Fylde Vandals 24 Thornton Cleveleys 2nds 12

This was game two of the two week mini-series between Fylde Vandals and Thornton/Cleveleys 2nds. It should have taken place at T/C’s home ground but unfortunately their pitch was already holding buckets loads of water on Friday and with the horrendous forecast overnight the fixture was switched to the Woodlands to give the best possible chance of the game taking place. As it turned out, the pitch was extremely soft but the game was on. The EPD had amassed a decent squad of twenty three and with T/C having a similar number the scene was set for another extravaganza of exciting rugby.

Last week the Vandals forwards dominated the lineouts and rolling mauls and it was their intention to try and do the same this time around. Chris Cardwell promptly gave a textbook performance on throwing the ball in and the Vandals were indeed able to set up great field position and pressurise T/C at every available opportunity. The stand-in skipper Ben James was the first to benefit from this as he trundled over the line with the pretty much the whole Vandals pack in attendance. The ageing scrum half wasn’t able to add the two pointer.

The Vandals second try was made by the forwards but finished by the backs. Excellent pick and go’s put them in a good position and the ball was spread across to Paul Green in the centre who ran a great line and went under the posts, the easy extras were added this time. T/C were playing well too and used their big runners to good effect. They managed to bag a try before half time and the first period ended 12-7 to the Vandals.

The EPD rang a few changes for the second half which as it turned out went a similar way to the first. Jack Jones and Matt Worsnip joined Paul Green and Phil Swindells in kicking the Vandals into good attacking positions. The forwards did what comes naturally and it wasn’t long before Tom Godfrey got his regulation try, which he obviously doesn’t like to mention. The conversion was unfortunately missed. As the game wore on the attrition rate increased with players from both sides picking up knocks and replacements coming and going at regular intervals.

The Vandals final try was a beauty. Ben James received the ball and cut back across the T/C defending line. He popped the ball to Matt Worsnip who stepped through a gap, drew the fullback and gave the pill to Jack Jones to dot down under the sticks. The conversion was made and the score was now 24-7 to the home side.

In the last ten minutes T/C managed to up the pressure on the Vandals and they managed to cause a little panic as they scored a well deserved try. The Vandals however had things under control and could have increased the points tally by three had Paul Green taken a last minute penalty in the allotted sixty seconds. Unfortunately his time keeping went astray and the referee stopped the kick! The action drew to a close and the Vandals took the game 24-12.

This was a hard earned victory for the Vandals, just as hard earned as T/C’s was last week in game 1 of the saga. Thanks very much to T/C for the game they contributed hugely to the afternoon’s entertainment and good luck to them for the rest of the league campaign. A big thank you to the whole squad of Vandals who all played a part in this good win which was enjoyed by a good number of watchers on the side lines. Next week the Vandals take a road trip to the South Lakes as they travel to Barrow to take on Hawcoat Park. We’re going to need a full complement for that.

Click here for Iain’s photos.

The team was – Tom Fox, Chris Cardwell, Tim Barrett, Richard Todd, Mike Hewitson, Tom Godfrey, Jack King, Ben James (c), Phil Swindells, Jack jones, Cecil Holland, Paul Green, Pete Acton, Tony Rawlinson, Matt Worsnip, Iain Hollingsworth, Ali Atkinson, Alex Grey, Max Barrett, Damian King, Jon Whitby, George Cook, Sean Townsend

EPD – Sean Townsend

Report – Phil Swindells

Photos – Iain Hollingsworth