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Home > News > Fylde overcome brave Morley
Your News Fylde overcome brave Morley

The afternoon started with a minute's silence for the death during the week of one of the Club's most loved and respected officials, 93 year old Gordon Aplin. Fylde's 30-7 performance during the succeeding 80 minutes against a brave Morley team was a suitable tribute to this indomitable, good natured man. It had many echoes of the previous week's win at Rugby Lions including the securing late on of a four try bonus scoring point. And, like last Saturday, scrum-half Craig Aikman had to pull out of the game at the last minute through a niggling groin injury. Martin Wallwork proved a very able replacement. Fylde move up to 3rd position in National Three (North) as a result.

Fylde started the match strongly and, when on 3 minutes a Morley back strayed offside, fly-half Steve Nutt kicked a straightforward penalty for a 3-0 lead. The home side's confidence was knocked, however, when a coruscating 40m midfield break by the ever dangerous flanker Craig Field took Morley to within 20m of the Fylde line. The ball was quickly recycled and makeshift fly-half Peter Murphy burst through a flat footed Fylde defence for a very good try. Scrum-half Dave Evans converted and the visitors had a 7-3 lead.

It didn't take Fylde long to respond in what was proving an exciting, end to end game. On 10 minutes and from a scrum just inside the Morley half, scrum-half Martin Wallwork broke right on the blindside before releasing Nick Royle. The flying winger who in recent weeks has recaptured the form and confidence of last season sped along the touchline before arcing back infield past five hapless Morley defenders as he sped towards the try line and touched down under the posts. It was another superb try, his 17th of the season and 65th in 62 appearances for the Woodlands club. Nutt converted the try and Fylde had an 8-7 lead.

Shortly afterwards Royle appeared in the middle of the back line and burst straight through the middle of the Morley defence. With just the fullback to beat it looked all the world like another try. But, for once, he didn't quite get his line right and didn't go wide for the corner as with his pace he would certainly have been able to outrun Scott Evans. The Morley player just got enough on him and the chance was lost.

Morley battled back downfield and dominated play for the next 15 minutes. They were helped by some Fylde mistakes including a fast, flat Nutt pass which was intercepted by Morley centre Mark Pease who hared for the line only to be brought down by a fine last ditch tackle from his opposite number, teenager Alex Hurst. Fylde cleared the danger but the relief was only temporary as Morley continued to fight for their very N3N lives.

Fylde didn't help themselves on 17 minutes when flanker Dan Bowman was sinbinned for persistent infringement. Dave Evans missed the very kickable consequential penalty which would have given them a deserved lead. Morley then attacked down their left and with Fylde defenders sucked into the middle looked to have a golden chance of taking the lead. They had three spare men waiting for the right pass which was lofted towards dangerous winger Jonny Hampsey. Somehow Royle managed to get a hand up to intercept the pass to save a certain try.

But the Fylde backline will now attack from the deepest of positions. After 35 minutes on their own 22m line Hurst broke clear and raced 45m downfield. With winger Oliver Brennand on his shoulder he decided to go it alone but was tackled and a great chance had gone begging.

With the half-time break beckoning and the home side back to 15 men, they took play down inside the Morley 22m line. From a lineout the Fylde forwards used an effective driving maul to rumble towards the Morley try line before forcing Dan Bowman over for a very timely try. Nutt's conversion attempt went wide but Fylde were very pleased to take a 15-7 lead at the half-time whistle. If Morley's attacks had shown a degree more precision and penetration then the score would have been quite different.

The 2nd period started with the home side on the attack despite losing centre Neil Hunter with a leg injury at the break. John Armstrong replaced him. A backs move down the Fylde left saw fullback Mike Waywell, who had a quietly effective match up to then, break inside the Morley half. He fed Oliver Brennand 40 metres out and the young winger raced down the touchline. As the last Morley defender came in to make the tackle he chipped past him. In the race for the line the ball bounced off the Morley player's heel and Waywell who had followed up dropped on the loose ball for a very timely try. Steve Nutt's attempted conversion drifted wide but Fylde had established a dominating 20-7 lead.

But Morley would simply not lie down. They harried and hustled over the pitch and tested the Fylde defence in a series of attacks. The Fylde backrow had an excellent day, with Sam Beaumont having an outstanding game alongside Dan Bowman and Dave Wilks. Beaumont was superb in the line-out, taking a lot of Fylde throws and stealing a good number of Morley's. In fact, Fylde controlled the line-outs throughout the game and it was the visitor's main area of weakness.

On 65 minutes Fylde replaced their skipper Roger Banks who had picked up a leg injury by debutant Getty Schinkel. The 29 year old South African put in a very impressive cameo performance in the remaining 15 minutes, a powerful carry of the ball 10 metres into the heart of the Morley defence and a soaring catch from a restart marking him out as a real talent.

As the match entered the final ten minutes with their side encamped inside the Morley half, the home supporters became increasingly anxious that the fourth bonus point try wouldn't come despite another penalty from Nutt which made the score 23-7. Fylde left it very late indeed to score the crucial try.

On 78 minutes a Fylde backs move 15m out from the try line saw replacement John Armstrong show his great footballing skills. He beautifully side stepped the Morley defender before popping up a pass to the supporting Mike Waywell who made the last 5m with ease. This was Waywell's fourth try in three matches in the claret and gold colours and the 19 year old showed his versatility and quiet competence.

Nutt converted the try and the final whistle sounded shortly afterwards with Fylde securing a 30-7 win.

Morley had made the afternoon very uncomfortable for the home side with a skilful and brave performance. Fylde's skipper Roger Banks paid a suitable tribute to the Maroons after the game. "Morley were a very tough team indeed. There's no way that they should be threatened by relegation - they are much too good for that. It just shows how hard this division is."

This was, overall, a good and determined performance by Fylde which saw them overtake Leicester Lions and move up to 3rd in the N3N table. This fine run of six unbeaten matches may have come too late to achieve a promotion play-off place but it is very heartening for next season if coach Mark Nelson is able to keep this squad together.

The most obvious candidates for Fylde's man of the match was the outstanding Sam Beaumont and scrum-half Martin Wallwork who once more covered for injured colleagues at the last minute and gave a wholehearted and clever performance. Without doubt, Steve Nutt has been a major acquisition for he plays the game 'on the edge', always creative and risk taking. These risks don't always pay off but more often they do. It's not an accident that in the four games he's played in the claret & gold, the side has scored 143 points - 41, 42, 30 & 30 - and all have been won with a degree of comfort.

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