Nothing Little About Borough!
Spirited performance against a much larger opposition.
With a number of players unavailable for various reasons for both the 2nd and 3rd teams this week, Manager Buzza and 2s Captain Foden had their work cut out trying to keep both games on. Fortunately for the lads, both games went on as planned.
Despite the early selection headaches, the 15 lads who took to the pitch started the game thinking that the win was in sight as long as the played as hard and worked for each other. Unfortunately the writing was on the wall from the kick off, as Fleetwood ran the ball into play, only to be stripped by a Littleborough forward, which led to an early try for the visitors.
Only some last gasp tackling and handling errors stopped Fleetwood from conceding more points in the first half than they did. Littleborough continually punched holes in the home side's defence with their large forwards, to then shift it out to the back line once the gaps had been created.
Fleetwood did fightback and produce a sustained period of attack in the opposition's 22, but this came ultimately to nothing due to good defensive play by Littleborough. Mike Jackson did earn himself the Prestigious Dick of the Day award during this period though. Fleetwood had won the line out within Littleborough's 22 and had formed a driving maul. Jackson was at the back of this maul, and must have come down with a severe case of White Line Fever, as he put the ball down on the 5 metre line and proceeded to celebrate as if he had won the Six Nations.
Jackson didn't dwell on that mistake for long as he coolly slotted over a penalty to claw some points back. On the stroke of half time Fleet managed to get over the whitewash, as Jackson miss hit a penalty into touch, a wicked bounce allowed Nautical Student Jack Irwin to collect the ball and score from close range. Jackson with the conversion.
At half time the boys were still within two scores from being in a winning position. Words of encouragement were said and the boys started the 2nd half optimistically. Littleborough obviously didn't get the memo and came out all guns blazing and started to heavily put on the points against a tiring Fleetwood team.
Poor tackling and tired legs was Fleetwood's undoing in the 2nd half.
On a rare Fleetwood attack, Littleborough conceded penalty after penalty desperately trying to stop the home side scoring. Eventually after two high tackles on Pook and Foden on the try line, the referee gave the home side a penalty try. A late penalty from Jackson was the last of Fleetwood's input to the scoreline.
Final Score 20 - 54
Overall, it was hard to judge the team performance. This was the first time a lot of the lads had played with each other, clearly, more time is needed on the training pitch to gel as a unit. But there were flashes of good play.
The forwards showed passion with the likes of Jackson, Watson and Wood in the thick of it and Buzza with his trade mark bulldozing runs. The backs all showed heart and determination. Pearce picked out some good passes releasing his outside backs. Kirton was more than content tackling anyone that came near him with a fierce tenacity and Irwin looked dangerous anytime he had the ball in space and took his try well.
I would like to make a special mention for Ethan O'Hara and "Geordie" Dave Jackson who pulled double duty on Saturday, starting for the 3rd team and coming on for the 2s due to injuries.
Man of the Match was a difficult decision this week, mainly trying to separate two lads who both played out of their skins. So I have decided to name a joint Man/ Men of the Match award, going to Scrum Half Joe Kirton and Winger Jack Irwin.
15. Howe; 14. Betty; 13. Taziker; 12. Kerr; 11. Irwin; 10. Pearce; 9. Kirton; 1. Wood; 2. Pook; 3. Foden; 4. Watson; 5. Mitchell; 6. Heer; 7. Jackson M; 8. Buzza; 16. O'Hara; 17. Jackson D.