Fylde Vandals 68 Bury 2nds 5

After several weeks off for a variety of reasons and only a friendly against Blackpool to keep the players interested, the weather had perked up nicely for the Vandals belated return to league action against Bury 2nds and it had been a good few years since the two teams had faced each other. So with the visitors being a bit of an unknown quantity the EPD had assembled a strong squad of twenty highly tuned athletes who were raring to go come kick-off. There were a couple of Vandals debutants on the day with Paul Green and Max Barratt turning out for the first time. Tim and Max Barratt continue the conveyor belt of Dads and lads who’ve now played for the Vandals so nice one you two. Unfortunately Bury were a couple of players down so Iain Hollingsworth said he don a Bury shirt and I know they were very grateful for that, cheers Ollie.

The Vandals got into their rhythm very quickly and those watching didn’t have to wait very long for the first try. Jack Jones made a clean break and gave the ball back inside to the supporting Phil Swindells who touched down to the right of the posts. Pete Acton was next to score with a trademark burst through the centres and then Frazer Swindells scored the first of his hatrick. He received the ball on the halfway line and outsprinted his opposite wingman and stepped the fullback to go in towards the corner. Swindells the younger grabbed the next as well, picking the pocket of Sean Whiteside who thought the touchdown was going to be his.

The backs were performing well but the forwards then got in on the act with some tremendous rolling mauls and huge effort in the scrums. This resulted in them bagging some five pointers of their own with Tim Barratt, Tony Rawlinson and Richard Todd all going over from distance!!! Bury worked hard, their lively scrum half made a good break and with a couple of players supporting one of their big boys trundled over in the corner. At halftime though the Vandals were well in control of the game.

The second half went pretty much as the first with the Vandals forwards winning good possession at the set pieces and the backs willing to have a go from pretty much anywhere. Paul Green came on in the centres and showed some silky and strong running skills. Consequently he was soon on the score sheet as he showed the Bury backs a clean pair of heels and dived in at the corner. He was also a willing support player and ended up finishing two more moves to grab a nice second half hat trick of his own. Frazer Swindells then completed his trio of tries with another decent run in from distance.

Ben James rarely misses out on scoring opportunities and it was no different in this game as he went over the line in usual fashion. The final try scorer of the afternoon was none other than the Carlisle Cannonball, Gary Andrews. He was playing out of position in the centres but had another good game and thoroughly deserved his score. Sean Whiteside and Frazer Swindells added a few kicks during the game and come the final whistle the Vandals had completed a comprehensive win.

This was a really enjoyable game with the team playing some good rugby and scoring some fantastic tries. The two new boys, Paul Green and Max Barratt, had great games and fitted into the Vandals way of doing things very nicely. Bury never gave up and contributed in no small amount to this game. We thank them for their efforts and wish them well for the rest of the season. Thanks to all the Vandals players for another top day and a huge thanks goes to the Vandalettes and others for their continued support from the sideline, although I think on Saturday the Vandalettes were probably more interested in the mulled cider and prosecco that was being handed round with it being their Christmas lunch/night out!

Next week the Vandals hit the road to Rochdale for what will be a tough one against their 3rd team so I will see everyone for that. Cheers one and all.

The team was: Tim Barrett, Chris Cardwell, Damian King, Ali Atkinson, Tony Rawlinson, Richard Mason (c), Richard Todd, Ben James, Phil Swindells, Jack Jones, Frazer Swindells, Gary Andrews, Pete Acton, Sean Townsend, Sean Whiteside, Paul Green, Cecil Holland, Mike Hewitson, Max Barrett, Iain Hollingsworth

Click here for Sarah’s match photographs

Playing EPD: Sean Townsend

Report: Phil Swindells

Photos: Sarah Swindells