Now everyone who has put on the Black and Amber shirt knows that one game in the calendar stands out a little more than the others. The fixture that has led to numerous draws in the last couple of seasons is -
yes, I’m devoting all my chat to the WIN over Fylde.
The week before the Fylde match, as we know, was a devastating 61 – 6 loss at the hands of Caldy. This was a massive blow to confidence and poor preparation for the week ahead. The journey back held only a hand full of players, after a few drinks and watching a very poor England match, we travelled home via the "offy" and Longlands.
The week training began with a team meeting to make sure we tackled the problems from Saturday. We then went out and hit the pitch with 30 mins' hard fitness with Gracie. We carried on a positive atmosphere when addressing problems in defence. Thursday carried on this atmosphere and work ethic, which lead to a very positive aura in the team. News of the squads began to filter through and speculations that Alan had been “trash” talking me on the Fylde website also came to the front. After looking, and a chat with my brother I decided that Scotty made a false allegation, motive is still not clear.
Friday and Saturday morning were all about relaxing, including beating Lucy in a 32 race epic on Mario Cart which I won by over 50 points (sorry Lucy, just getting one over!). Then began the pre-match ritual! Lucy doesn’t speak to me from this point on; apparently I am “Unbearable”. Lucy drove me to the club where I arrived about one-ish, just in time to see Alan and a few of the other Fylde lads getting out of their cars. One of the Fylde players was David Wilks (assistant coach, open side flanker) out through “injury” at the moment. Apparently, he hurt his ankle after stepping out of my pocket the last time we played. He did remind me that he is a better wrestler after a course we attended (when he used to work for the RFU) but of course I think he was cheating. The fun and games then stopped.
In the team meeting before warm up Bully gave one of his inspiring talks about how we needed to work hard for ourselves and each other. How much the fixture means to the club not just the players, the long history of the fixture and, of course, what he thinks of the opposition. Then it was time to warm up.
We built up the intensity through the warm up and increased the volume, I was feeling really nervous by now, waiting for kick off. As we reached the changing rooms, nervous energy buzzed around the group. On the two minute call, players got together in a huddle, time for the last preparation and out we went.
I can’t really remember much from the game to be honest, I remember in the first ruck being stamped on my ankle and the second and third, and every ruck from then on. The highlight of the match for me (Alan you may want to look away)……… we had worked our way up the pitch, slow ball after slow ball, in the top left hand corner (I would like to say, 20 metres out but I can't) about a metre out I picked a slow ball. The defender (Alan) attempted a tackle, knowing it was my brother I threw everything I had at him. Weighing more than me (Eileen may not agree, but he does) I knew I had to get under him and drive, I managing to do this. I drove him back and slipped over for the try. The support in behind may have helped but I think the key thing to remember is that I beat him!
After being subbed I got to see some inspiring play from Scotty including probably the slowest race in history, as Scotty took on Tom Barlow (Fylde No.10) in a race of the Vets to see Goughy out pace them both, a touch down in the corner?
Now did he? Didn’t he? I think just finger tips, if anyone reads any other reports they may know Nelly (Fylde coach) disagrees.
As people at the match may recall the water boy at this point was made redundant!! At colts training on Wednesday they were still looking for the bottles!
Kendal won anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
On the day I feel we played well, it was a good bounce back from the week before. We seemed to play the game in the right places and really took it to Fylde up front, a good week’s prep finished with a good days work on the pitch.
Looking ahead we are looking to build on the win but knowing that we play a lot of teams in the dog fight of relegation we have some hard games ahead. Roll on next week.