Fleetwood miss out on second spot
Fleetwood spurned the chance to go second in the table as they lost 17-10 against Aldwinians.
With conditions ideal for open running rugby Fleetwood were always favourites for a home win and seize the opportunity to secure second place in the league behind runaway leaders Carlisle.
However the visitors had other plans and did not come to Melbourne Avenue to play second fiddle to Fleetwood’s ambitions.
Fleetwood started brightly and put several phases together before being turned over by Aldwinians’ resolute defence.
They managed to turn defence into attack and score an unconverted try after only five minutes.
Further exchanges were fairly even with strong running by Fleetwood’s James Torkington and Tom Wilson.
The welcome return of Matt Larkin was somewhat tainted by the same player being shown a yellow card along with the Aldwinians scrum half after some handbags on 20 minutes.
A good combination between Brad Stapleton and James Torkington took Fleet deep into the visitors’ territory, resulting in a penalty to the home side.
Fleetwood looked to run the ball and good work from Wilson and Karl Bowling was thwarted by the defence who put hands in the ruck.
Tom Evans took the opportunity to add three points to get Fleetwood on the scoreboard.
George Orrie was excellent in attack, supporting the ball carrier at every opportunity, as was Torkington, while Chris Jones carried the ball well on numerous occasions.
As half-time approached Fleetwood applied pressure on their opponents’ line and looked certain to score but somehow failed to cross the whitewash.
Hooker Jack Brocklehurst was accused of leading with the elbow as he crossed the line.
Aldwinians worked their way back downfield and, from a scrum 10 metres out, scored a try after some poor tackling, adding the conversion for a 12-3 lead at half-time.
It was Aldwinians that started the second half in better form with a quickly worked try to extend their lead to 17-3.
Chris Buschini was brought on for the green and golds after a lengthy absence and made an immediate impact, helping to create space for winger Kris Phillips to race down the wing and score a well-worked try which Evans converted to reduce the deficit to 10-17.
However the clock was now ticking away and with light fading the visitors could sense that victory was within their grasp.
Their defence held firm and the points were duly awarded to the Manchester outfit after a difficult start to their season.