Shrimps make late point

Veteran striker Kevin Ellison, 39, provided the home side a valuable point with a late effort to deny fellow strugglers Notts County. The visitors were only two minutes away from only their fourth win of the campaign after Kristian Dennis’s 52nd minute opener.

Late pressure by the Shrimps finally paid off when substitute Ellison scrambled the ball over the line from a corner kick.

The Magpies, who appointed former AFC Wimbledon manager Neil Ardley manager last week, had keeper Ross Fitzsimons to thank when he denied Liam Mandeville.

Both sides created additional chances but lacked the finishing touch in the final third.

By Derick Thomas, Clean Sheet Media

Castellas building at Fleetwood

Liam Castellas, head coach Fleetwood Cricket Club
Liam Castellas, head coach Fleetwood Cricket Club

Saturday 24th February 2018

The countdown to summer is underway at Fleetwood Cricket Club as senior and under 18 players gathered on Saturday for their ongoing pre-season preparations.

Head coach Liam Castellas held his fourth coaching session at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School and started proceedings with an emphasis on personal responsibilities and standards.

The talk is part of an overall plan formulated by the Broadwaters committee, in conjunction with the Australian, to progress the club towards future success and demonstrate clear improvement

“Our main focus is to build an environment where each player can bring the best out of their own game. We have a sharp focus on working on personal development with players using personal training plans and other tools to work on in their own time. At this stage, players need to arrive at training sessions both physically and mentally prepared. This will then become second nature and continue through to match days,” explained the 31-year-old former club professional.

“I encourage the players to stretch themselves and show a willingness to risk mistakes in training as this approach provides some good lessons to learn and further goal-setting” added the Lancashire Women’s 2nd XI head coach.

Pre-season preparations started before the winter nets when Castellas invited players to assess their current position.

“We’ve held several meetings to canvas where we are at as a squad and provide the players an opportunity to give their own view of where we stand. Input from the group provides free opinions to be aired and that provides me a good baseline to plan our move to the next level.”

Joining the senior squad for training were under 18 players and both groups will work closely together throughout the year.

“Youth development is one key focus for the club. When I first arrived, the committee stressed the importance of this aspect of club life and it’s certainly something I endorse. We have a thriving junior and 16-18 setup with a strong willingness to learn and improve. The club is keen to maintain a pathway to the first team for our older juniors and we will no doubt see that happen again this season.”

Apart from the playing side, the head coach is keen to contribute to the growing social success of the club.

“Everything we do in pre-season is geared towards giving our supporters the opportunity to watch good cricket and make Broadwaters the place to be on a Saturday afternoon during the summer.

“Besides our league games, supporters can look forward to exciting T20 matches and All Stars Cricket for our youngest players.

“The club already has a thriving social setup and we are adding more attractions all the time.

“The club’s leadership anticipate a successful season and, as coach, I find Fleetwood a really good place to enjoy my cricket.”

Derick Thomas
Clean Sheet Media

Hoppers take Lancashire tie

Preston 33-10 Fleetwood
Lancashire Colts Cup
Sunday 4th February 2018

Despite resolve at the end of either half Fleetwood were unable to take anything away from Preston Grasshoppers in an under 18 Lancashire Colts Cup tie comfortably won by the home side.

Hoppers, two leagues above Fleetwood, started favourites and this was reinforced when the visitors named three under 16 players on their team sheet.

The travelling Green & Gold youngsters will take heart from their determination to battle until the end with a try apiece deep towards the final whistle of each period.

Hoppers demonstrated their authority as they opened early by powering through a scrum close to the Green & Gold line wide on their right. The successful conversion set the scene for the home side to take a deserved 26-5 lead into the break.

Fleetwood improved in the second half and restricted the Hoppers point-scoring to single figures. The home side did, however, continue to own possession with a swift and generally accurate passing game played on Preston’s artificial grass pitch opened by England head coach Eddie Jones last year.

Despite late visiting pressure, it was a tidy Hoppers display which handed victory to the home side.

Front row Max Loboda scored both Fleetwood tries but admits his side took too long to establish themselves.

“I felt we started far too slowly and it wasn’t until the second half we really opened-up.

“My first try came right at the end of the first half after a good Fleetwood surge. I was running in support and the ball came to me near the try line. It was all down to the build-up work by Ryan Hargreaves and Keane McCann.

“We were camped in their half at the end of the game and I took possession after a penalty, ran down their blind side and managed to put the ball down.”

Cam Heywood made a strong contribution for Hoppers missing only one of his conversions but praised his teammates.

“It was a good result and came about with solid team work. Our game plan was putting the ball down the middle and then going out wide to score.”

Derick Thomas
www.cleansheetmedia.co.uk

Fylde take local honours

Local rivals Fleetwood and Fylde met at Melbourne Avenue for a fast-paced under 16 rugby friendly.

The home side took an early lead with a good team-try attacking the Fylde right wing.

The conversion clipped the post and unconverted tries would prove to be their downfall through-out an entertaining and disciplined game.

Both sides put plenty of attacking effort into the lively encounter but the Fylde conversion rate would decide the outcome.

Home skipper Nathan Corkhill thought his side was within sight of victory.

“We showed a great deal of improvement compared to recent games. We moved and pressed quickly enough and it was an unlucky loss in the end. We created plenty of opportunities going forward but their defence was tight. We’ll concentrate on conversions in training after today.”

Visiting captain Joseph Clarke agreed the game was a narrow affair.

“The game was very close in the end and the lads put plenty of effort into today. In the end, we put some good play together and deserved our tries. It was a great result for us.”

Derick Thomas, Clean Sheet Media

Ladies make contact

Fleetwood ladies played their first contact rugby match since reforming a little over two years ago.

The Green & Gold side entertained an established Bury team who took home the honours with a respectable 5-15 scoreline.

The home side appeared hesitant at first but soon entered the fray, enjoying competitive tackling and scrums for the first time in a match.

Bury stamped their authority on the game with most of the match played in the Fleetwood half.

Emma Gray took part in the game and said it was an impressive opener for her teammates.

“We did start slow but we soon realised we would need to battle against Bury.

“They proved too strong for ue but considering it was our first contact game we were pleased with the overall experience.

“There were one or two bruises in the changing room after the game but we all really enjoyed the challenge!”

In addition, Fleetwood host a Rugby Football Union event this Sunday for ladies who would like an introduction to the game. The session, part of the RFU nationwide “Inner Warrior” campaign, starts at 2pm at Melbourne Avenue and is designed to show the fun and fitness side of the game.

Emma added “The RFU session is for absolute beginners. It’s all about having a good time and meeting like-minded people. Fitness levels aren’t important and we’ll be playing touch rugby which isn’t physical. Anyone is welcome – just turn-up!

“I started playing two years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my rugby time. We’ve spent that time learning the rules of the games, improving our fitness and getting ready to play contact rugby. It’s been a great journey!”

Emma can be reached on 0778757580 for further information.

END

By Derick Thomas, Clean Sheet Media

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