League Status Confirmed In Thriller
Gritty Comeback Secures Victory For Fleetwood 2's!
Fleetwood went into the game in good spirits, as they knew a win would secure their league status for the next campaign. Unfortunately, there were some hitches to plan, as the club pitches were declared unplayable due to heavy rain and switch to King George's was made.
With Kieron Taziker stuck with work commitments and a no showing Luke Mitchell the 2's were forced to reshuffle the deck, leading to a Simon Kilburn call up last minute.
Fleetwood took the kick off and looked to dominate the early proceedings. This wasn't the case as Vale returned the ball, slipped through some tackles to score out wide. Conversion missed. 0-5.
This appeared to be the wake up call the home side needed, as they started to kick into gear, making the runs, making their tackles and supporting the breakdown. After teasing the supporters on the sidelines and being within whiskers of the white line, Fleetwood finally got on the score board as debuting colt Hargreaves spotted a gap and managed to stretch his arm over the line to place the ball. Conversion missed. 5-5.
Fleet looked to take advantage of the momentum, but again were caught off guard with several missed tackles. This allowed Vale to score and to take the lead again. Conversion missed. 5-10.
Fleetwood responded in kind with some bone crunching runs from the forwards, which allowed Scottish Giant Buzza to waltz through the defence to score in the corner. Conversion missed. 10-10.
The confidence was growing as Fleet looked to start to get going properly. On the stroke of half time, after good hard yards earned by his fellow forwards, Hooker Pook picked the bones to score his try. Conversion Missed. 15-10.
The Halftime team talk was a simple one, up the defensive work rate and keep going forward in attack to create the opportunities. We're not entirely sure what the Vale team talk was or what they had in their water bottles, but they came all guns blazing trying to put Fleet to bed early on.
They started well, with a reshuffle in the backs, a speedy winger got the ball, rounded several players to loop back around to score under the posts. Conversion Scored. 15-17.
Fleetwood suffered from another breakaway try, which was also converted, things started to look ominous. 15-24.
Fortunately, the official spotted an infringement made by the opposition, which led to one of their forwards taking a ten minute break in the bin.
Fleet used this time wisely as Tom Evans broke away to score. Conversion missed. 20-24.
The numbers advantage in the forwards started to show as big carries from McCann and Barnes carried the home team up the pitch. Fleetwood using lots of scrum options at the penalty, due to dominating the set play all afternoon. From the scrum the ball went wide, to where it found Full Back Ant Clarke, who boshed two lads as he got himself over the white line. Conversion missed. 25-24.
Fleetwood completed the comeback in the dying minutes of the game, as Evans managed to wrestle himself to the ground to score his second. Conversion missed. 30-24.
Vale knocked on and a scrum was declared as last play. All Fleetwood had to do was win the scrum and kick it out of play. First objective was completed, the kick was spooned, but would have bounced in to touch. Simon Kilburn Earned himself the 'Prestigious' Dick of the Day award for being offside from the kick, catching the ball and sprinting the 20 metres to the try line thinking he had won the game in style, in reality, he had caused another 5 minutes of defence.
Tries: Hargreaves; Buzza; Pook; Evans (2); Clarke.
Two wins in a row for the second team and for the first time this calendar year. It was a hard fought victory in the end, with a lot credit going to the 3 colts making their 2nd team debuts, Keane McCann, Ryan Hargreaves and James Amor, with Joe Crompton making his first start in a 2s shirt.
Man of the Match
Bit of a difficult one to call really, the aforementioned colts all played their parts well, Buzza made some big runs, Barnes used his experience to mentor the younger lads whilst putting a shift in and Pearce, Evans and Jones stood out in the backs. But this week it goes to Ant Clarke, simply just being everywhere on the pitch, making some good runs, tackles, cover work and showing great strength to score his try.
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
Sam took the credit for his forwards hard work today, bagging a try. Assured in the scrums, lineouts still a little iffy though. Didn't make as many "jokes" as usually, which is a blessing.
Squad: 15. Clarke; 14. Bowker; 13. Jones; 12. Evans; 11. Bowker; 10. Pearce; 9. Crompton; 1. O'Hara; 2. Pook; 3. Foden; 4. McCann; 5. Buzza; 6. Barnes; 7. Hargreaves; 8. Amor; 16. Wood; 17. Kilburn.
Next Week the second string finish off their away games, with a trip to Salford to play De La Salle.