The Vandals dig deep at Bury

Bury 2nds 5 Fylde Vandals 34

Sixteen Vandals assembled at Bury RFC after resisting a visit to the black pudding stall in the Market on the way down and they were in fine spirits after their previous three wins a row. The buy one get one free offer of Tom Godfrey and Ben James was not available this week so youth was mixing with experience in a new look back row of Jack King, Max Barrett and Dave Porter and the tigerish trio had a good day as it turned out. There was also plenty of experience in the front five with Adey Grey and Scottish Ali Atkinson in tandem with the first choice front row of Tim Barrett, Chris Cardwell and Damian King. However when you’re using the word experience you just had to look at the back line of Richard Mason, Phil Swindells, Tony Rawlinson, Gary Andrews, Pete Acton, Sean Townsend and Sean Whiteside which had combined age of give or take 316, experience or what! Alex Grey was waiting in the wings and was guaranteed to get on at some point.

Bury started the game well and had the Vandals scramble defence working hard from the get go. Consequently they deserved the first try of the game as their skilful outside centre made a great break up the left wing, giving the ball to his inside support to score the try. The kick drifted wide of the upright.

The Vandals woke up and using the boot to good effect they managed to gain some good field position. The pressure began to tell on the Bury pack and from one of their scrums the ball was delivered loosely towards no-one in particular. Ritchie Mason, with the ball at his feet, did a Johan Cruyff style turn past a Bury player, gathered the ball and calmly crossed the line for the try. Sean Whiteside’s kick went wide of the posts…maybe El Capitan should have converted his own try!

The Vandals pack was gaining more control of the game and inevitably the next try came from them. The ball was won from a lineout and the eight of them rumbled forward for the eight, Dave Porter, to drop over the line. Sean Whiteside’s kick was successful this time. He added a penalty towards the end of the half and at halftime it was 5-15 to the Vandals.

The Vandals’ third try came after a period of Bury possession. The home team were hastily shovelling the ball across their backs when someone mishandled, popping the ball up to Dave Porter who sprinted over the line from a good 30 odd metres out. The kick was good and the heavy breathing try scorer made way for Alex Grey.

Ali Atkinson grabbed his brace of tries in the last quarter of the game and they were pretty much identical in execution. The ball was won from first phase set ups and controlled nicely at the back of the mauls. Said mauls began their inexorable journeys towards the Bury try line and the big man dropped down for the tries. With one conversion made the game finished 5-34 to the visiting Vandals.

Bury are a great bunch of blokes and the game was played in a fantastic spirit. I can’t believe they are sitting at the bottom of the table because from their showing yesterday they should definitely be in a higher position. Thanks for the game and all the best for the last couple of games of the season.

The Vandals played a good brand of rugby with their forwards dominating up front and the backs doing the right things at the right times and this sealed a good win for them. Thanks to those who made the trip to Bury. The season has flown by and there’s now only two games to go. It’s Rochdale at home next week and it could be a lung busting 80 minutes for the boys….they are the only team at home so the main pitch will be free!!

The team was – Tim Barrett, Chris Cardwell, Damian King, Ali Atkinson, Adey Grey, Max Barrett, Jack King, Dave Porter, Richard Mason (c), Phil Swindells, Tony Rawlinson, Gary Andrews, Pete Acton, Sean Townsend, Sean Whiteside, Alex Grey

EPD – Sean Townsend

Report – Phil Swindells