Match report: Fleetwood RUFC 25 Altrincham Kersal 50

Fleetwood man of the match Karl Bowling
Fleetwood man of the match Karl Bowling

Fleetwood looked to bounce back from their defeat at Tarleton but it wasn’t to be against the unbeaten  Lancs/Cheshire division one leaders.

The hosts led at half-time but were shorthanded for more than half the game. Chris Jones' red card before half-time was followed by two yellows which reduced Fleet to 13 men for 20 minutes.
Fleet started strongly, dominating the first half in most areas, and took the early initiative as Gavin Rowell slotted over a penalty, then Brad Stapleton’s third try of the season extended the lead to 8-0
Altrincham hit back with a converted try after good forward work from a scrum, though Fleet kept their one-point lead when the visitors fumbled the ball when set to score.
However, Altrincham forced their way over again from a five-metre scrum to move into a 14-8 lead.
Fleetwood edged a point in front again when Jamie Mayall capitalised on a chip down the middle and Rowell converted.
They stretched their lead to 25-14 with a strong run by George Orry, followed by Rowell’s conversion and a penalty.
It could have been even better for Fleet with Ricky Newton’s great run and sidestep but the Altrincham defence recovered.
The league leaders put Fleet on the back foot as the half wore and an unconverted try reduced the half-time gap to 25-19.
Altrincham got their noses in front after the break with a converted try from a five-metre lineout.
Fleet went close again but Tanner Canning put a foot out of play taking an excellent diving catch from Mike Kelly’s chip.
But as Fleet were twice left two players short when Kelly and later Jack Crompton spent 10 minutes in the sinbin, Altrincham took full advantage.
They scored two more tries, the second converted, to move 38-25 ahead, then added another unconverted try following a series of drives from a lineout.
Their number eight completed the scoring, diving through the scrum from close range.
Fleetwood worked very hard without a full team on the field and sponsor David Woodcock named Karl Bowling as man of the match for his great defensive work and penetrative running.