 points, which silenced some of the Sale supporters who failed to respect the kicker. Score 17 – 18.

The next try, was the best team try of the season so far!! The forwards had worked the ball to the Hawks left before moving it across the field, for James Torkington to run down the right-hand side, before offloading it to Josh Moreau, who ran the ball over the try line. Henry Pearson, now having points on the score sheet, successfully converted. Score 17 – 25. In the remaining ten minutes the Hawks game plan continued to prove successful, which meant the team kept its structure for Luke Clitheroe to cross the try line for his second try. Henry Pearson successfully converted. Score 17 – 32.

Full Time:            17 – 32

Whilst the score does reflect a great win for the Hawks, it’s fair to say, that the game was played with great spirit, with both the Hawks and Sale playing excellent attacking rugby and some robust defensive performances.

Team:

Kyle Macauley, Josh Moreau, Sam Fisher, Lewis Pattison, Ryan Evans, Henry Pearson, Adam Lanigan, Matthew Ashcroft, Jonathan Wild, Oliver Parkinson, Karl Capstick, Tom Steer, Craig Whalley-Hunter, Seb Smith, James Torkington (Capt), Blake Wilkinson, Luke Clitheroe, Fraser Stainer.

 Crew:

Ian Pearson (Team Manager), Dan Orwin (Head Coach), Laura Jenkinson (Physio), Claudia Pearson (Video).