Sale Sharks Div. 4 North Vale of Lune 4th XV 19 pts v 25 pts Fylde 4th XV

Vale XV.

!. Adam Bowskill  2. Danny Harper. 3 Paul Robert Peters. 4 Karl Hanson 5. Kris Bishop 6. Callum Steel 7. Dave Robinson 8. Paul Scott © 9. Dave Minikin 10. Dave Hughes 11. Nigel Jones 12. Jamie Antcliffe 13. Alex Batson 14. Ryan Busby 15. Aaron Melville 16. Danny Harper 17. Tom Summers 18. Noah Leigh 19. Stephen Eccleston 20. Joley Joel 21 Luigi Neandy.

Skipper Paul Scott, the most honest of Skippers and certainly the most respected, had approached our Honorary Groundsman Swazza, who preserves the green sward at it’s best even in the midst of the most severe weather, asking if the 4ths might enjoy the pleasure of playing on the wide open spaces of the Powderhouse Lane ground being the only side at home. Swazza readily agreed.

It’s got to be said that at 9.00a.m. the pitch was unplayable due to a hard frost overnight. By the K.O. time the pitch was in fact in perfect condition for the game to be played.

The Fylde players turned up and expressed some reservations, and looking at the size of the pitch were in awe that they might have to chase round what could be possibly the largest playing field in the country. Actually they did and were certainly fit enough to maintain their energy for the 80 minutes.

Both sides were playing genuine 4th XVs which in respect to the ethics of the Halbro North West Leagues was great to see. No team loading Gentlemen !!

The game kicked off in glorious sunshine, cold but a terrific day for Rugby. Our respected Referee for the day Mr. Mark Manning set the game in motion, he in fact controlled a most competitive game with understanding and kept the game flowing at all times.

Within 3 minutes a drive into the scoreboard corner saw Fylde penalised. Quick thinking scrum half Dave Minikin collected the ball and immediately moved it into the corner. It is good to see quick penalties being taken and the advantage gained from this move.A score wide out which goalkicker Ryan “buzzer” Busby converted comfortably.

From the resultant re-start Fylde stunned by the early adverse score, using their clear weight advantage took the game to the Vale line and swarming all over Vale scored after 12 minutes of play. The conversion failed 7 pts to 5 pts to Vale.

The Fylde XV were using driving lineout tactics effectively and at the 25 minute mark a powerful drive saw them cross the Vale line once again. The conversion failed. 10pts to 7 pts Fylde.

On 30 minutes Alex Batson went over after some quick thinking once again by scrum half Dave Minikin. 12 pts to 10 pts to Vale

The Vale side were having trouble containing the obvious difference in physique but stuck to the task hoping the Fylde side might tire. David Robinson was working hard to keep them at bay. Actually the Vale forwards were more than holding their own with front row forwards Adam Bowskill, Danny Harper and Paul Robert Peters comfortably holding their own in the close contact areas.

Karl Hansen and Kris Bishop equalling the size of the opposition forwards were grafting hard and were a formidable second row partnership. Karl Hansen left the field to be replaced by Tom Summers I’ve always though Tom had massive potential and today I was proved right.

The second half started with Fylde trailing 12 pts to 10 pts but after a series of powerful drives through the middle where their sizeable centre was causing problems for the Vales defence, ultimately they scored moving ahead of the Vale at 15pts to 12pts.

The Vale were back in the hunt, Dave Hughes suffering a knock had to leave the field but Paul “Scottie” Scott was using his replacements intelligently and switching the side effectively to allow energy levels to be maintained. The Vale threequarters as a group were tackling ferociously to keep the physical Fylde side at bay.

A forward drive produced a score for David Robinson, he was enjoying a great game again converted by Ryan Busby to take the score to 19pts to 15 pts to the Vale.

Now Vale needed to maintain their slim lead. Ryan Busby was proving elusive playing on the wing, a good player Ryan is !! Centres Jamie Antcliffe and Alex Batson were shoring up the middle although the Fylde centres were proving to be problematic. Evergreen Nigel Jones was playing well on the left wing. A great servant to this Vale side.

Eventually Skipper Scottie had used all his replacements, Noel Leigh, Stephen “Eccy” Eccleston, Joley Joel and Luigi Neander had taken their places on the field in an attempt to preserve the Vale sides lead. The input of this new energy was working.

The physical size of the Fylde side was proving difficult to control and eventually and after another huge forward drive they scored wide out to take the score to 20 pts to 19 pts.

In the closing minutes after another energy sapping drive they again scored to produce the winning score of 25pts to 19pts.

A game enjoyed by all, managed by Referee Mark Manning admirably. Was this Division 4 of the Halbro North West Leagues ??  After the dull, dreary, boring game from the evening before it was a pleasure to see a game such as this between two sides determined to play rugby in the manner it should be.

*** Gents if I have some names wrong please accept apologies.

 Apologies to Fylde if it might be a little Vale biased !!!!Vale Fylde 4 14 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 1 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 1 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 3 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 4 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 12 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 11 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 11 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 10 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 9 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 8 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 7 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 6 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 5 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 5 - jpg - [25/02/2018]Vale Fylde 4 13 - jpg - [25/02/2018]

Fred S.

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(Vale of Lune 4)
(Fylde 4)
Points 19 25
League Position 10 7