Fleetwood 39 Upper Eden 12: Match report and reaction

Tom Evans scores for Fleetwood Picture: Derick Thomas / Clean Sheet Media
Tom Evans scores for Fleetwood Picture: Derick Thomas / Clean Sheet Media

The Green and Golds remain unbeaten at the top of the North Lancs-Cumbria League after blowing their visitors away in the first half.

They came out of the blocks at breakneck speed, playing fast and open rugby.

From a scrum deep in their own 22, number eight Scott Richardson sprinted 60 metres before sending Tom Evans over for a fourth-minute try.

Richardson missed the conversion but soon made amends with a penalty to make it 8-0.

James Torkington and Brad Stapleton then linked up to send talisman Richardson through for the second try, which he converted himself.

Upper Eden hit back but Fleet half-backs Evans and Karl Bowling frequently forced handling errors.

Home winger George Orry was bundled into touch just short of the line after Torkington’s strong run.

Richardson’s second penalty made it 18-0 lead after 25 minutes as Fleetwood continued to run everything from deep.

Evans sent Fleetwood points machine Richardson over for his second try, which the number eight converted to make the half-time score 25-0 and take his own tally to 20.

The same momentum couldn’t be maintained in the second half as the visitors were awarded a number of penalties and Fleetwood had flanker Jordan Brocklehurst sent off for punching.

The game lost direction until Fleet scored from a scrum 40 metres out, Richardson sending Evans through a flat-footed defence for his second try and converting for 32-0.

The home side gave a debut to Reece Heer and scored again when man of the match Torkington crashed over from Evans’ sublime pass. Richardson’s sixth goal completed their scoring.

Fleet did take their foot off the gas in the final 10 minutes as Upper Eden’s impressive number eight John Blue scored twice, one of them converted, but it was very much Fleetwood’s day.

The winners showed their strength in depth with several key players missing and the returning Paul Bamber suffering a recurrence of a knee injury, and they will welcome the fortnight’s break before their next match.

Player coach Steve Woodburn, who was among the absentees, said: “We set off really well. I told the players to put them under pressure early doors. We did that and got a lead which we never gave up.

“We had a young side out there without a lot of experience, so I’m really pleased.

“We were missing senior players and the lads who came in showed the confidence we asked for. We are now looking forward to Trafford in two weeks.”

IAN CAMERON