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Home > News > Fylde compete bravely but hit by glut of late Waterloo tries in Lancashire Cup semi-final
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Your News Fylde compete bravely but hit by glut of late Waterloo tries in Lancashire Cup semi-final
24
MAR

A very competitive start for Fylde saw them lead Waterloo for most of the 1st half and a Lancashire Cup shock looked on the cards in front of a healthy holiday crowd. But the much greater experience of the National Two side told as they used the strong, bitter wind to advantage in the 2nd half. Fylde were only behind by 16-21 on 65 minutes and still in the hunt. A barrage of four converted 'Loo tries in the last ten minutes sunk the home side as they ran out of steam.

With 1st team coach Mark Nelson using the game as an opportunity to look at a number of young 2nd team players, only three of Fylde's starting cup line-up began the league match against Morley a week earlier. So the relatively inexperienced, scratch home squad did well for a long spell against a pretty much 1st team selection by 'Loo.

The match started with Fylde having the benefit of a strong and bitterly cold diagonal wind in their favour. And my, did they use it well in the first quarter! Immediately the home side tore into their elevated opposition and really put them under the cosh. Any neutral would have wondered which of these was the first choice N2 squad and which the N3N 2nd team.

An early period of pressure inside the visitors' 22m line bore fruits as on 12 minutes 'Loo rather recklessly tried to run the ball from deep inside their own territory. Just about the only mistake the very impressive Waterloo fly-half, Alex Davies, made all game was the telegraphed flat pass he fired out to his centre. Fylde skipper for the day, David Wiseman, anticipated the pass and plucked it like an apple from a tree. He burst unopposed for 20m under the posts for a well taken try. Fly-half John Armstrong converted and Fylde had a 7-0 lead.

The pressure on Waterloo was relentless. One of their players strayed offside three minutes later and Armstrong kicked a good penalty to extend the lead. As the half went on, Waterloo came more into the game and achieved a degree of parity. Indeed, the home side struggled throughout in the scrummages as the immensely tall 'Loo tighthead prop and skipper Rob O'Donnell caused all kinds of problems. Without a stable scrummage platform, debutant scrum-half Tom Ball had a rough time.

The lineouts too were going in Waterloo's favour through the dominant middle of the line jumping of big lock forward Alistair Davidson.

Some nice combination play between Fylde's backs and forwards took them close to the Waterloo line on a few occasions, with their backrow of debutant Rob Hollingum, Sam Beaumont and Getty Schinkel working hard. On 33 minutes the visitors again offended well inside their own half and John Armstrong once more punished them with a successful penalty kick. 13-0 to Fylde.

Waterloo then took control of the game as the half neared its end. Some missed tackles by Fylde allowed the Waterloo backline space down their left and winger Steve Dodd was put clear and dived over for a try in the corner. Davies' conversion attempt into the wind dropped short. 13-5 to Fylde. A crucial break, and more missed tackles, allowed 'Loo to follow up with another try on the stroke of half-time. Lock John Nugent cantered over as Fylde ran out of defenders down their left. Once again the conversion was missed but Waterloo were now very much back in the game at 10-13 down.

Nevertheless, Fylde's young team could look back on the half as well competed even if they didn't turn their territorial advantage into sufficient points.

The 2nd period was much harder for the scratch home side. First of all almost immediately the half started fullback Mike Waywell picked up a knock and was withdrawn. This meant a reorganisation of the Fylde backline, with Matt Hughes coming on to the left wing and Lewis Boyd dropping back to fullback. The tantalising kicking of Waterloo no 10 Davies now began to have a real effect as he launched a series of up and unders deep in the Fylde half. The home defenders found these hard to counter and got into a mess trying to clear them up.

The Fylde forwards, too, began to feel the strain. Referee Kevin Warwick gave a series of penalties against the home side. Davies converted two of these in the 47th & 53rd minutes and 'Loo were ahead for the first time in the game at 16-13.

The Waterloo backs now began to stretch the Fylde defence out wide with good running lines and support play. On 60 minutes they manufactured space down their right and Lancashire winger Neil Kerfoot raced over in the corner for a good try. 21-13 to Waterloo.

But Fylde battled their way back upfield and on 65 minutes, when a 'Loo defender offended, John Armstrong kicked his third penalty to reduce the deficit to 16-21.

By now, injuries really undermined the home side's gallant defence. Influential no 8 Getty Schinkel was first forced off with a neck injury, to be replaced by Mark Briggs. Waterloo were still playing percentage rugby and Davies took another chance to extend the lead with his third penalty on 68 minutes to take the score to 24-16.

Injuries and the use of numerous replacements really disrupted Fylde's play. Hooker Alan Holmes gave way to Chris Lowden and skipper David Wiseman picked up a wrist injury to be replaced by Mark Edwards who went to no 10, John Armstrong dropped back to fullback. Shortly afterwards, centre Richard Kenyon was replaced by Paul Reeves.

Waterloo took startling advantage of the many changes in the Fylde ranks by spinning the ball wide for their speedy backs to wreck havoc through some powder puff tackling. Between 72 minutes when their Sale Jets centre Chris Parrott dodged through the Fylde defence and the 2nd minute of injury time, 'Loo added four tries, two of them converted by Davies. Powerful outside centre Nick Mazzucato and replacements James Gee and John Sykes got the touchdowns.

Whilst the ending was very disappointing for Fylde, they did enough in the first 70 minutes of the game against the National Two side to hold their heads high at the final whistle. The Fylde coaching staff will have learnt more from the game than their Waterloo equivalents, being able to run the rule over a number of aspiring 2nd team players. Flanker Rob Hollingum had an impressive, hard working debut and no 8 Getty Schinkel is a class act if he can regain full fitness. Amongst the backs, Tom Ball struggled initially but gradually settled to his task and looked sharp and quick.

Waterloo go forward to the Final against either Sedgley Park or West Park.

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