Rossendale 3rds 14 Fylde Vandals 20
Fylde Vandals ventured east for their latest league encounter and the EPC had gathered a squad of twenty for the trip. Everyone knows the at Rossendale weather can be a little bit dodgy but even though it was pretty cold the conditions underfoot were excellent.
The Vandals started strongly with some excellent tactical kicking from Sean Whiteside and Phil Swindells. This allowed them to apply some early pressure on Rossendale which resulted in a superbly taken try by The Carlisle Cannonball himself, Gary Andrews. The forwards won good lineout ball and this lead to a move straight out of the extensive Vandals attacking playbook, 9 to 10, 10 cuts right with 12 taking a dummy line, 13 cuts left behind 10 who pops the ball to 13 and 13 duly goes over for the score, simple!!
The Vandals were playing some good rugby with the forwards dominating in the loose. James Hunt was a handful all day and he thoroughly deserved his brace of tries. Both were after powerful runs at the heart of the defence and he also showed a good turn of speed to leave the Rossendale players in his wake. James got good support from his fellow ex-colt Harvey Burgess who also had a strong game at 9. These two youngsters show excellent promise and hopefully they can gain some good experience playing with us old’uns.
Unfortunately Gary Andrews got taken out by the Rossendale sniper as he made a break down the blindside; he was clutching his hamstring tightly as he disappeared off the pitch in front of the home support. Ben Hall replaced him in the centres.
Phil Swindells had managed to slot one of the conversions so at halftime the Vandals were in a strong position with 17 unanswered points to their name.
Rossendale had other ideas and upped the tempo of their game from the start of the second half. The Vandals couldn’t quite get to grips with this and consequently the home side grabbed a couple of converted tries. Their quick thinking scrumhalf and straight running centres were proving difficult to deal with and Rossendale were definitely back in the game.
The Vandals utilised a fairly strong wind but couldn’t quite convert territory and possession into points, although Phil Swindells slotted a penalty in front of the sticks just to keep Rossendale more than a touchdown away. New boy Sam Watson came on in the back row and didn’t look out of place and another ex-colt Brandon made an impression playing out of position in the centre.
With the clock running down, Rossendale were still working hard. They put a kick over the top and behind Tony Rawlinson who, realising it was the last play, calmly cantered back and hoofed the bouncing ball into row Z and it was a win for the Vandals 14-20.
This was a great game of rugby, played in an excellent spirit by two evenly matched teams. The Vandals won the first half with Rossendale taking the second but the Fylde boys had done enough in the first period to be awarded the points and they now sit 4th in the league. Thanks very much to Rossendale for the game we definitely look forward to the return fixture later in the season. Thanks to all the Vandals for making the trip it was an excellent team effort for the win. Our next game is in two weeks’ time when we take another road trip, north this time, to Vale of Lune. See you all then.
Fylde Vandals – Liam Sheedy, Chris Cardwell, Rob King, Dave Porter, Ali Atkinson (c), Jon Whitby, Richard Todd, James Hunt, Harvey Burgess, Phil Swindells, Adam Todd, Sean Whiteside, Gary Andrews, Tony Rawlinson, Stuart Satchell, Damian King, Mike Hewitson, Sam Watson, Ben Hall, Brandon Colt
Touchline monitor/touch judge/H2O/kicking tee operative/gofer – Mark Worsley
Report – Phil Swindells