A splendid afternoon of rugby! Vandals v Hawcoat Park

Fylde Vandals 17 Hawcoat Park 2nds 14

After the abandoned game of one half at Thornton last week, it was back to a full 80 minutes for the Vandals as they entertained Hawcoat Park 2nds at The Woodlands. It was a drizzly, mizzly afternoon but nothing like the end of the world deluge of last Saturday. The EPD had gathered a good squad but unfortunately it was little light on props so Damian King and Gary Andrews gamely stepped up as they have done on a good few occasions now and the team owe them a huge debt for this.

The two teams were fairly evenly matched but the Vandals forwards were dominant with their rolling mauls and used them to good advantage throughout the game. In fact their first try came as a result of one of these as they took a good lineout and trundled over in the corner. Ali Atkinson being the beneficiary of their efforts as he scored his first try of the season. The extras weren’t added. The rest of the half saw both teams attack and defend in equal measure but neither could convert the pressure into points and the half ended 5-0 to the home side.

Hawcoat came out of the traps the quickest in the second half and managed to score twice before the Vandals decided to up their game and in the last twenty minutes or so they produced some fine rugby. Richard Openshaw who had an excellent  individual game went over near the posts and Pete Acton carved a path through the centres to score to left of the sticks. Frazer Swindells added one of the conversions.

There was still time for Hawcoat to comeback from this and they had a couple of chances to take the game however solid defence from the Vandals and a poor decision to kick from one of their backs put pay to both these situations. Last play was called by the referee, who both teams agreed was probably one of the best they’ll have all season, and the old boy at 9 managed to scuff a kick to touch, rebound it off Cecil Holland and thank his lucky stars that the Hawcoat player knocked on bringing the game to a close with the final score 17-14 to the Vandals.

This was a hugely enjoyable game played in a tremendous spirit by both teams. It was a pleasure to welcome the Hawcoat Park boys and we look forward to the return fixture in February. I think they take the record for the away team who stayed at the club the longest, so we definitely thank them for that. Thanks to the excellent referee James Macefield and also to the spectators who I think were royally entertained by both teams.

A final thanks goes to the Vandals themselves who worked hard for the result but now go into a couple of weeks of hibernation with their next game being a friendly at Blackpool on the 18th November.

Click here for the excellent action photographs.

The team was: Damian King, Chris Cardwell, Gary Andrews, Ali Atkinson, Tom Godfrey, Jon Whitby, Richard Mason (c), Ben James, Phil Swindells, Richard Openshaw, Cecil Holland, Tony Rawlinson, Pete Acton, Toby Fulford-Brown, Frazer Swindells, Richard Todd, Adey Grey, Alex Grey, Mike Hewitson, Ethan Harvey, Jeavon Trend, Dillon Tomlinson, Sean Townsend

Playing EPD: Sean Townsend

Report: Phil Swindells

Photos: Richard Todd and Tom Pemberton