Fylde U13 welcomed Huddersfield, Broughton Park and old friends Durham to a mini tournament on Sunday. Huddersfield and Durham came to the club on Saturday night and it was evident that they had brought some big lads. One of the Huddersfield coaches was certainly brimming with confidence.
Broughton Park were first up for the Fylde lads and they were an unknown quantity, a huge pack of forwards and the sharpest winger seen all day. Fylde were lazy in contact and lacked any cohesion up front and the score line of 9-2 flattered us. Every credit to the backline of James Stacey, Reece Godfrey, Tom O’Hara and Reece Henderson who worked some eye-catching tries.
Huddersfield and Durham had drawn a full-blooded encounter and the Fylde boys would have to up their game if they were to win this Battle of the Roses encounter. The pack transformed itself, Cameron McIntyre and Max Senior led several raiding parties with Iestyn Facey charging around like an angry wild boar. The front row of John Murray, Edward Thompson and George Foulds ensured a solid scrum and a couple of turnovers giving the scrumhalf Ollie Greenwood a dream ride as he fed the backline with long range accurate passing. Wills Gut and Harry Tomlinson on the wings opened their accounts and the entire squad’s support play was faultless. Luke Rae’s second and third phase link play saw the Fylde lads stretch tiring opponents across the first team pitch. Perhaps the first half was the best we had played all season making the final score 8-1 to the Lancastrians.
The final game was against Durham who had a no-nonsense game plan of big runners going straight. Fortunately, for Fylde, they ran straight into the gruesome twosome of McIntyre and Senior. Luka Mihel came on at 8 and had his most effective game of the season. Dan Cowburn and Saif Amr won a tighthead under our posts to keep the visitors scoreless. Finn Clough, new lad, managed to stretch his legs on a couple of rangy runs and Jake Shaw maintained a solid defensive effort. The backs finished with, yet another free flowing try and they all looked dangerous, sensational moving of the ball before contact brought well earned praise from parents and coaches alike. Tom O’Hara was awarded the man of the match trophy by Durham and rightly so – he had been outrageously good all day; it could have easily gone to Godfrey or Stacey.
So, 3 games played 27 tries scored and only 3 conceded, a superb squad performance.
A few thankyous must go out. To the touring teams and a worthy mention of Broughton Park who improved as the tournament went on. Ben Godfrey for refereeing in a decent pair of shorts. Clint Rae for keeping up with counting the scores. Nigel Wild and his team for their warm hospitality and Simon Greenwood for organising it all. A splendid day of proper rugby.
Report by Graeme McIntyre.