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Home > News > Kendal 17 - Fylde 18
Your News Kendal 17 - Fylde 18

A dramatic 71st minute try by centre Tom Albinson won this hard and fiercely competed National Three (North) game against old rivals Kendal at Mint Bridge. Although stand-in winger Mike Waywell, who had scored two good 1st half tries to give his side a 10-7 lead at the break, missed the conversion of Albinson's try, it was just sufficient to take the four league points. Mint Bridge is always a very difficult place for visiting teams and this was Kendal's first defeat there for at least a season and a half. That's the measure of Fylde's achievement.

As usual, Fylde got off to a flyer, albeit playing into a gusty win in the 1st half. After 5 minutes a startling trade mark break by scrum-half Craig Aikman split the Kendal defence asunder. As full-back Chris Park came in to tackle him he slipped a perfect pass to Waywell who finished with ease. He missed the conversion of his own try but Fylde had a 5-0 lead.

Play was fairly even but Fylde were edging the scrummages with young props Brookes and Lewis giving little to their gnarled veteran opponents, Billy Coxon & Richard Harryman. The Fylde pack were holding their own against the very tough home eight.

On 17 minutes the visitors extended their lead. They won possession inside the Kendal half and spun the ball wide and right through their backs. Outside centre Tom Albinson picked a lovely line and broke the Kendal defensive cover. He drew the Kendal defence before shipping the ball to winger Waywell who scored in the corner. This time his difficult conversion from the touchline struck the post so Fylde led by 10-0.

Six minutes later Kendal came back into the match with a try of their own. They pressed inside the Fylde 22m line and strung together a series of drives and mauls. Recycling the ball effectively they drove over the line and flanker Gary Holmes claimed the touchdown. As the forward battle hotted up there was, amusingly, a little dust up between Gary Holmes and his brother, and Fylde hooker, Alan. The 1st half ended with Fylde's noses in front at 10-7.

The 2nd period saw a Kendal revival and after 45 minutes some excellent continuity saw the home side work a fine try down their left. Former Fylde winger Lewis Boyd was on the end of the move and sauntered in for his 15th try of the season. Although Park's attempted conversion drifted wide, Kendal had their noses in front at 12-10.

Fylde rang the changes on 56 & 57 minutes by introducing four replacements - prop Andrew Irving (for Adam Lewis), hooker Mark Darlington (for Alan Holmes, flanker Dan Palmer (for Dave Wilks) and utility back Mark Edwards (for Neil Hunter).

On 66 minutes Mike Waywell nervelessly kicked a vital penalty goal to put Fylde back in front at 13-12. The next five minutes decided the fate of the game. On 67 minutes a searing break by Kendal's Boyd broke the Fylde defensive line and he moved the ball to centre Matt Gracie who scored a good try. Park's attempted conversion agonisingly hit the post and then the bar before falling the wrong side. This proved to be a huge let-off for the visitors.

Four minutes later on 71 minutes Mike Waywell fielded a ball on the halfway line and booted it deep into Kendal territory. Initially this looked rather aimless but the young man knew better. Tom Albinson and Oliver Brennand set off in pursuit and Albinson sped through to accomplish a lovely pick-up and he plunged over the line to the delight of his colleagues. Waywell's attempted conversion went wide but Fylde had once more grabbed the lead in this see-saw contest. They held out for the remaining ten minutes with a degree of comfort to achieve a notable victory.

This was a fine performance by both teams who gave everything in the cause. The Fylde forwards were particularly outstanding with former Kendal skipper Dan Bowman to the fore. There were many battered bodies who came off the pitch at the final whistle but this was an excellent advertisement for N3N rugby.

Despite this deserved win, Fylde drop a place to 4th as a result of Macclesfield's victory over Halifax.

Fylde Director of Rugby Mark Nelson paid tribute to his injury-hit squad after the game. "I've had four seasons as coach at the Woodlands in two spells. This was the most spirited and determined Fylde performance that I've seen. The forwards stood up to a very good Cumbrian pack who had lots of possession but we invariably stopped them on the gain line. Our defence was superb with committed tackling and the players getting back on their feet quickly to put in the next round of tackles. They really put their bodies on the line, as did Kendal. With King, Nutt, Royle, Beaumont & Ferguson injured or unavailable, our resources were stretched.

"I was really impressed with the intelligent way we played the game, both into the wind in the 1st half and with it during the 2nd period. Our three tries were well created and we held our nerve in the end-to-end 2nd half. Mike Waywell's penalty was crucial but overall it was a team effort and it would be wrong to highlight specific players. I told the players before the match that this kind of contest is 99% attitude and 1% ability. They listened and delivered."

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