6th Time The Charm
They've only gone and done it!
It was a wet and wild day, as the Green & Gold's second string looked for that elusive first win. Things didn't not start as planned with Centre Kerr no showing the game, Fleet were left to readjust and call up Kieron Taziker from the 3s at the last minute.
With the news that Eccles could only muster 14, the boys starting writing headlines of cricket scores in their heads. This caused a lack of focus, which allowed Eccles to stay competitive and Fleetwood giving away silly and in some cases nonsensical penalties. The official making some questionable calls for both sides, leaving both captains a little confused and annoyed.
After long spell of dominance in open play and at the scrum, the forwards got their just rewards, as Mike Jackson smashed over the white wash for a well worked team try. Conversion missed.
Fleetwood couldn't believe their luck when Stelfox twisted and pirouetted his way over the try line from a tap penalty. Scoring twice in the first half has been unheard of this season. Conversion missed.
The boys started to get a bit cocky and the penalty count started to mount up. Which in turn allowed Eccles to score a converted try and a penalty to even up the scores at half time.
HT 10 - 10
The ref had a quiet word with Fleetwood at half time, saying the next penalty offence would end in a yellow card. Unfortunately, shortly after the kick off, Eccle's big burly prop got the ball and went on a trundle, only for Stelfox to take him to the ground by his legs. Text book stuff. But the official decreed that it had been a "Chop Block" and had dropped him on his head. Both teams were in agreement that no offence had taken place.
Regardless the two teams were now at equal numbers. This only spurred Fleetwood on more to grind out the win. Countless pick and goes from the home sides forwards led to full Back Haigh getting the ball in space only being stopped shortly before the whitewash. Skipper Foden picked the ball up and manged to wrestle himself over the line to score. Conversion scored.
During this time Eccles lost another man bringing themselves down to 13. But it wouldn't of shown by the amount of effort they were putting in. As they scored a further two tries to bring the game within 2 points during the second half.
Ben Swindlehurst making his Home debut made a tremendous break down the right wing, missing with his boot, (It caught his knee) he raced down the line showing his footballing skills only to pick it up an score. Conversion Missed.
From here, the backs started expressing themselves leading to Chris Jones bulldozing his way over the try line. Owen Christiansen completed the scoring after a bit of a solo run. Both conversions missed.
FT 34 - 20
Despite the weather, Fleetwood looked dangerous in spells and got the win they deserved in the end. The forwards dominated the scrum and the backs really started clicking and making things happen as the game drew to a close.
The core team is really starting to gel now and the new nautical lads have not just bolstered numbers, they are improving the quality of the squad.
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
To be fair to Sam, he had a fairly decent game, didn't lose a scrum, won many against the head. Line out throws could certainly still improve (Please come down on Tuesdays and Thursdays). He did promise to be quiet this week, but a few really bad jokes did creep out.
Man of the Match
MOTM this week goes to Bob Barnes. This for the amount of graft that he gets through on a Saturday afternoon, ferocious tackling and generally being able to rally the lads and mentor the younger players throughout the game.
Please keep the efforts up lads. No game this week. Next fixture is away at West Park. Let the winning streak commence!
Squad: 15. Haigh; 14. Betty; 13. Hall; 12. Jones; 11. Swindlehurst; 10. Christiansen; 9. Kirton; 1. Wood; 2. Pook; 3. Foden 4. Rocks; 5. Watson; 6. Stelfox; 7. Barnes; 8. Jackson; 16. Gregson; 17. Taziker; 18. Hearne.