Fylde Vandals 19 Vale of Lune 4ths 43
The EPD had mustered a decent squad for the visit of the almost top of the league Vale of Lune 4ths. Vale had been sitting towards the pointy end of the league all season so this was always going to be a tough one but the two teams had fought out an evenly matched draw at Powderhouse Lane earlier in the season so the Vandals went into the game with high hopes…..
Vale started strongly playing at a fast tempo and within 10 minutes the Vandals found themselves two converted tries down. Playing catch-up rugby from this early on is hard and just to make matters worse Frazer Swindells had to be substituted after picking up a knock to his thumb. At hospital later on an x-ray showed nothing was broken but he’ll probably be out of action for a couple of weeks. This brought Ben Godfrey into the fray; he was pulling on a Vandals shirt for the first time in a while so maybe this was a little earlier than he was hoping for but these things happen and it was good to see Godfrey the younger back on the pitch.
With a strong wind in their faces the Vandals worked hard to gain field position forcing Vale into a defensive scrum in their own 22. Phil Swindells managed to charge down the attempted clearance kick, Jack King gathered the ball superbly but was tackled on the line. He had enough momentum however to roll over and reach out for the score.
Vale hit back pretty quickly to keep a two score lead and indeed they actually grabbed another. The Vandals defence wasn’t quite going to plan with tackles either being slipped or just plain missed but the effort was outstanding and once in the Vale red zone the Fylde forwards piled the pressure on. Lineouts were a bit of a lottery in the wind but from one of the successful ones a trademark Vandals rolling maul began and it ended with Tom Godfrey dropping over the line for the score. Sean Whiteside added the extras to the Vandals first try but the difficult kick dropped short this time. The first half came to a close with the Vandals still playing catch-up but Cecil Holland, We Three Kings and Godfrey the older had all put in a notable 40 minutes of rugby.
The message for chapter two was to use the wind as much as possible and play the rugby in Vale’s 22 but it was such a difficult wind to judge the long kicks sometimes went too long gifting Vale possession in or near the Vandals 22 instead. They capitalised on this and extended their multiple try lead. The Vandals just needed to keep the ball and when they did they looked dangerous with Paul Green, Adam Todd and Pete Acton all making good ground towards Vale’s try line. But it was the try scoring machine called Tom Godfrey who scored the Vandals third try and yes you guessed it, it came from a rolling maul but this one was special because the drive began all of 25-30 metres out. It was perfectly controlled by Ali Atkinson and Ben James and this allowed Godfrey senior to grab his brace…who knows he could have got a hatrick if he hadn’t been subbed soon after!! The extras were added by Sean Whiteside.
Vale finished the game as strongly as they had started it and consequently showed why they are such strong contenders for promotion. The final score was 19 – 43 to Vale and they thoroughly deserved the win. We would like to thank them for the game and wish them all the best for their run in to April but also look forward to playing them again if it doesn’t quite go their way. Thanks to all the Vandals who turned out; things didn’t quite happen for us but no-one can deny the effort and commitment that everyone continues to show.
It’s an away trip to Leigh 3rds next week so we need everyone to be up and available for that one although The Carlisle Cannonball needs to concentrate on the job in hand as we stroll past the bowling green on the way to the pitch; rugby Gary, rugby J
Fylde Vandals – Damian King, Chris Cardwell, Stuart Livesey, Ali Atkinson, Tom Godfrey, Rob King, Jack King, Ben James (c), Phil Swindells, Sean Whiteside, Cecil Holland, Paul Green, Pete Acton, Adam Todd, Frazer Swindells, Mike Hewitson, Adey Grey, Harry Royal, Tony Rawlinson, Hakan Ilhan, Gary Andrews, Ben Godfrey, Ethan Harvey, Sean Townsend
EPD – Sean Townsend
Report – Phil Swindells
Photos – Vandalette Collective