Fylde Vandals 39 Rochdale 3rds 15
The Vandals were the only team at home on Saturday so to everyone’s delight it was the main pitch for them and Rochdale for this return fixture from a couple of weeks ago. The EPD had seventeen Vandals at his disposal and with the pitch in tip top condition and the sun out the expectant crowd were hoping for some exciting and expansive rugby….
The team was laced with youth and experience with Alex Grey and Max Barrett joining their dads Adey and Tim in the pack and Charlie Cadley and Dan Jones drastically bringing the average age of the backs down.
The Vandals forwards started the game strongly with Charlie Cadley directing things well from scrum half. He linked up with Ben James and Richard Mason a good number of times and was a thorn in Rochdale’s side for pretty much the whole game. The first try came from more good work from the pack and it was Tim Barrett who ended up dropping over the line for the score. Minutes later he was denied a second as he grounded the ball in similar fashion against the base of the post protector only for the referee to adjudge a double movement.
The Carlisle Cannonball got the Vandals’ second try. The ball was spread across the backs and Gary Andrews found some space out wide and strode over the line in the corner. His reward was a 10 minute rest as the referee showed him a yellow card for launching the ball back to the late arriving Rochdale defender who tackled him as he scored.
Ben James was putting in another strong performance and grabbed the next Vandals’ try but Rochdale were competing well and were denied a couple of scoring opportunities by the usual good Vandals’ defence. As previously mentioned Charlie Cadley was having a great game and thoroughly deserved the next try as he outpaced the Rochdale defence to go under the posts unopposed. Dan Jones got in on the act next. He was a continual threat from fullback and linked up nicely with Charlie Cadley for his try.
There was drama all over the shop with about 15 minutes to go. Unfortunately a Rochdale prop had to retire from the proceedings and as a result the scrums became uncontested. It later transpired that after the game he needed an ambulance to take him to hospital for treatment. I don’t know exactly what happened but we wish him all the best and hope he’s not too badly injured.
Just after this the referee Tony Holt pulled a fetlock and was unable to continue with his officiating. Luckily however, one of the expectant crowd was ex-referee of this parish Simon Taylor who after a few minutes discussion donned a pair of ill-fitting shorts and someone’s spare boots and jogged on to the pitch with whistle and notebook in hand. He did a great job and we can’t thank him enough for doing this, it was just like he’d never been away.
The game was drawing to a close but there was just time for Ben James to make it a brace under the sticks. El Capitan, Richard Mason casually knocked the conversion over. The final score was 39-15 to the Vandals with two other two pointers being made by Sean Whiteside and Charlie Cadley respectively and young Cadz also slotting a penalty.
Thanks to Rochdale for the game we wish them all the best for their final effort next week. A huge thanks goes to all the boys who pulled on a Fylde shirt; it was an enjoyable game to watch with the Vandals playing their usual exciting mix of rugby giving them the deserved win. They now sit comfortably in 4th position in the league and depending on Clitheroe game next week and other results they could find themselves in the tiger country of third position come 5 o’clock next Saturday!! See you on the magic bus to Clitheroe next Saturday J
The team was – Tim Barrett, Chris Cardwell, Stuart Livesey, Adey Grey, Alex Grey, Richard Mason (c), Max Barrett, Ben James, Charlie Cadley, Sean Whiteside, Tony Rawlinson, Gary Andrews, Pete Acton, Sean Townsend, Dan Jones, Jev Trend, Mike Hewitson
Top Tackling EPD – Sean Townsend
Report and photos – Phil Swindells