Eagles winged but not downed
This week it was Fleetwood's turn to host Leyland at Melbourne Ave.
With both teams fielding a full squad plus subs for the first time, it was sure to be a good competitive match. There were a few bewildered faces when both coaches agreed to a full 80 minute match, contested scrums and lifting in the line out, again new territory for both teams.
In front of a good group of vocal supporters, Fleetwood started a bit slow as usual and soon were under pressure from a well drilled pack. On two occasions, Leyland broke away to score- none were converted. So Fleetwood, now 10-0 down needed to up their game. A good team talk from flanker Sarah Raynor, soon got their momentum back. The forwards Emma Gray, Steph Franklin, Katie Mist, Ashleigh Hughes, Nicky Berry, Laura Dorning, Sarah Raynor and Steph Goodwin worked well to connect with the backs and were rewarded with a try from Phoebe Partington which was converted by No15 Gemma Prestwich . (10-7). Not long after, the same tactics paid off to send Elaine Greenhalgh on a blistering run up the wing to score under the sticks. Try not converted, score 10-12 Half time.
Now in the second half, Leyland upped their game play, scoring three quick tries in succession, none of which were converted. Fleetwood were now 27-12 down. A nasty head injury to Fleetwood's full back, meant her game was now over and sub Emma Dobson came on to take her place. Spurred on by the loss of their teammate, Fleetwood regrouped and applied pressure to the Leyland pack, soon to see Number 10, Hannah Walsh, push over the line for Fleetwood's third try. Not converted 27-17. Now with only a few minutes remaining, Fleetwood dug deep, with a never give up philosophy, scrum half Sue Anslow played the ball out to Emma Gardner, for a battling ram run to give Fleetwood their fourth try, not converted. So the final score Fleetwood 22 - Leyland 27.
Well done to all the girls involved. A magnificent effort and a great game to watch. Special mention to 'Player of the Match' for Fleetwood, Number 5, Ashleigh Hughes. A very well fought match by both teams was rewarded in the club house by one of Kev's famous sunday roasts.
Report by Paul Stapleton