Fylde secured Carter shield glory for the second year in a row, winning with a 15-point margin over rivals Grizedale. However it was not all plain-sailing for Fylde in the final term and the overall title was not secured until the final event of the year, Tug of War.
The first event of finals day started not with semi-final one, but a playoff between Grizedale and County who had tied for second in the group stages. Grizedale stepped up a gear from the group stage to triumph 3-1 and secure a semi-final spot.
Pendle, who were undoubtedly the team of the event so far, with a strong university contingent, made light work of Cartmel in semi-final one as they cruised to a 7-0 win. The 3-1 play-off win was a s good as it got for Grizedale as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Fylde in the second semi-final.
In the final, Pendle proved once again that they were just too strong, as they matched to a comprehensive 4-1 win to pick up the maximum fifteen points for the Frisbee.
There was no playoff needed in Tag Rugby, so it went straight into the semi-finals. Fylde continued their fine form from the group stage as they dispatched of Bowland 10-1 with consummate ease.
County dented Grizedale’s overall title hopes as they eased to a 4-1 victory setting up a final versus Fylde. Fylde were ruthlessly efficient and cruised to glory without conceding a try, as they won 3-0, to pick up the fifteen points. This saw Fylde edge a further six ahead of rivals Grizedale with Bowland dropping completely out of the running, leaving just a two-horse race.
The opening semi-final saw Grizedale restrict Bowland to just 1.5 Rounders before adding six of their own to guarantee a final spot. The second semi-final was far tighter as Fylde scored a seemingly unassailable 8.5 rounders. However Pendle pushed them all the way as they made it to 6.5.
This set up what was to be a fairly tight encounter in the final between Fylde and Grizedale, with Grizedale knowing that they would need to win Rounders to stand any chance of winning the Carter shield.
After the 36 allotted good balls for each side in the final the two teams were tied on 4.5 rounders. This saw a tie-break situation whereby each team would receive a further 18 balls to decide the outcome of the game. Grizedale edged to a half-rounder win, 3.5-3. However they were 12 points behind going into the tug of war, marking an almost unassailable lead for Fylde.
Tug of War
The tug of war was to decide the final destination of the Carter shield. It is the only event in the Carter shield that all of the group stages, semi-finals and finals are all played on the same day.
Each tug of war was played as a best of three. Neither Lonsdale or County fielded a team for the event, seeing a third place group finish the worst possible result for Fylde. This meant that they were guaranteed six points for turning up and had secured the overall win. However they didn’t just want to win overall, they wanted another event win.
Fylde were drawn with Cartmel and Furness, Grizedale with Pendle and Bowland. Fylde eased to 2-0 wins over both Furness and Cartmel, with Furness picking up second spot with a 2-0 win over Cartmel.
Grizedale beat both Bowland and Pendle 2-0 to guarantee a semi-final spot, Pendle picked up second spot with a 2-0 win. Fylde eased to a 2-0 victory over Pendle to earn a place in the final. Grizedale convincingly beat Furness 2-0 to set up the final between the now confirmed winners and runners-up of the Carter shield.
The final marked the only match in which a decider was played. Fylde edged to a 2-1 victory and secured a further 15 points to their total and a fifth event win of the year.
Fylde were ultimately deserved winners of the Carter shield. Fylde finished with 153 points to Grizedale’s 138. Bowland picked up a third place finish with 114, and Lonsdale edged fourth spot with 94 to Pendle’s 92 despite not making it to a single event in third term.