Jan 23 2014 Ormskirk Advertiser
Dave Gordon setting up a good break-out
TARLETON had one of those weekends that all clubs go through from time to time with a weekend that ended up with no senior rugby being played to completion.
The First XV had a weekend off and the Senior Colts’ last competitive home game against Winnington Park was cancelled late on Saturday as Park couldn’t raise a team.
This just left the seconds with an away cup match against Fleetwood RUFC for Tarleton's rugby followers to watch.
Considering that the Seconds had a squad of 29 to choose from last week it needed a lot of last minute ringing around to galvanise a few of them to come along to give then some substitutes for this match and find the required replacement prop for the front row.
The match started early and Tarleton started late, on a wet and boggy surface it was Fleetwood who left the blocks fastest and their game plan was fairly obvious from the start – win the ball and give it to the big fellow (22 stone and 6ft. 8” tall) to crash through.
Tarleton helped Fleetwood’s cause by also giving away 15 penalties in just over 18 minutes , allowing Fleetwood to kick for the corners and put Tarleton under pressure on their line with the ‘crash-ball’ tactic.
It was from a penalty for a high tackle on Fleetwood’s man-monster that their crash-ball tactic saw him crash over to open the scoring. How anyone could high tackle him is a mystery but that’s what the referee gave.
Tarleton woke up a little bit from this shock and started to make inroads into the Fleetwood half and following a break by Dave Gordon and Aiden Miller they almost made the corner but a good smothering tackle stopped the chance of points.
From this maul the ball was spun inside and Fleetwood were all offside at the breakdown and Tarleton were awarded their first penalty.
Lee Booth stepped up and struck it sweetly but the ball hit the upright and was gathered by the Fleetwood full-back who cleared the chance.
In Tarleton’s next attack one of Fleetwood’s players fell awkwardly and somehow managed to dislocate his shoulder.
The player wasn’t up for being moved and an ambulance was called after ten minutes of standing around the match was abandoned and Tarleton lived to fight another day.
They will meet Fleetwood next Saturday in the replay and their league match scheduled against Leigh will be played on the next available wet weather weekend.
The Firsts are at home against Workington RUFC and should be looking for a bonus point win to move them out of the danger area at the bottom of the league.