Fleetwood Take The Cake
Fleetwood 2s secure league double over Eccles!
There were some selection headaches this week with an abundance of players making themselves available. This was down to people getting days off work, no child care issues and written permission from their other halves. Or more likely, this had more to do with lads wanting to play local rivals Blackpool at home for the 3rd team. I'll guess we will never know though.
The 2s looked to take a strong team away with them to Eccles and looked for a good performance and scoreline. Unfortunately, The lads were delayed leaving Melbourne Avenue, due to a no show from Adam Kerr. This led to a last minute call up of Chris Betty.
Fleetwood arrived late and looked a bit shaky in the warm up. There were fears that this could have been a bad day at the office. Captain Foden spoke before the game, mentioning that the win was badly needed and that he didn't care if it had to come the ugly way and be grounded out.
Fortunately, the skipper's pre-match nerves were eased by an early try from Henry Stelfox. Fleetwood had lost the ball from the kick off, but soon won it back. Working the forwards up the pitch, to allow Fly Half Pearce to get into position and make his pass to Stelfox, who hit a beaut of a line, to burst over the white wash. Conversion missed. 0-5.
The home side took this well and immediately went on the attack, looking for retribution. They eased themselves up the picth with some big runners, winning a handful of (soft) penalties. The determined Fleetwood defensive line held firm not letting Eccles cross the line. So the home side had to settle for kicking the 3 points over. 3-5.
The game then opened up a little bit, with both sides pulling out the big guns, in a show to prove who was the better team. This resulted in a try for the visiting full back Swindlehurst. As he showed off his pace and took the back line out wide to score in the corner. Coversion missed 3-10.
The game was still evenly contested until the half hour mark, where Eccles had one of their better forwards sent to the bin for kneeing a Fleetwood player on the floor. The call was made, the lads did not finish the half without putting another score on the board.
That is exactly what happened. The forwards worked around the corner up the pitch on the left hand side. This drew the home defenders in. At the right time, the half back partnership of Kirton and Pearce called for it to go wide and it was a simple overlap for winger Birks (Yes, Joe caught the ball) to score in the opposite corner. Conversion Missed. 3-15.
More of the same was ordered, and that's what we got. Ben Langton used the off side advantage at the breakdown, to squeeze past his confused marker to score under the posts. Conversion Scored. 3-22.
The subs bench was emptied after that and fresh legs were brought on. Fleetwood continued to dominate all over the pitch. Ten metres out, Fleet were awarded a penalty. The resultant scrum pushed the Eccles lads over the try line to allow No. 8 Langton to earn his second try of the game. Conversion Scored. 3-29.
Things were looking good for Fleet, until the official decided he had seen some discrepancies in the away sides play and binned 3 players in quick succession. This meant that Fleetwood were down to 12 v 15 for near enough 10 minutes. This could of been disastrous, but Fleet show grit, determination and fortitude to hold on and not concede. Eccles had their chances, one was held up by excellence in defence and a second was butchered by a winger clean through, who juggled the ball until he dropped it. Fleet were still wining the scrum at 5 v 8, which led to Eccles having to give an early push, to get the jump on their numerically disadvantaged opponents.
After a brave ten minutes, Fleet were back up to full contingent and went back on the attack. Big carries in the forwards carried them towards the line, before Scavenger Pook picked the bones to score from close range. Conversion scored. 3-36.
Tries: Stelfox, Swindlehurst, Birks, Langton (2), Pook.
Conversions: Pearce (3)
All in all, a very good performance from the lads. Something we haven't seen much of this year, hunger and determination to finish teams off. The scrum functioned really well, the Forwards made themselves known around the pitch and the backs picked their moments to show how fast and how well the can pass when motivated.
Man of the Match
Tough one to call. Forwards, Langton and Holden (it's a shame that we haven't seen more of him this season) really stood out. And in the backs Pearce and Stelfox really did dominate proceedings. If you spoke to Reece Heer, he would tell you that this was his best game ever!
There will be no individual MOTM this week, it goes to the team for their efforts, you all well and truly earned your beer after the game.
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
Line outs: F
Hooking/ scrummaging: C
Scoring after his other forwards did all the work: A+
Being Dick of the Day: Always/ Standard
The Weekly Bad Sam Pook Joke
What do you call a Welshman in the World Cup final?!
15. Swindlehurst; 14. Birks; 13. Riedel; 12. Stelfox; 11. Hall; 10. Pearce; 9. Kirton; 1. Foden; 2. Pook; 3. Gregson; 4. Rocks; 5. Wood; 6. Heer; 7. Holden; 8. Langton; 16. Buzza; 17. Jeffrey; 18. Betty.
Next Week Fleetwood host West Park 2's at Melbourne Avenue. Kick Off 2.15pm, all welcome to come down and cheer on the lads.