Leigh 3rds 24 Fylde Vandals 14

Injuries and unavailabilities left the EPD with far fewer to call upon for the trip to Leigh 3rds. Sixteen Vandals replied positively to the boss’s email and it also meant that Gary Andrews stepped up for another one of his occasional forays into the front row. He joined another prop convert in Damian King and hooker Chris Cardwell up front. Captain for the day Ali Atkinson and Adey Grey provided plenty of beef in the row, try machine Tom Godfrey joined Rob King on the edges and Dave Porter started at eight. Although Dave replied positively to the EPD, he had failed on the fairly crucial point of looking to see where we were actually playing. “I knew it began with L” he said when he eventually showed up after taking a trip to Lymm RUFC!!

Ethan Harvey stepped back into the inside half role and Phil Swindells was outside him. Jack King loves playing centre which is a good job because that’s the shirt he was asked to wear and Tony Rawlinson made up the midfield alongside him. There was a Vandals’ debut on the left wing for the usual Skipper’s brother-in-law Royston Mould and the EPD reprised his role on the right. Adam Todd was the last line of defence and Hakan Ilhan was the cover for everybody.

Dave Porter was the first to trouble the scorers after another one of those trademark Vandal rolling mauls. They really are a lethal weapon with pretty much no-one being able to stop them…legally! Phil Swindells added the extras. Leigh came back strongly using their big, bulky runners to good effect. They actually went a couple of scores up but the Vandals were working hard to create scoring opportunities, unfortunately they just couldn’t finish off the chances they made. The wind was a bit of a leveller but both teams played some good rugby meaning that come the second period both were heavily in the contest.

Leigh grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and opened up a three try lead but the message from Captain Atkinson was that the game was still there to be won, once we had the ball we needed to not panic and give dodgy 50/50 passes risking the possession we’d worked so hard to gain. The effort was tremendous, the commitment was undoubted but it didn’t quite happen for the Vandals but just as the excellent referee was about to blow up for time Jack King scored the try that the Vandals had worked so hard for. He broke through a tackle in Leigh’s 22 and dotted down under the posts and with the last kick of a decent afternoon’s rugby from all involved the aging Vandals’ 10 dinked the conversion over for a final score 24-14 to Leigh.

This was an enjoyable game but it’s well done to Leigh and we wish them all the best for their last few games of this season. Thanks also to the super sixteen who made the trip to Leigh and Lymm and a final thanks goes to the massed ranks of our support on the day…cheers Toddy and Mrs S 🙂

 The Vandals take a break from league action next Saturday but I’m sure more than a few will be involved in the round robin affair we have going on as social sides form Kendal and Stafford visit the Woodlands. It should be a cracking pre-cursor to the Calcutta Cup match later on! 

Click here for Sarah’s photos

Fylde Vandals – Damian King, Chris Cardwell, Gary Andrews, Ali Atkinson (c), Adey Grey, Tom Godfrey, Rob King, Dave Porter, Ethan Harvey, Phil Swindells, Royston Mould, Jack King, Tony Rawlinson, Sean Townsend, Adam Todd, Hakan Ilhan

EPD – Sean Townsend

Report – Phil Swindells

Photos – Sarah Swindells