Leyland Warriors 20 Fylde Vandals 3
2018 couldn’t have started any harder for Fylde’s Vandals as their first game of the year saw them take a trip to the runaway league leaders Leyland Warriors. The Management, or Sean Townsend as people generally call him, had assembled an eighteen strong squad that comprised of youth, experience and guaranteed commitment to the cause. Gary Andrews and Damian King continued their sojourns into the front row and it was great to welcome Jack King back into the Vandals fold.
Even though the pitch was softer than softest thing that came first in a soft contest it was obvious from the start that the Warriors were keen to spread the ball to their mainly young and very pacey backs but the Vandals defensive line was good…most of the time. The home side were first to trouble the scorers as their kicker slotted a penalty and this was quickly followed up by nicely taken try.
The Vandals forwards were immense, taking great ball in the line and making many, many metres from the ensuing rolling mauls. The Warriors gave a penalty away on one such occasion and this was duly hoofed over the crossbar by Frazer Swindells making it 10-3 at the break.
The Fylde boys had a low sun in their eyes throughout the second half but they did their outmost to put pressure on the Warriors with both forwards and backs making good progress at a variety of times. But with great power comes great responsibility and in their efforts to get back into the game the Vandals slipped a few tackles allowing the Warriors aforementioned speedsters to score a couple of good tries.
The Vandals did get over the Warriors try line but the ball was deemed to be held up by the referee although several of the defence were heard to say that it was a good score. Such is life and as the game came to close with the score 20-3 to the Leyland outfit, Vandals Skipper Ben James was effusive and enthusiastic with praise in the after match huddle and they left the pitch with their heads held high, looking forward to next week’s home encounter with Leigh.
Leyland Warriors are a very good side and thoroughly deserve their no. 1 status in our league. Good luck to them for the rest of the season, I have no doubt they will go on to be champions and more than likely do well in North 3 next season.
Thanks very much to all the Vandals players for their gutsy performance in a very hard fought contest and also to the handful of speccies who watched from the sideline, I’ll see everyone next week at the Woodlands for the Leigh game.
The team was – Damian King, Chris Cardwell, Gary Andrews, Ali Atkinson, Mike Hewitson, Jon Whitby, Tom Godfrey, Ben James (c), Gareth Johnson, Phil Swindells, Cecil Holland, Tony Rawlinson, Jack King, Max Barrett, Frazer Swindells, Adey Grey, Toby Fulford-Brown, Sean Townsend
Non-playing EPD – Sean Townsend
Report – Phil Swindells
Photos – Sarah Swindells