Fylde Vandals 14 Blackpool 34
Saturday’s game was all about one man, Ed Parlour, who sadly passed away last year. Ed was a much loved coach and clubman of Blackpool RUFC and this memorial match between the Vandals and Blackpool was arranged by his son Chris who is the present 1st team captain at Blackpool. The Vandals accepted the invitation without hesitation.
Unfortunately the Vandals squad was a little depleted by a good number unavailabilities and injuries so 12 men strong and true arrived at Blackpool keen and eager to play. Luckily and in the nick of time a couple of lads from further up the coast answered a late call and John Jeffrey and Chris from Fleetwood RUFC we thank you very much. Blackpool kindly lent us a player for each half to fill the final empty spot and it was game on.
Blackpool have improved massively over the last year or so and they certainly took the game to the Vandals in the first quarter. They had some very willing and strong runners who certainly tested the defence of the Vandals on numerous occasions. It held out for a while but Blackpool’s pressure eventually told as they ran in a couple of tries. The Vandals backs had some good runs but Blackpool with the wind behind them kept the Fylde boys pinned back in their own half for long periods of the 1st half and were deserved leaders at the break.
The Vandals got back into it in the 2nd period and scored a couple of tries of their own with Big Chris from Fleetwood laying all asunder as he barrelled over the line from a penalty 10 or 15 metres out. Their second try was straight off the training pitch, the old man at 9 passed the ball to Jack Jones who fizzed the ball passed Jev Trend’s head. Pete Acton at outside centre bent down to try to gather the ball but somehow managed to grubber it through the defensive line, he followed it up to touch down to right of the posts, silky skills for sure! Frazer Swindells added both extras nicely.
This was as close as the Vandals got to Blackpool’s lead and the home team actually finished the game off in style with a couple more tries, adding the kicks too. After one of these a quick restart looked like the order of the day so the scrummy ‘sprinted’ up to take the dropout and catch Blackpool napping. Unfortunately he managed to kick the ground before the ball and the egg didn’t even make it over the 10m line! Scrum back on the halfway, Blackpool ball … doh!! Blackpool still had time to grab another try but soon after that the referee, Marcus Pinnington, blew for the end of the game with Blackpool taking it 34-14.
This was a great game which was quite rightly played in a fantastic spirit, thanks very much to the Vandals players for turning out. Also a huge thanks goes to John Jeffrey and Chris from Fleetwood and Callum and Martin from Blackpool for pulling on Fylde shirts too. I’d also like to thanks Marcus for reffing in fine style. A final thanks goes to Chris Parlour for asking us to play in this hugely important game for Blackpool RUFC. It was an honour to be there and remember a great bloke.
After the game there was beer and food a plenty, a raffle in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and fantastic live music supplied by an old mate of mine from days gone by in Blackpool’s 1st team, John Carroll. Got to just add we did ok in the raffle, well two of us did – Jon Whitby won a bottle of whisky and I won a signed Sale Sharks shirt and a pick up and trip in a limousine. Got to be in it to win it as they say!
Good luck to Blackpool for the rest of the season. I’m sure you’ll go on to win the league and then hopefully we’ll meet again next season. The Vandals return to league action next week as they take a trip up the M6 to play Vale of Lune 4ths.
The team was: George Hunt, Gary Andrews, Chris from Fleetwood, Tony Tawlinson, John Jeffrey from Fleetwood, Damian King, Jon Whitby, Richard Todd, Phil Swindells, Jack Jones, Callum/ Martin from Blackpool, Jev Trend (c), Pete Acton, Sean Townsend, Frazer Swindells
Playing EPD: Sean Townsend
Report: Phil Swindells