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Match report: Tarleton 24 Fleetwood RUFC 10

Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly

Fleetwood went to Tarleton in buoyant mood bidding for a third successvie win in the North Lancs / Cumbria League.

READ MORE Previous match: Fleetwood 18 Eccles 5
Right from the whistle, Tarleton made their intentions clear as they adopted a high-tempo style of play, attacking Fleet from all angles.

Penned in their own half, the Green and Golds tried valiantly to mount some attacking play.

However, with the lineout not functioning and the scrum going backwards, it was an uphill struggle.

In defence, centre Mike Kelly was leading the way with some decent tackles, while props Ricky Newton and Peter Benny were on hand to make yards forward.

Indeed, 20 minutes passed with neither team able to notch up any points.

Inside centre Karl Bowling made a useful carry, which then involved winger Harry Baker, who showed neat footwork as he evaded several tacklers.

Tarleton were growing in confidence and the deadlock was finally broken when Fleet number eight Scott Richardson threw a speculative pass to the stranded Kelly.

The ball missed the man, which enabled Tarleton to hack down the touchline for a converted try.

This simply fired Tarleton up as Fleet were having plenty of tackling to do.

Flankers Jordan Brocklehurst and Ben Langton were making great contributions at the breakdown.

However, Tarleton scored again in the far corner after a well-worked backs move gifted their pacy winger a try.

Following this, Fleet turned the tables on their hosts with wave after wave of attack involving backs and forwards that created the opportunity for Langton to score a try from close range. The conversion was missed, making it 12-5 at half-time.

Changes occurred, with twin Jack Brocklehurst replacing hooker Devon Brown.

Within the first few minutes, Fleet were still having to defend their line as Tarleton went looking for more glory.

However, connection was restored at the lineout and second row Rob Brookfield was able to secure some ball, as he and partner James Lilley both featured in loose play.

Pressure was now mounting and it looked like Fleet would score themselves when they camped in the Tarleton 22 only for the ball to be lost at the crucial moment.

Rather than lose heart, the Green and Golds maintained the attack. Richardson broke down the far side and offloaded to Benny on the win.

He fended off a couple of tacklers before crossing the whitewash to score. The conversion was missed as Fleet trailed 12-10.

At this stage Fleet were thinking they were back in the contest. From the kick-off, fly-half Gavin Rowell returned the ball, neatly nudging it deep into the Tarleton half.

However, the opposition withstood the efforts of the attack and regained a grip. The Fleet scrum was being dominated, which was making defending even more difficult, and from one such scrum the ball went along the Tarleton back line for their winger to score. The conversion was missed, making it 17-10.

Frustration was creeping in as Fleet conceded needless penalties, spurring Tarleton on even more.

The defensive wall was breached again as the Carr Lane men opted for yet another scrum. This time the full-back crashed through to score a converted try to complete the scoring.

This certainly was a tough day at the office for Fleet as the majority of the game was spent on the back foot and defending.

For his ball-carrying and tackling, it was centre Kelly who was nominated as man of the match.

This weekend Fleet face an even bigger task as they visit second-placed De La Salle of Salford.