Tynedale 27 Fylde 34
Fylde maintained their unbeaten record in National Two (North) with a hard working victory in an exciting see-saw encounter against Tynedale. The Lancastrians have laboured on ten occasions at Tynedale Park since the first meeting of the clubs in the 2003-4 season and have won on just two occasions, the last in 2011. After going behind at the interval and with a player in the sinbin, they enjoyed a glorious 10 minute spell early in the 2nd half scoring four tries and putting them 15-34 points clear. A late, spirited two try Tynedale revival brought them back to within one score of the visitors but it was too little, too late. Fylde took maximum points from the game and consolidated their 2nd place in the division.
Tynedale Park was in good shape, the pitch was in fine condition and a dry, still overcast day made for running rugby.
There were a few handling errors in the opening minutes but Fylde won a scrum inside the Tynedale half. The backs moved left as Tom Carleton came into the line to make the crucial break, passing to Connor Wilkinson who in turn found Tom Grimes. The winger made the line with an athletic touch down in the corner. Greg Smith’s conversion from the touchline was perfect and his side had a 0-7 lead.
Fylde continued to press the home side and in the 11th minute a Tynedale defender committed a high tackle and Smith converted the penalty from in front of the posts.
Tynedale came back strongly and pushed Fylde back deep inside their own half. With the second of two penalties near the visitors’ line, Tynedale opted to go for goal and fullback Rob Parker’s kick was good to reduce the deficit to 3-10.
As play switched from end to end, Fylde manufactured a smart move which ended with them getting over the home line but a pass was adjudged to have been forward. Some back chat commenting on this decision led to referee Michael Harris penalising the men in claret and gold.
Discipline was becoming a bit of a problem for the visitors and in the 33rd minute following sustained pressure in the Fylde half, lock Matt Garrod was sinbinned. The subsequent kick to the corner and lineout resulted in Tyne no 8 Ben Bell driving over against a weakened pack.
Fylde were clearly off the pace as a couple minutes later some poor tackling allowed Bell to pick up a second try as he weaved his way through the visitors’ defence. The conversion by Parker gave Tyne a 15-10 lead as the sides trotted off to the changing rooms at half-time.
Whatever was said in the visiting camp in the interval appeared to pay off handsomely in the early part of the 2nd half. With Matt Garrod back in the action, Fylde dominated possession and territory and in the 46th minute they made a swift break through the home defence with Tom Grimes finishing it off in the left corner. Greg Smith’s wideout conversion attempt drifted wide but the scores were level at 15-all.
The visitors were now on fire. Three minutes later from an attack down the right, Carleton carried the ball to the 22m line and the pack went through a few phases before prop Elliot Horner drove over for his debut try in his 25th game for the Club. Smith converted for a 15-22 lead
In the 53rd minute Fylde were again pressing in the Tynedale half. Their backline went right and centre Ralph Dowds threw a long miss pass to winger Carleton who scooted over the line virtually unchallenged. Another pin point conversion by Smith extended the visitors’ lead to 15-29.
Astonishingly, it was a case of more of the same three minutes later. From the restart, a jinking, teasing run by Connor Wilkinson took Fylde once again into the heart of the Tyne half. The ball was recycled left and, with the home defence overcommitted down the centre, it was an even longer and higher miss pass, this time by flanker Jacob Conner, which sailed into the hands of Tom Grimes on the left wing. With a four man overlap, he strolled in for his hat trick try. This time Greg Smith’s attempted conversion from wide out drifted past the posts. In 11 minutes Fylde had run up 24 points against a shell shocked Tynedale squad. 15-34 was surely a match winning position, even with 23 minutes remaining.
Fylde have been guilty of taking their foot off the gas in other games this season and so it proved once again. Tynedale roared back into the contest and dominated the last quarter. In the 71st minute a strong Tynedale scrummage inside the Fylde 22m line ended with scrum-half John Clarkson getting the touch down. Parker converted this for a 22-34 deficit.
It was time for Tyne to run the ball at every opportunity against a tiring Fylde side. The visitors held out until a couple minutes into injury time when, after 16 phases of Tynedale possession, winger Will Roberts scored a smart try. The conversion was wide and a few minutes later referee Harris blew for full-time.
Although Tynedale were never quite in range to overcome the Fylde purple patch-inspired 19 point lead, it finished rather too close for comfort for the visitors. Nevertheless, that glorious ten minute spell which defined the game gave Fylde a deserved victory and maximum of 5 points to consolidate their 2nd place in N2N.
It sets up a tasty contest on Saturday when 4th placed Stourbridge visit the Woodlands, 100 years and one day after Fylde’s first ever competitive game, against Manchester YMCA on 11th September 1919. They will be very pleased if they can emulate their forefathers’ 26-0 win on that dim and distant day on what is now the playing fields of Lytham St Annes High School! This notable point in the Club’s history will be celebrated by a Centenary Pre-match Lunch, places at which are still available.
Warren Spragg said: “The lads knew we needed to perform near our best to avoid the hammering we got up there last season and we are happy to have exorcised that particular demon. Our set piece was strong again and I though we controlled most of the game when we maintained our discipline.
“Unfortunately, we got frustrated at times and gave away cheap penalties that put us under pressure as well as bombing some clear cut tries, meaning the last 10 minutes were pretty nervy to watch!
“However, it’s great to be picking apart a five point win rather than scraping the bones of a 60 point demolition, so I’m happy overall and looking forward to another strong test when Stourbridge come to the Woodlands next Saturday.
TYNEDALE: 15 Parker (Grant 76); 14 Roberts, 13 Burden, 12 Grant (Cramb 64), 11 Pike, 10 Outson, 9 Clarkson; 1 Hughes, 2 Batey (Harvey 64), 3 Haigh (Carmichael 12, Haigh 29, Carmichael 60), 4 Wearmouth (Dunn 60), 5 Snowden, 6 Cousin, 7 Richards (Mills 44), 8 Bell.
FYLDE: 15 Wilkinson; 14 Carleton (Botha 66), 13 Dowds (Forster 64), 12 Rawlings, 11 Grimes; 10 Smith, 9 Lanigan; 1 Horner (Wild 70), 2 Gregory, 3 Lewis (AshcroftM 66), 4 Parkinson, 5 Garrod, 6 Conner, 7 Vernon (Chapman 40), 8 Fairbrother.
Photos courtesy of Ian Garrod and Sean Wilkinson.