Fleetwood RU 49 - Whitehaven 10
FLEETWOOD avenged their defeat at Whitehaven in resounding style to remain top of the North Lancs and Cumbria League.
They dominated the early exchanges without putting points on the scoreboard as Ryan Riches narrowly missed a penalty.
Fleetwood were awarded another penalty in front of the posts, but their preference for a scrum proved wise as player-coach Roger Banks drove over for a trademark try, converted by Riches.
As locks Ed Bolton and Lee Storton dominated the lineout to secure plenty of possession, in-form winger Kris Phillips sprinted past two defenders for a fine individual try.
A penalty from a scrum enabled Whitehaven to hit back with a converted try, but Craig Cowley’s strong run enabled Bobby Jones to send the devastating Phillips racing in for his second.
A Whitehaven penalty completed the first-half scoring, with Fleetwood 21-10 up.
After a quiet start to the second half, Banks started the move which resulted in Craig Doherty sending Bolton over for the fourth Fleetwood try.
Phillips was denied a hat-trick try when Tom Evans’ pass was ruled forward, but Fleetwood won the resulting scrum and swung the ball right for the impressive Jamie Moran to crash over.
Full-back Craig Cowley sliced through for the next try before Phillips did grab a third to secure the man of the match award.
Fleetwood were denied a half-century by another forward pass ruling as Doherty scampered over, Richards having converted all seven tries which were allowed.
Tom Wilson was solid in defence as Fleetwood remain two points clear at the top with four to play, though second-placed Aspatria have a game in hand.
Confidence is riding high throughout the green and gold camp after the second and third XVs also recorded fine wins over Tyldesley and Furness respectively.