Fylde Vandals 29 – 17 Ormskirk 2ndXV
After last week’s loss it was time for the Vandals to re-group and get back to winning ways. The skipper, Ali Atkinson was back along with last season’s skipper Ben James. We also welcomed back Stephan Kuhn from injury and returning Vandals, Jack Jones, Mike Hewitson and Gary Andrews. Former 1st teamer Dave Kirkby also joined the ranks as the EPC pulled together a squad of 24.
The returning skipper asked to put last week’s defeat behind us and get the season back on track. The team dutifully responded with a good start to the game, keeping the ball for the opening few minutes. After a period of controlled possession, the skipper got the first try of the day and the team were up and running. Jack Jones added the conversion.
After 15 minutes, Jon Whitby, still on cloud nine after Salford reached the Grand Final had an altercation with one of the opposition. Unfortunately, this resulted in a yellow card and ten minutes in the bin for Jon. Even with 14, the Vandals continued to control the game, a further try from Ben James put the Vandals up by 12 as the opposition struggled to get a foot hold in the match.
Unfortunately, a bang to the ribs brought Liam Sheedy’s afternoon to an end early with the dependable Damian King joining his son in the front row. With the Vandals on top, a further score seemed inevitable and the pack duly obliged. A fine driving line out was driven from 25 metres out with the maul being controlled throughout. Even when the opposition tried to illegally bring the maul, it did not stop the rampant pack, eventually Ben James got the ball down to make it 17-0. The first scoring was still not complete after some good hands from the backs saw Sam Smith go over, Jack Jones added the extras. 24 nil at the half.
At half-time the skipper re-iterated the need to keep things going and that Ormskirk were likely to come back in the second half. Further changes were needed as the side suffered further injuries, Andy Burgess got a knock to the ribs and was replaced by Dave Kirkby. Tony Rawlinson replaced Cecil Holland on the wing, Mike Hewitson replaced Richard Todd and Jack Worsley came on at scrum half with Iain Hollingsworth replacing Jack Jones at 10. The second half started in much the same vein as the first with the Vandals having good possession. After a fine break from Stuart Satchell, a willing runner all afternoon, the Vandals scored again with Alex Grey crashing over in the corner. An injury to the opposition resulted in the need to go to unopposed scrums, further changes were required as the Vandals suffered a flurry of injuries; Rob King, injuring his chest, Dave Kirkby his knee and Sam Smith his knee. On came Jon Whitby, refreshed from his earlier sin bin, the returning Gary Andrews also joined the fray together with Rafa Laverde in the back row and finally from the bench Hakan Ilhan.
The changes disrupted the flow and the Vandals started to give away penalties, this resulted in the opposition getting back into the game. A couple of quick scores brought the score back to 29 -12 and with 20 minutes left, the Vandals need to see the game out to secure the win. With 10 minutes left the referee gave the opposition a further debatable score, even they thought they had knocked it on in the act of scoring the try in the corner. 29-17. Some harsh words under the posts from the skipper, focussed the Vandals minds, back they came with Tony Rawlinson going close being driven out in the corner. The final whistle came and the Vandals were happy with their afternoon’s efforts, a win and back to third in the table.
A few battered and bruised bodies enjoyed a few beers in the clubhouse after the game, as Nigel and his staff looked after the lads with a tray of sandwiches. A few jugs of Guiness were consumed as the lads looked splendid in their Vandals attire.
The Vandals look forward to a well earned week off, before a trip to Hawcoat Park in the Cup.
Vandals squad for the day:
Liam Sheedy, Chris Cardwell, Rob King, Richard Todd, Ali Atkinson ©, Jon Whitby, Jack King, Ben James, Ian Hollingsworth, Jack Jones, Andy Burgess, Stephan Kuhn, Cecil Holland, Sam Smith, Stuart Satchell, Tony Rawlinson, Jack Worsley, Alex Grey, Damian King, Rafa Laverde, Mike Hewitson, Gary Andrews, Hakan Ilhan, Dave Kirkby,
Reporter/Touch Judge/Waterboy/Flag-Collector: Mark Worsley