Kirkys 2nd XV Grind out Vital Win
By Roger Holmes
Good going at Littlemoor
After a few weeks break with international matches and water logged pitches , the sky cleared & the the drains worked better than anyone could could of hoped. Up until the eleventh hour numbers looked limited but with a couple of unannounced late arrivals a strong squad assembled to ravish the kit bag.
With the maroons opting to receive the kick at the bottom of the hill with the sun and breeze to their backs , they were underway. What the pack lacked in mobility was more than made up for with the wealth of experience and raw power. Both of which were put to the test early on with the big runners taking in ball and winning rucks and every time Connor White back at 9 whipping the ball through the backs to his brother Sam back from injury or to Token - so keen to be back on the field after his time away, the brakes on the car he had acquired for the day were glowing cherry red as he screeched into the car park.
The lines being run by the backs was to cause Fylde problems all afternoon; one such run from the returning Mike Floyd having a bash at outside centre made ground Connor White brought the ball right from the breakdown, soft hands from Matty Probert sailed the ball on to Sam White who went on a trademark jink and jive. As the defence followed, Sam dropped the ball in Peter ' wombat' Mitchell's [pic] hands, who with his usual style rolled between defenders, then as the fear set in realising he was on the 22 with a free run to the line ! A gasp of air, head down and he was off. Legs filling fast with lactic acid & the full can of freeze spray starting to wear off. Meanwhile Sam was jogging on his shoulder giving encouragement . 2 meters out legs failing gasping for air. A lunge? A trip? It didn't matter, as momentum carried the the hooker over the line. Token added the extras . 7 points on the board ten mins on the clock , now to keep out Fylde. For the next five mins the defence held but only to slip up allowing the visitors to level the scores.
From the restart Fylde took the option of running the ball back at the maroon pack who bundled the poor flanker straight to touch. Line outs were not going to be an easy affair with the only option being the youthful energetic pod of : Roger Holmes, Andrew Tubber Thornber and chairman Bob Wilkinson. (with the later needing to tweek the timings of his jumps) but the ball was collected at the back by John Bank who broke the line, popping off the ball to the trundling skipper who did his best impression of a fat lad in a washing machine in order to place the ball for Connor , who hit Token running hard who missed one hitting Sam with the long pass, Sam pinned his ears and went for broke barrelling through the Fylde winger on his way to the line; no extras this time.
A lapse in concentration saw Fylde run two phases and score bringing the first half to an end the score 12-12
No changes were made at the half and with barely five mins on the clock Token again combined with Sam who seemed to run through defenders for fun to touch down under the posts token added the extras.
A dropped ball at the restart allowed Fylde back inside the maroon 22 and again crossed the whitewash no extras added.
A couple of changes saw big Geoff Williamson in his 400th season take to the field with enough tape to resemble robocop, and Miles Sharples forced out of retirement to replace Matt Probert, left just Simon Gretton to replace Phil 'Forrest' Winstanly to see out the game, or so the story goes !
With the score 19-17 in the maroons favour and 18 mins on the clock Fylde were not beaten yet and with the maroon defence having a snooze and tempers starting to show as Fylde crossed the whitewash again and added the extras.
Words were had under the posts, the forwards gathered on the left ready for the charge at the restart but McMahon had a little something up his sleeve and dinged a grubber right catching both packs off guard, the maroon pack reacted first lurched into gear and charged down the hill, a fair sight on a good day let alone with the full weight of the slope behind them, by the time they reached the breakdown were already at a full head of steam when the first arrivals collided with the winger and full back both were skittled cleanly and with venom and while the pack was still asserting its dominance Conner had fed Miles who stepped one fed McMahon and with 2 Fylde forwards to beat stepped left switching to Sam who not even in 2nd gear scampered home, for Token to grab the extras.
A couple more forced changes John Bank back on for Tubber with a pulled calf and Forrest for Mike Floyd with a cramp issue, even with the reshuffle in the pack the dominance of the scrum with the skipper now at loose head was not really in much doubt.
The maroons obviously thinking the game was over waited for the whistle which never came at the breakdown while the ref played advantage and Fylde fed the winger who scampered home unchallenged no extras, so 3 mins left 26-29 to the visitors.
It was heads down and graft if defeat was to be avoided - and graft they did. The tackles hard, the clear outs big, phase after phase grinding the yards.
Connor to McMahon missed one to robo Geoff , the secret centre, stepped left - stepped right - fixed the defence and set a beautifully weighted pass to Sam - afterburners lit and away rode the first tackle handed off the second, the full back came went low to soon as Sam little pop to Connor on his shoulder who squealed all the way under the posts but thought better of trying the swan dive. Token again with the extras.
The ball gathered at the restart Happy Pete Farnsworth leading the charge Matt Mitchell and chairman Bob combining for the clear out the ball whipped out left runners making ground ruck won,last play said the ref ball out wide and Forrest with white line fever was going to give it a go ! But thankfully listened to his screaming team mates to put it out and with it bringing the final whistle 33-29 to the maroons.
Report by KK
A great game for the casual observer where both teams contributed to an excellent game. Thanks to the Fylde lads for a tough game.
A tough physical encounter but a much needed win to bolster the maroons safety in 4 North in what is a tightly contested league this season, with the momentum swinging back to the Littlemoor men hopes will be high for the Preston Grasshoppers visit next week .