Fleetwood 27 Whitehaven 21

Luke Wilson goes over for the first Fleetwood try
Luke Wilson goes over for the first Fleetwood try
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Fleetwood’s season is finally up and running in the North Lancs/Cumbria League after back-to-back wins.

Mike Jackson made his debut in the front row, though Fleet are starting to field a more settled side.

Good handling by Ricky Newton followed with a strong drive by David Fairbrother paved the way for Luke Wilson to open the scoring in the corner.

Whitehaven seized on some sloppy Fleetwood passing to build pressure and close the gap with a penalty.

The visitors went back on the attack and took a 10-5 lead with a converted try only for Scott Richardson to put Fleet back in front by touching down and adding the goal. The seesaw battle continued as Whitehaven missed a straightforward penalty before adding their second try on the right.

Another penalty just before half-time made it 18-12 to the Cumbrians at the break.

Fleetwood had been disrupted as Tom Wilson and Matt Lyon spent time on the sidelines but they halved the deficit with a Richarso penalty.

Sam Hughes slotted in at fly-half and sent a pass down the line for substitute Zack Coultas to score on the left. Richardson’s conversion put Fleet 22-18 ahead.

Another fluent passing move enabled Coultas to score his second, but when Dale Thompson was sin-binned the pressure was back on the home side.

The defence held out until a penalty made it 27-21 and set up an uncomfortable finale.

However, Fleet remained composed as strong tackling from Rob Brookfield, Fairbrother and Tom Wilson, combined with booming clearance kicks from Coultas, secured the bonus-point win.

Fairbrother gave another splendid performance, with Richardson, Tom Wilson and Lyon also excellent.

Dave Buckingham