Match Report by Matthew Miles
Rain once again made life difficult for the home team particularly in a tightly contested first half against a formidable Fylde team.
It took a quarter of an hour for the hosts to break the deadlock. After concerted pressure, Jake bundled the ball over the try line to make it 7-0 after Will’s fine conversion.
However, Fylde responded immediately a minute later with a try of their own. Conversion missed. 7-5.
The first half continued to be a trading of blows. Shortly after one of the Fylde forwards was yellow carded, Woodie extended Manchester’s advantage on the 28 minute mark with a try resulting from good phase play (conversion missed). 12-5.
Again Fylde responded immediately. The visitors were showing a good degree of ruthlessness and levelled the match to make it 12-12 with a rampaging converted try.
As a pulsating first half drew to a close, Will eyed the opportunity to put Academy noses in front when the home team were awarded a penalty from just inside the Fylde half. The full back looked a fair distance out but the kick was never in doubt as it sailed between the uprights to make the score 15-12 at half time.
The second half saw Manchester gain a stranglehold on proceedings. Woodie, a second/back row by trade has recently found himself possessed by the spirit of a creative half back (as witnessed recently at Liverpool Collegiate) and that creativity was on hand once more as the forward come number 10 chipped a fine kick over the visitors defence for Mike A to sprint onto and touch down to make the score 20-12 (conversion missed).
The Manchester rugby was now flowing and on the 61 minute mark Ciaran Booth (one of 4 fine debutants) pierced a hole in the visitors defence to pile on another 5 points. Will slotted over the extras to make it 27-12.
Credit to Fylde though who weren’t to be out done, scoring their third try of the match late on to make the final score 27-17.
So a great start to 2016. More importantly, the squad is now starting to take shape with a number of new players joining and a few stalwarts returning after some absence. This can only bode well for the rest of the season.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!