Feb 13 2014 Ormskirk Advertiser
John Pearce breaking off the back of a maul with Niki Chin in tow.
AFTER THE disappointment of last week’s cup exit, Tarleton Seconds resumed their league campaign with a home fixture against Fylde RUFC.
The weather was fair for kite flying but was going to make kicking, handling and line-outs a bit of a lottery for both sides with gusts in excess of 40 miles an hour.
Tarleton had a full squad and from their previous encounter knew that they had the pace in the backs to go around the Fylde defence and this is exactly what happened when the ball was first thrown wide for Sam Bradshaw to score a good opening try, this was well converted by Ian Simcox in difficult conditions.
Another good set piece scrum saw Tarleton flip the ball wide again, Sam Bradshaw made good ground and passed inside to Ian Simcox, who almost made the line, but as he was tackled passed the ball to the supporting George Cook who crashed over to score. Ian added the extras and Tarleton were 14-0 ahead.
The next try came from more forwards dominance as the ball was kept in the pack and the rolling maul made good ground before the ball was released to Lewis Burton who went over for the third try.
The fourth try came from another solid scrum for Tarleton and the ball was out to Sam Bradshaw who took it on the burst and waltzed passed the Fylde defender to score under the posts. With 25 minutes gone Tarleton led 26-0 and were coasting.
Being joint top with Wigan Tarleton have the disadvantage of a much lower points difference and this was a chance to close the gap, they usually take their foot off the gas at this point and a try to Fylde from a line-out and forwards drive seemed to wake them up this time as the score went to 26-5.
Tarleton gained a five metre scrum in Fylde’s 22 and another solid scrum and quick ball saw Sam Tyrer go over in the opposite corner.
So at half time Tarleton led 31-5 and with the advantage of a strong wind in the second half Fylde knew they were going have to do a lot of defending.
Tarleton started the second half scrappily and were guilty of going back to trying to play fancy rugby instead of concentrating on getting the basics right.
Ten minutes in Tarleton put a few good phases together and Dave Gordon came charging through on a good line and a well- timed pass saw him beat the covering defender to cross the line - unselfishly he gave the ball to Aiden Wilkins so he could score his debut senior try on his 18th Birthday.
This then opened the floodgates and further tries were scored by Sam Bradshaw (2) George Cook (his second), John Guest, Ian Simcox and the final try following a good kick and chase went to Nick Wetherall.
Tarleton ended up winners by 76-5 and with Wigan’s game postponed they are now eight points clear at the top and have a better points difference as well.
Wigan have two games in hand so it is still looking as though the last match of the season at Wigan could well be the decider.
Tarleton just have to keep on winning and play the open brand of rugby that is working so well for them.
The First XV were away at Aldwinians and reports are that it was a very close match against evenly balanced teams but Aldwinians came away with a 14-0 victory which sees them stay in front of Tarleton in the league.
The Firsts host high flying Blackburn at Carr Lane next Saturday.