Fylde U'16s reach Lancashire Final
Fylde U16s have reached the finals the Lancashire Junior Rugby Challenge to be played at Fylde on Sunday 30th April.
In the group stage of the competition, Fylde won every one of their games, beating Preston Grasshoppers, Sefton, Vale of Lune, Ormskirk, and Rossendale.
The Quarter Final match against Heaton Moor (away) was played in cold, torrential rain, on a deteriorating pitch. After 29 minutes, with the score Heaton Moor 0–17 Fylde, the referee rightly halted the match for safety reasons, when a Heaton Moor player turned his ankle badly in muddy conditions. The replay was played at Fylde on 23rd March and despite Heaton Moor scoring first, Fylde showed resilience and team work to fight back and win the match (Fylde 35-17 Heaton Moor).
The Semi Final against Rochdale, played at Fylde was a bruising match. Rochdale’s big, strong runners challenged Fylde throughout the match, scoring within the first few minutes, and by half time, Fylde were 7-12 down. Fylde’s momentum stuttered in the first half making a number of forced changes due to various injuries. However, in the 2nd half, and with several players in unfamiliar positions, Fylde began to take back control of the game. The turning point was a Fylde attack down the right flank which when halted by Rochdale, quickly turned into a mini-maul to drive over the line to score the try that levelled the score. Fylde then scored 2 further tries to close out the match at 24-12 to Fylde.
So, Fylde U16s’ final match of season – the final match of the players’ mini junior career at Fylde – will be the JRC Final at Fylde on Sunday 30th April against either Manchester or Southport. If the players continue to play with the heart and team spirit they have shown in the last few matches, then perhaps they might end the season as LANCS Champions.
Report by Ian Richardson
Photos by Neil Parkinson