Sedgley Park 4th’s 19 Fylde Vandals 20
For their next league encounter Fylde Vandals took a trip down the M61 to Sedgley Park for the return fixture with their 4th team. With the actual EPD away “working” in Barcelona it fell to the dynamic duo of skipper Richard Mason and stoic No. 8 Tom Godfrey to put a side together and this they did because sixteen of Fylde’s finest turned up to take on the Tigers and try to gain a brace of wins.
To say the pitch was soft would be the understatement of the century but its proportions were on a par with the training pitch at the Woodlands and that went down very well with about 95% of the Vandals #oldboys!
Because of the conditions the game was dominated by the big boys and both teams battled it out for domination up front. It ebbed and flowed with first the Vandals making good ground and then Sedgley doing the same but the home team were the first to make enough inroads to eventually get over the try line. The Vandals recovered well and used the fairly strong wind to get into good positions in Sedgley’s 22. From an ensuing lineout the ball found its way into second rower Tony “Rolo” Rawlinson’s grateful hands and he drove over the line for the score.
Sedgley kept on making good yards with some very no nonsense and direct running. This and some sloppy play by the Vandals led to them grabbing another try and edging to a 14-5 lead. The Fylde boys plugged away and were soon reaping the rewards of the pressure they created as Tom Godfrey continued his rich vein of scoring by going over out wide. Pretty soon after this the half finished with Sedgley sitting on a four point cushion.
Jon Whitby took a breather at the start of the second half so Adey Grey came on in the engine room and Tony Rawlinson slotted on to the blind side of the scrum. Richard Mason did a swap with Max Barrett, the youngster taking the open side berth and the skipper moving out to utilise his pace on the left wing! Jon Whitby was soon back on the field though as Rolo tweaked a knee and went off to give it a rest.
The two teams continued to work hard but mistakes were made by both and the penalty count was racking up. This led to a certain amount of frustration shown by a few players and the referee had to have a word or two in the ears’ of the skippers in an attempt to get the game back on an even keel. Things boiled over at one point with a few handbags being swung but it was something and nothing and the game carried on.
Sedgley grabbed the next score as one of their props picked the ball up well inside his own half and sprinted up the field fending off a couple of would-be tacklers to go over the line to the right of the posts. Apparently he used to be a centre! Crucially the kick was missed!
The Vandals now needed two scores to get something from the game. They grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and managed to get deep into Sedgley’s red zone. The forwards did what comes naturally and Richard Todd went over for the score. The referee announced that there were four minutes left on the clock. Time was running out but the Vandals don’t know when to lie down and quickly marched Sedgley back towards their try line. The defenders managed to win a scrum and last play was called; all Sedgley needed to do was win it and kick the ball to touch for the victory.
The Sedgely scrum half rolled the ball in and then the whistle blew….”crooked feed, free kick to Fylde” exclaimed the ref. The tap was taken and the forwards, marshalled well by Ethan Harvey, trundled and rumbled towards the try line. They recycled the ball expertly and yes you’ve guessed the try scoring machine that is Tom Godfrey fell over the line for the score. The Vandals had picked the pockets of the home team and stolen the victory from under their noses. Luckily the kick wasn’t needed as Sean Whiteside, who was consistent from the tee all day, missed it!
This was a pretty scrappy game with too many verbals from both sides but it was very pleasing to see the Vandals keep playing until the bitter end and take the win. Sedgley contributed lots to afternoon’s extravaganza and we wish them well for the rest of the season. Thanks very much for their post-match hospitality too.
A huge thanks goes to the sixteen Vandals who made the trip, it needed everyone’s combined efforts to take the points. Thanks to all who played out of position again and also to those who played a variety of positions during the game. Lastly thanks to our lone supporter, Mrs S, who amongst other things took photos, threw the kicking tee on and checked out Max Barrett’s cut ear.
Next week is a home game against local friends and rivals Thornton/Cleveleys 2nds so please make yourselves available and I’ll see you for that.
The team was – Damian King, Chris Cardwell, Gary Andrews, Richard Todd, Tony Rawlinson, Jon Whitby, Richard Mason (c), Tom Godfrey, Ethan Harvey, Phil Swindells, Max Barrett, Jack King, Pete Acton, Tobias Fulford-Brown, Sean Whiteside, Adey Grey
Relief EPDs – Richard Mason and Tom Godfrey
Report – Phil Swindells
Photos – Sarah Swindells