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Home > News > Fylde defeat Hull Ionians and the fog
Your News Fylde defeat Hull Ionians and the fog

Two first half tries by Oliver Brennand plus one by Tom Albinson, all converted by Steve Nutt, took the points against Hull Ionians at a foggy Brantingham Park. This was an impressive 1st half performance by the visitors and it looked as if they would easily notch a try scoring bonus point with half the match to go and 21-7 ahead.

However, Fylde lost concentration and control in a disappointing 2nd half which somewhat took the gloss off four very important league points gathered. A James Ferguson penalty for Ionians was the only score after the break. Fylde moved up to third place in National Three (North) in consequence.

This has been a difficult week for Fylde's Director of Rugby Mark Nelson. The line of players waiting for treatment in the queue outside the physio room has been depressingly long. Uncertainties over the fitness of centres Neil Hunter and Tom Albinson, fullback Mike Waywell and utility player Martin Wallwork in recent weeks has compounded the loss of longer term injury victims Nick Royle, Nick King and Adam Lewis. This was made worse on the eve of this game with the withdrawal of on loan international lock Oliver Atkinson, centre/wing Jordan Davies who was injured playing for Sale Jets on Wednesday evening and replacement prop Matt Filipo whose wife gave birth to a son on Friday evening.

The visitors had a promising start by pressing inside the Ionians half in front of a poor crowd of less than 100 spectators. The rugby followers of Hull obviously found something better to do on such a foggy afternoon although whether watching England lose to the All Blacks was more fulfilling is a difficult call. A home defender soon strayed offside and Fylde fly-half Steve Nutt had a kickable penalty chance. His effort looked good but it faded and hit an upright. This didn't unnerve the visitors in the slightest and they were soon in front.

A loose Ionians kick was caught by stand-in right wing David Wiseman. He moved the ball to fullback Mike Waywell who threw a long pass to left winger Oli Brennand. N3N's top try scorer raced outside former clubmate Rob Whittam and, as the last defender closed in, passed inside to the supporting Tom Albinson. The centre scored with ease and Steve Nutt kicked a straightforward conversion for a 7-0 lead.

But Ionians remembered their cup success the previous week against Fylde's 2nd team and came right back. On 15 minutes Ionians won a lineout ball in the Fylde half and the ball was moved out to inside centre Peter Murphy. He picked a lovely line before feeding his centre partner James Green who sliced through the visitors' defence for a good try. Fly-half James Ferguson kicked an easy conversion and the scores were even at 7-7.

Fylde were consistently looking the most dangerous side and on 21 minutes the kind of penetration which has seen them score more tries than any other club in the division. Ionians were penalised in midfield and Fylde earned a lineout 20m out from the home try line. They manufactured quick ball to scrum-half Craig Aikman and then to Nutt who chipped cleverly for winger Oliver Brennand to pick up and plunge over. Nutt converted and gave his side a 14-7 lead.

After 27 minutes Fylde had a lineout well inside their own half. The visitors lineout functioned pretty well throughout and clean ball allowed fly-half Nutt to suddenly reverse the direction of play shrewdly and kick once more left towards Oli Brennand. The speedy young winger picked up 30m out from the Hull line and set off diagonally infield for a superb sniping run past seven hapless defenders to score to the right of the posts. Again Nutt converted and Fylde had a decisive 21-7 lead in the first half-hour.

Fylde were playing excellent, coherent rugby with their backrow of Dan Bowman, Mark Stephenson & Sam Beaumont ruling the roost in loose play. The scrummages were pretty even at this stage although Fylde held the advantage in the lineouts. At the interval it was still 21-7 to the visitors and they were well in control. It looked as though they would score plenty more points in the second period if they built on this solid foundation.

But the game didn't pan out out like this at all. Ionians battled back into the match and started to shade the battle for possession. On 49 minutes a Fylde player offended and Hull's James Ferguson kicked a straightforward penalty to reduce the deficit to 10-21.

The match turned into a midfield stalemate with neither side being able to put together sustained and continuous rugby. Fylde struggled for possession and when they got it they made far too many errors. But despite Hull's greater territory the Fylde defence was exemplary and repelled all assaults on their try line. Ionians' cause wasn't helped when their no 8 Danny Hague was sinbinned after 67 minutes.

Fylde couldn't take advantage as hard as they tried in the closing minutes. When they earned a lineout 10m out from the Ionians line a few minutes from the end it was their last chance to secure a bonus point fourth try. Summing up the 2nd period, the ball was overthrown and Hull scrambled it away and game was over.

Mark Nelson praised a solid team effort afterwards in the clubhouse and prop Andrew 'Fridge' Irving and fly-half Steve Nutt were mentioned in despatches.

Hull Ionians

15 Joe Donkin; 14 Rob Whittam, 13 James Greene, 12 Peter Murphy (Sean Hannah 59), 11 Luke Thundercliffe; 10 James Ferguson, 9 Adam Thomas; 1 Chris Starling (Andrew Gravil 60), 2 Carl Mortimer (Thomas Rice 65), 3 Adrian Longbone, 4 Richard Hill (Lee Brown 67), 5 James Rule, 6 Richard Wigham, 7 Chris Cusack, 8 Daniel Hague (Richard Mackay 77).


15 Mike Waywell; 14 David Wiseman, 13 Tom Albinson, 12 Neil Hunter, 11 Oliver Brennand; 10 Steve Nutt, 9 Craig Aikman; 1 Sam Simpson, 2 Chris Tyms (Alan Holmes 63), 3 Andrew Irving, 4 Grant Ferguson, 5 Roger Banks, 6 Dan Bowman (Dan Palmer 63), 7 Mark Stephenson (Dave Wilks 67), 8 Sam Beaumont.

Non-playing replacements: Mark Darlington, Ben Hall.

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