Vale of Lune 4ths 19 Fylde Vandals 25
It was a brilliant day for a game of rugby, clear blue sky with the sun shining. The only trouble was our game was to be the only one at Vale which could potentially mean something bad….we might be performing on one of the biggest playing surfaces in the country, the Vale main pitch! Did they want to keep it for next week though? The answer to that was no, we were on the big one. Ah well never mind it would give us chance to stretch our legs!!
The EPD had gathered a squad of twenty and Vale had a similar number so it was a good effort from both teams on that…although it was nearly a squad of sixteen for the Vandals as Ali Atkinson’s car battery decide to give up the ghost before setting off. This needed some attention but they made it and with time to spare too.
In the first half the Vandals played with the wind at the backs and they tried to use this to their advantage whenever they could. Once field position had been gained the forwards came into their own winning the ensuing first phases and piling the pressure on the Vale defence. The Vandals first try came from one of these first phases with good ball taken at a lineout. The ball was sent across the backs and Pete Acton strode through a gap to score to the right of the posts. Vale were working hard themselves and they played some good rugby, scoring a couple of tries to keep the game really interesting. Adey Grey picked up a knock and was replaced by Mike Hewitson
It was inevitable that someone from up front was to score and it was Richard Todd who duly obliged with a brace of scores in the first forty. They were pretty much identical in how they came about too, more good ball won and excellent control of the rolling mauls. Unfortunately none of the Vandals kicks were made.
There was a similar pattern to the play in the second half with the Vandals forwards dominating most set pieces. It didn’t quite happen for the backs though as indecision lead to a few errors at crucial times. The EPD decided now was the time to bring some of the bench on and see what sort of an impact could be made. Damian King came on for Richard Todd in the front row, Tom Godfrey took his turn on the flank after Jon Whitby had had an excellent 60 minutes of rugby and the Umbrian, Gary Andrews, replaced Pete Acton in the centre.
Vale were still striving for tries and managed to go over with about fifteen minutes to go. This spurred on the Vandals and the forwards again managed to get deep into the home side’s red zone. They rumbled forward and a try was the obvious outcome, however I’m struggling to remember who claimed it…..ok alright Tom we all know it was you, nice one Godders.
The Vandals still had tome to round off a good performance with a textbook score. They won a scrum just outside Vale’s 22m. Eight picked, nine drew the winger, fourteen scored the try and the fourteen was Tony Rawlinson. This turned out to be the last score of the day and as in the first half no kicks were made, it finished 19-25 to the Vandals.
This was a good hard game which both teams contributed hugely to. Vale played some good stuff and there was a good spirit and great banter throughout. Thanks to our hosts and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season. Thanks to all the Vandals who played, it’s always good to win on the road. The hospitality after the game was also great with a top notch shepherd’s pie and some nice Vale Ale to enjoy as we watched the Scotland/England game but we won’t mention that will we!!
There’s no game for us on the 3rd March so our next one is the friendly against a Kendal social team on the 10th. See you all for that. Unfortunately the camera is on its annual pilgrimage to Portugal with Mrs S so no photos from us this week.
The team was – Tim Barrett, Richard Mason (c), Richard Todd, Scottish Ali Atkinson, Adey Grey, Jon Whitby, Jack King, Ben James, Phil Swindells, Jack Jones, Max Barrett, Paul Green, Pete Acton, Tony Rawlinson, Sean Whiteside, Damian King, Tom Godfrey, Mike Hewitson, Gary Andrews, Sean Townsend
EPD – Sean Townsend
Report – Phil Swindells
Photo above courtesy of Vale of Lune RUFC