Back to winning ways!
Fleetwood welcomed Silloth to Melbourne Avenue on a bright sunny afternoon and were looking forward to an afternoon of open running rugby.
Following some big selection problems Fleet fielded a strong side and immediately went on the offensive with the forwards punching holes in the visitors defence, Pete Benny and Scott Richardson leading the way before a penalty was awarded to the hosts which Scott dispatched for 3-0. Fleet continued to attack and following strong carries from player-coach Woodburn, Scott Richardson raced in for a try which he converted for a 10-0 lead. Pete Benny continued to run strongly at the opposition as did James Torkington and Rob Brookfield. Fleet were then forced to defend for a while before good work from Benny and Karl Bowling led to a try by Owen Brown, converted by Scott Richardson for a 17-0 lead. Scotty soon added another penalty to take the lead to 20-0. The visitors were now struggling for ideas and invariably kicked the ball downfield to gain territory. Mostly however these kicks found full-back Jack Crompton who was eager to run the ball back and link up with his wingers Kris Phillips and Brad Stapleton. Centres Ali Cheal and Owen Brown ran strongly and put pressure on the visitors’ back line. Shortly before half-time the combination of Woodburn-Torkington-Richardson led to a well-deserved try for the evergreen Paul Bamber to race in the corner. 25-0.
Strong words from the coach at half-time and the introduction of fresh legs in the shape of Chris Jones, George Orrie and Mike Kelly allowed Fleetwood to continue with their intensity. Immediately on the attack the forwards secured good ball before Scott Richardson put a clever grubber kick in the corner for Kris Phillips to pounce on and score. 30-0. Only a few minutes later Fleet once again attacked and the impressive Rob Brookfield finished off the move with a cheeky dummy and try under the sticks, converted by Richardson, 37-0. Fleetwood were by now rampant and had the lions’ share of possession. Karl Bowling made a fine individual break and added 5 more points to the tally. At this stage Woodburn and skipper Ricky Newton came off for a well-deserved rest with youngster George Orrie moving into the pack. During this spell Silloth managed to create a try of their own with their left winger going over in the corner after a number penalties and 5 metre scrums, reducing the deficit to 44-7. The visitors were beginning to tire by now however and following a well-taken line-out the ball was fed to the ever-impressive Brad Stapleton who burst through a number of would-be tacklers to go over for a good try. Woodburn and Newton came back into the action for the last 10 minutes and after a flowing movement between backs and forwards Woodburn found himself in space under the posts after good work from Crompton, Phillips and Richardson. Conversion by Scotty 56-7. Fleetwood continued to dominate proceedings and 2 further tries were added through Brad Stapleton and Kris Phillips, both ending up with a brace apiece. Scott Richardson finished with a personal tally of 23 points with 1 try, 2 penalties and 6 conversions.
An excellent all-round performance albeit against a team who are faced with relegation . We wish them a speedy return to NLC rugby and thank them for their spirited performance.
The pack won a constant supply of ball with Woodburn leading from the front, ably supported by the excellent James Torkington and ever-present Rob Brookfield. The backs enjoyed their opportunity to run at spaces with young Karl Bowling being awarded man of the match honours for his distribution and all-round contribution, reluctantly taking on the traditional beer race with his opposing nominee, the visitors full-back. Ali Cheal and Owen Brown formed a formidable partnership in the centres before the latter was forced off the field with a hamstring injury. Skipper Ricky Newton enjoyed the afternoon despite being unable to get onto the score sheet himself (this season) although he could be proud of his contribution to the team effort.
Next Saturday sees a tough challenge with a visit to league leaders Carlisle but the lads are in no mood to lie down with a number of players knocking on the door to establish their places in the starting line up.
Report by Ian Cameron