Fylde Vandals 5 – Leigh 3rdXV 45
After a sunshine start to the season, Autumn final arrived at the Woodlands on Saturday as the Vandals entertained Leigh 3rds. Unfortunately, quite a few regulars were unavailable (even the ever present Vandalettes), but notably this season’s skipper Ali Atkinson, but the EPC rallied the troops and a squad of 20 was assembled.
The Vandals welcomed newcomers, Andy Burgess and Nathan Heslop. Also, former second team player, Matt Gargett took his place in the side in the pivotal 10 role. Richard Todd took on the captain’s duties for the day and put the team through a rigorous warm up focussing on ball handling in the damp conditions.
In the first half the Vandals struggled to get out of their own half with the visitors continually putting the team under pressure. This resulted in some early tries. Max Barrett had to leave the field early due to a shoulder injury, replaced by Alex Grey making his first start of the season.
The Vandals quickly found themselves down 19-0, but for the final ten minutes of the half found a foot-hole in the game and started to exert some pressure on the opposition. When it looked like the Vandals were making a break an intercept from the opposition resulted in another 7-pointer. Questions about the legality of his position were raised under the posts, but the try stood. 26-0 at the break.
Words of wisdom were spoken at halftime by Toddy and the lads responded well, spending the first 15 minutes of the half camped in the opposition’s half. A quick tap penalty and some nice handling resulted in a score, with Sam Smith going over, unfortunately the conversion was missed. For large parts of the second half the Vandals were in the ascendency but some unlucky bounces of the ball resulted in three further scores for Leigh.
All in all, the score probably flattered the opposition, but in the true Vandal way, the lads never gave up trying. Thoughts move on to next week when we hope to have a few extra bodies available for this weekend’s home game against Ormskirk 2nds when the Vandals hope to get back to winning ways.
Vandals squad for the day:
Liam Sheedy, Chris Cardwell, Rob King, Richard Todd ©, Tony Rawlinson, Jack Worsley, Max Barrett, Andy Burgess, Ian Hollingsworth, Matt Gargett, Jack King, Sam Smith, Nathan Clegg, Nathan Heslop, Ethan Harvey, Alex Grey, Damian King, Toby Fulford-Brown, Cecil Holland, Hakan Ilhan
Reporter/Touch Judge/Waterboy/Flag-Collector: Mark Worsley