MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood Thirds 19 Blackpool RUFC 31
Blackpool returned to winning ways as they recorded a hard fought derby victory over Fleetwood.
They kept the ball alive with Paul Vuti coming close on two occasions to breaking the deadlock with rampaging runs down the touchline.
Blackpool didn’t have to wait much longer to open the scoring as, minutes later, a well executed line out and maul by the forwards saw them drive back the opposition pack which allowed Matthew Robinson to crash over with James Carty adding a conversion.
Fleetwood came storming back as, aided by needless infringement from the away side, they set up camp in the Blackpool half with scrambling defence keeping them at bay.
Unfortunately the weight of pressure eventually told as the hosts powered over for a short range converted try and, minutes later, they took the lead as they reacted quickest to a loose ball to slice through for a converted score.
The back and forth nature of the game continued as the visitors began to re-establish control of the contest with the forward pack carrying the fight to Fleetwood.
This allowed the ball to reach Blackpool’s dangerous backline with great carries from man of the match Adam Glover and Antony Clark creating the platform for Carty to embark on a mazy 50-metre run to the whitewash, leaving the game hanging in the balance with a scoreline of 14-12 at the interval.
As conditions underfoot deteriorated, the start to the second half began as a war of attrition in the mud as both teams fought to gain a foothold in the contest.
After a tense and often brutal 10 minutes the deadlock was broken.
More fantastic work from the Blackpool forwards, with Tristan Ainscough and Greg Jones at the forefront, saw another well executed lineout which result in Mick Harrison forcing his way over, Carty converting.
It wasn’t long before the away side crossed the whitewash again as, with almost a carbon copy of the previous score, they drove Fleetwood backwards with Richard Parlour planting the ball over the line for a 24-14 lead.
Blackpool continued to pile on the pressure and after strong carries from Wade Kelly and the returning Hugh Sweeney carried their side deep into the hosts’ half, Glover touched down with Carty adding his third goal.
The home side continued to battle away and, in the dying seconds, Fleetwood’s weight of possession finally told as they crossed for a short range consolation try to complete the scoring.
Blackpool will be looking to build on this result when they play host to Preston Grasshoppers’ sixths next Saturday.