The Vandals opener doesn’t quite go to plan

Fylde Vandals 24 Littleborough 3rds 33

Fylde Vandals were hoping to start the season with a bang but it didn’t quite happen for them against a game and committed Littleborough side. The EPC had put a good squad together containing both youth and experience and there was also to be a debut for new boy Liam Sheedy. Welcome to the Vandals Liam.

The Vandals started pretty well putting their usual heady mix of forward fun and back attacks to good use. Their first score was a bit of a trademark Vandals plan, get the ball into their opponents 22 win the lineout and trundle over the line. Jack Worsley was on the end of said plan but unfortunately the two pointer couldn’t be added. Their second try was a simple hands move across the backs with Adam Todd as the wide receiver and he pinned his ears back and headed for the corner. The cover was always struggling to get there legally and he could only high tackle young Toddy into touch a couple of metres from the line. The referee was left with no option to award a penalty try and of course there was no need to kick the conversion with the extras added automatically.

A third try came from the backs again but it was sent out to the right wing this time. Toby Fulford-Brown stepped outside his opposite winger and managed to get the ball to ground over the try line with the fullback wrapped round his waist. This time the wideish conversion was made by Old Man Swindells.

Littleborough were always an interested party in this game and the Vandals defence was tested a good few times during the first half. They grabbed a couple of tries with time to spare but the half ended with both teams still looking to gain control.

The visitors began the second stanza at a fair lick with their tricky young scrum half making good decisions and kicking for good territory from a few too many penalties given to them by the Vandals…yes that old chestnut again!!

The Fylde boys were their own worst enemies at times but things were also going against them on various occasions at the breakdown and tackle area. They needed to settle back into their patterns and get back doing what they do best, easier said than done though! Littleborough had some pace out wide and they used it to good effect opening up a bit of a lead. The Vandals worked their way back up field and from a quickly taken penalty Phil Swindells managed to get over the line for a score, unfortunately for the old’un the referee hadn’t seen the ball touch down and therefore couldn’t award the try.

With about five minutes to go and after Littleborough had scored another couple of tries, the Vandals needed one of their own and it came courtesy of some nice hands across the midfield, leaving Dave Porter to gallop over the line for the score. The conversion was missed but unfortunately for the home side with that the game was done.

Thanks to Littleborough for the game. It was a hard fought contest but there was also some good rugby played from both teams. All the best for the rest of the season and we’ll see you for the return fixture at the end of the April next year. Thanks to all the Vandals for turning out, we’ll put this one behind us and move onwards and upwards next Saturday, well to Clitheroe away at least.

Click here for Sarah’s photos.

Fylde Vandals – Rob King, Chris Cardwell, Damian King, Tom Godfrey, Ali Atkinson (c), Dave Porter, Jack Worsley, Ben James, Iain Hollingsworth, Phil Swindells, Cecil Holland, Stephan Kuhn, Tony Rawlinson, Toby Fulford-Brown, Adam Todd, Liam Sheedy, Jon Whitby, Richard Todd, Nathan Clegg

Management – The EPC Report – Phil Swindells Photos – Sarah Swindells