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Home > News > Fylde 62 - Morley 19
Your News Fylde 62 - Morley 19

After a month's break from competitive rugby, Fylde were rusty against old friends and rivals Morley at the Woodlands and they made lots of mistakes, especially in handling and ball retention in the tackle. However, ten tries and a willingness to run the ball at every opportunity provided plenty of entertainment for a good crowd and they eased into 2nd place in National Two (North) as a consequence.

Fylde began the game in their usual up tempo fashion and took early control which they never relinquished. After four minutes a Morley line-out 15m from their own line was stolen by the home side and a concerted driving maul saw Paul Arnold claim the try, his 11th of another profitable season. Richard Kenyon missed the conversion but his side had a 5-0 lead. An early, major setback was the loss of a key member of the pack, flanker Steve McGinnis, who pulled up with a hamstring strain, to be replaced by Alistair Sutherland.

Six minutes later, some neat interplay down the Fylde right resulted in Jason Robinson driving over from short range for a smart try, his 2nd for the Club, following a burst for the line by Richard Kenyon. Kenyon added the extras and Fylde's lead had stretched to 12-0.

However, it wasn't all one way traffic and Morley put together some neat attacking play led as always by their inspirational skipper and no 8 Craig Field. He made a couple of breaks and looked dangerous whenever in possession as well as putting in his share of gallant defensive tackles. The scrummages were pretty even throughout the game although Fylde frequently nudged the visiting eight backwards. The line-outs were also shaded by the home side.

But on 14 minutes 25m out from the Morley line, scrum-half Craig Aikman raced clear from a scrummage in typical fashion and made the try line with a couple of defenders hanging on to him. Kenyon once more added the extras and Fylde had a 19-0 advantage.

Fylde were starting to make silly errors and from one sequence of slipshod play in their own 20m area a few minutes later Morley earned a scrummage. They switched play neatly and a long pass by fly-half Spon-Smith set up centre Chris Hall who powered through an absent defence for a good try. This was converted by Simon Bradshaw and the visitors had reduced the deficit to 7-19.

This proved to be but a short interruption in Fylde's dominance. After 22 minutes Mike Waywell made a powerful midfield break and with a tackler dragging him down he passed cleverly to winger Nick Royle 30m out. The England 7s speedster did the rest as he raced clear and scored his 11th try of the season near the posts. Kenyon converted for a 26-7 lead.

Then the game became the Josh Beaumont Show. The young back five player, on holiday from Durham University, is maturing into a fine player and is looking totally at home in national league rugby although this was only his sixth senior game. He worked well throughout the match, always looking for breaks and supporting other runners as well as making his share of the hard yards at the rucks and mauls. On 31 minutes as the Fylde forwards collectively drove towards the Morley try line and Beaumont stretched a long arm out at the bottom of a pile up to get the ball down for the try.

Just two minutes later he made a contribution in a much more dramatic way. Hard working lock Paul Arnold, never far from the action, made a good break inside his own half before passing to the supporting Beaumont 40m out from the Morley line and in midfield. He raced clear of a couple of tacklers, dodged another defender and looked to release the ball to the supporting Oli Brennand. But a pass was risky and although momentarily slowed by the attempted tackle of the final Morley player he shrugged him off and sprinted for the last 20m to score under the posts. Probably Fylde's try of the season was Brian Ashton's observation from the technical area. Kenyon converted for a 38-7 Fylde lead at the interval.

Morley put in a spirited period of play in the first ten minutes of the 2nd half and pressurised Fylde into a number of handling and passing mistakes. But the home side restored order on 50 minutes when live wire scrum-half Aikman finished off a neat move by diving over for his second try of the afternoon. With the win secured, coach Mark Nelson introduced three further replacements Tom Lavelle for prop Pete Altham, Alan Holmes for hooker Jonny Roddam and debutant Steve Collins at fly-half for Richard Kenyon. Highly promising Lancashire fly-half Collins had a cautionary introduction to rugby at the Woodlands. His first touch was to pass the ball to centre Waywell as Fylde attacked in midfield. Unfortunately, Morley centre Michael Ash cleverly read the move, intercepted and raced 40m clear to score under the posts.

On 66 minutes, Collins made a fine break through the Morley defence before passing inside to a supporting runner. Unfortunately this was again Michael Ash who raced away once more, this time from 60m out, through an under populated Fylde defence to score. The conversion was missed but Ash had put a more respectable look to the scoreboard by reducing the deficit to 19-43.

Once more Fylde took control and raised their game in the last ten minutes, with Martin Wallwork replacing Craig Aikman. On 71 minutes a series of drives from the home pack sucked in defenders and from 20m out Collins broke the defensive line to stretch out for his first try for the club. An accomplished, specialist goal kicker, he converted with ease for a 50-19 advantage.

Four minutes later, another Fylde attack resulted in speedy replacement flanker Ali Sutherland racing over for his debut try for the Club. In the final minutes, Fylde attacked once more and replacement scrum-half Martin Wallwork found space and a yawning gap to the Morley line 30m away. The current Club Secretary rolled back the years as he raced clear to score in front of the Clubhouse to the delight of the home crowd. Collins added the extras to close proceedings for the day with a 62-19 final score.

Coach Mark Nelson commented after the game: We've got some quality players and when we click we're very good. We've got some really big games coming up and the boys are up for the challenge. With a sequence of seventeen successive games until the end of the season, clubs need strength in depth in their squads. I'm confident we've got that.

The Rugby Paper's Man of the Match: Josh Beaumont (Fylde)

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