Fleetwood RU 10, Aldwinians 0. STRONG defence was the key to victory in a close encounter which produced only one try.
Fleet started brightly and enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages. However, the visitors’ huge pack were able to thwart any advances through the forwards.
In the backs, scrum-half Craig Aikman looked sharp and looked to release the three-quarters into space, though some final passes were crucially spilled.
Tom Evans, playing in his preferred position of full-back, regularly joined the line and created problems for the defence, while centres Ricky Newton and Zac Coultas moved up from the second XV to forge a strong presence.
It was Newton who charged down a kick in the Aldwinians half which was followed up by Coultas to score under the posts, Ryan Riches adding the extras.
Despite continued dominance in possession the home side could not add further points before half-time.
Danny Maher was prominent in open play as was Neil Hartley with some huge ball carries. Aldwinians relied on kicks to gain territory and one of these resulted in an Evans counter-attack from which Aikman was held up just short of the line.
Player-coach Roger Banks also went close as Fleetwood ended the half in the ascendancy, stand-off Riches pinning Aldwinians back with some probing kicks.
Evans moved to scrum half after the interval because Aikman was injured, and Aldwinians enjoyed a period of pressure, which was relieved by Craig Cowley’s 50-metre break after some strong defence.
Riches pushed a penalty narrowly wide but amends with another two minutes later to give the home side a valuable ten-point cushion.
The Aldwinians pack continued to press but Danny Tomlinson was dominant in the line-out for Fleet and hooker Lilley worked tirelessly.
Kris Phillips made an interception and looked certain to score only to be stopped on the 22 line after a moment’s hesitation. Despite continued efforts, there was no way through the home defence for Aldwinians, though the Fleet attack could still be improved by more clinical finishing and decision-making at key moments.
They remain second to Kirkby Lonsdale in the North Lancs and Cumbria League, two points behind with a game in hand.
Match sponsors Rossall School named Danny Maher as man of the match, while Evans and Neil Hartley also made a huge contribution.