Riches’ golden boots priceless for Fleetwood

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Blackburn 5 Fleetwood 15. FLEETWOOD consolidated second spot in the North Lancs and Cumbria League in this tasty Lancashire hotpot at Ramsgreave Drive.

The home side pressed from the start, making fine use of a wide pitch and a strong following breeze.

Fleetwood soaked up attack after attack as Burn encamped in the Fleet half for long periods without really threatening, with Danny Tomlinson, James Lilley and Danny Maher most prevalent in defence.

A Blackburn drop goal attempt sailed wide and the hosts also missed two penalty attempts.

The wind was preventing Fleet’s clearance kicks gaining much ground, but they were boosted by a yellow card to a Blackburn player.

However, five minutes before the interval, the Burn scrum-half found a gap to score. The missed conversion meant the hosts led 5-0 at half-time.

Fleet made changes for the second half and captain Ryan Riches soon got his side off the mark with a penalty.

Riches used his pinpoint kicks to great effect with wind advantage, while locks Neil Hartley and Lee Storton were making the hard yards count.

Riches’ second penalty edged his side ahead and it was from his towering kick that Fleetwood scored their only try after 52 minutes.

Blackburn could not hold possession, and as the ball was hacked ahead Tom Evans reacted quickest to dive over in the right corner.

Fleetwood continued to turn the screw and a third penalty by man of the match Riches completed the scoring on 65 minutes.

Speed merchant Bobby Jones was unlucky not to score as he hurtled through in pursuit of Evans’ kick, his outstretched fingers grounding the ball millimetres over the dead-ball line.

Evans drop goal attempt went wide, but Fleetwood had the points and could regain top spot by winning their game in hand at Didsbury on Saturday.