Derby day defeat for the Vandals

Fylde Vandals 10 Preston Grasshoppers 4ths 29

Round 4 of the league campaign brought local friends and rivals ‘Hoppers 4ths  to the Woodlands and come kick-off time there was a pretty gusty wind blowing but at least the rain was keeping off. Both teams had healthy squad numbers so the scene was set for the drama that these derby’s usually bring.

‘Hoppers were out of the traps a little quicker than the Vandals and after giving the visitors a couple of soft penalties the Fylde boys found themselves a try down. Soft penalties was the story of the game for the Vandals and another try was soon scored by the team from big city. Mike Hewitson, playing in the engine room, picked up an injury fairly early on and this prompted a reshuffle for the home side. Mr Versatile Tony Rawlinson moved from 12 to 4, Paul Green moved from 10 to 12, Phil Swindells shifted one place out to 10 and Jon Green came on at 9.

In the first half both teams fell foul to the referee’s quick whistle, although he had warned everyone beforehand about killing the ball at the breakdown and also any high tackles. Hoppers’ wing saw yellow for not releasing the ball in the tackle and Paul Green for the Vandals copped the same colour card for a high tackle.

With half time approaching the Vandals got some good possession and move the ball across the backs. Winger Ethan Harvey in little space stepped inside the defender and reached out to dot down for a nice try. At the break it was 5 – 10 to ‘Hoppers.

The game settled into a pattern of penalty after penalty from both teams, but the Vandals by their own admission were serial offenders in the second period. This unfortunately gifted ‘Hoppers lots of possession and territory and inevitably this led to tries being scored. Their quick outside centre was a continual threat and grabbed a hat trick but the Vandals never say die attitude saw them attack at any given opportunity. The forwards being guided by the experienced Jon Green made good ground in the top corner. Phil Swindells was tackled short of the line but managed to pop the ball up to Adey Grey who, not to be outdone by the recent try scoring feats of his lad Alex, piled over for the score.

With little time left the game was brought to a close with ‘Hoppers taking the spoils 10 – 29. Congratulations to them for the win and thanks very much for the usual hard fought encounter. There were a good number of spectators from both clubs watching the game and I thank you all for that. A last thanks goes to the Vandals who know they let themselves down a little on the day but continue to work hard for each other Saturday after Saturday. 

There’s a couple of weeks off now with our next game at home to Rochdale 3rds on the 13th October. So enjoy your mini break and I’ll see you all soon

Click here for Jackie’s photos.

The team was – Tim Barrett, Chris Cardwell, Richard Todd, Mike Hewitson, Tom Godfrey, Rob King, Jack King, Ben James (c), Phil Swindells, Paul Green, Cecil Holland, Tony Rawlinson, Pete Acton, Ethan Harvey, Jack Jones, Adey Grey, Gary Andrews, Jon Green, Sean Townsend, Joe Morley, Sean Whiteside

EPD – Sean Townsend

Report – Phil Swindells

Photos – Jackie Nickson