Huddersfield 45 Fylde 33
Fylde and Huddersfield shared eleven tries at Lockwood Park and it was the Yorkshiremen who came out on top in an entertaining National Two (North) game. The two squads put on an exciting, helter skelter display on a fine day on an excellent pitch overlooked by the magnificent Lockwood Viaduct. Although both clubs had appeared to be out of the promotion race before the game, Huddersfield’s triumph and 2nd placed Chester’s heavy defeat at Sedgley Park have given the Yorkshiremen a sniff of a play-off place.
Fylde began the game in splendid style. In the 6th minute from a lineout 30m out from the ‘Field line, flanker Harlan Corrie broke the defensive line with a powerful burst, shrugging off opponents along the way to touch down near the posts. Fly-half Greg Smith converted the try at the 2nd attempt for a 0-7 lead.
In the 14th minute it was more of the same. Further good combination play ended with another Corrie burst to score under the posts. The impressive young Cumbrian is in his 2nd season at the Club and through these two scores had doubled his record in his 38th 1st XV appearance. Once again, Smith added the extras.
Huddersfield hit back quickly and decisively. In the 18th minute, they pressed inside the Fylde 22m area and hooker Francis Entressengle forced his way over for his side’s first of six tries. Former Fylde fly-half Chris Johnson converted easily.
Play was pretty evenly contested running up to the half-hour. In the 28th minute a Fylde defender offended and Johnson kicked the subsequent penalty to reduce the deficit to 10-14. In the last ten minutes of the half Huddersfield cut loose and exploited some fallible Fylde defence. In the 31st minute, a Fylde clearing kick was charged down by lock Guy Borrowdale and he fed centre Mark Pease who scored. Johnson converted for his side to have the lead for the first time at 17-14.
As Huddersfield continued to attack, Connor Wilkinson was sinbinned and Fylde paid for being a man short. Left winger Arthur Wilkinson benefitted by the actions of his namesake and scored his side’s third try down the left. Johnson converted once more.
Fylde’s 10 minutes of mayhem were completed in the last minute of the half as Johnson broke clear, handed off a defender and scored a good try earning a bonus point in the process. His conversion completed the half and his side led by 31-14.
The start of the 2nd half had an uncanny resemblance to that of the 1st. With Connor Wilkinson back in the action, in the 44th minute they got back into the contest with a try by lock Nick Ashcroft, his first of the season. Smith was unable to make the conversion but Fylde had reduced the deficit to 31-19.
Just three minutes later, with Fylde pressing deep in ‘Field’s half, Ashcroft scored again from close range. This time Smith converted and Fylde were back within a score of the home side.
In the 58th minute, Huddersfield pressurised the Fylde line and Chris Briers was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on to spoil the home attack. Referee Owen Taylor admonished the double blow of a yellow card to Briers and a penalty try to ‘Field. There was now further distance between the sides at 38-26.
Down to 14 players once again, Fylde struggled to keep a rampant Huddersfield out and their skipper and no 8 Dickie Piper took advantage by ploughing over for his side’s 6th try. Johnson completed a perfect afternoon for himself by adding the conversion for a personal haul of 17 points.
Fylde heads didn’t drop and they had the final word with a consolation try by Connor Wilkinson in the 76th minute. This was too little, too late for the Lancastrians as the final whistle blew.
Fylde dropped to 5th place in the division as a result. They face another keen challenge next Saturday when they welcome the N2N form team, old friends and neighbours Sedgley Park to the Woodlands for the Club’s last home game. Park have put together a superb run of seven successive victories and will come hoping to extend this. With pride at stake it promises to be a superb Lancashire derby.
Fylde Head Coach Warren Spragg said: “It was very similar to the Chester game where we raced into an early lead and instead of carrying on doing the simple things well we made a lot of poor mistakes to concede easy scores.
“We need to find a harder edge, mentally and physically, to be able to work through a game without massive highs and lows. The ability is there and I know the lads will work hard to finish the season with 2 big performances, which is what the Club deserves to see.”
Click here for a video clip of Harlan Corrie’s first try courtesy of Sean Wilkinson.
FYLDE: 15 Wilkinson; 14 Hadfield, 13 Dowds (Forster 75), 12 Briers, 11 Carleton; 10 Smith, 9 Crampton; 1 Horner, 2 Gregory (Loney 21), 3 Lewis (AshcroftM 72), 4 AshcroftN, 5 Garrod (O’Ryan 56, Torkington 72), 6 Corrie, 7 Vernon, 8 Conner (Garrod 78).