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Home > News > Excellent Fylde defeat Hull Ionians
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Your News Excellent Fylde defeat Hull Ionians
31
MAR

Fylde's Saturday out at a wet and wind swept Brantingham Park could hardly have gone any better. They were too good for Hull Ionians and used the dreadful conditions very well. In fact, both teams treated the thin crowd to an entertaining spectacle of running rugby in such unpromising circumstances.

With the strong wind behind them in the 1st half Fylde took due advantage, scoring three tries through Craig Aikman, Alex Hurst & Oliver Brennand, and led by 19-0 at the interval. Battling into the wind in the 2nd period was very hard work but the forwards dogged it out in fine, aggressive style. A 2nd Aikman try sealed the bonus point and a late Ionians pushover didn't take the gloss off the performance. Steve Nutt converted two of the tries and once more led the backline with imagination and flair.

Then came the news that N3N 2nd placed club and overwhelming favourites for the play-off place, Darlington Mowden Park, had lost at Priory Park to a battling relegation threatened Macclesfield. This brings Fylde to within three points of Mowden with two games left to play

A dry, cool early morning in East Yorkshire by the time of the kick-off had deteriorated into continuous rain driven on by a strong wind. Fylde had the wind and rain at their backs as they started the game in their usual all action style. Hull Ionians kicked off, drove upfield but then knocked the ball on. From the first scrummage of the game Fylde's backline was in action and fly-half Steve Nutt opened up the Ionians' defence with a delightful grubber kick ahead. His half-back partner Craig Aikman was the quickest to react and sprinted through to beat the despairing lunges of the Hull defenders to touch down. Nutt was unable to convert the try but must have been well pleased by his own creative play.

On 20 minutes Fylde's full-back Richard Kenyon picked up a stray pass just inside the Ionians half and ran at the home side. He linked up with Steve Nutt who passed to centre Alex Hurst. The ever eager youngster picked a beautiful running line to slice right through the heart of the Ionians defensive line to score a very well worked move under the posts. Nutt converted and Fylde had built up a healthy 12-0 lead.

Ionians came back into the game strongly and their powerful pack camped inside the Fylde 22m line for a period. Solid defence by the visitors repelled their advances before they were able to clear the ball downfield.

Fylde were certainly taking advantage of the worsening weather as they continued to press their territorial advantage. Their scrummage was marginally more convincing than Hull's and the lineout battle was equally matched in very difficult throwing conditions.

But it was the Fylde backline that posed frequent dangers to the home side. Even in such conditions they followed coach Mark Nelson's instructions to move the ball wide and through hands as often as possible.

On 27 minutes Fylde got a crucial score. A couple of attacking Fylde scrummages inside the Ionians' half were followed by driving mauls with the visitors keeping ball in hand. A quick pass from Aikman set Nutt free and he chipped the ball through the home defence. Three Fylde players were free but it was winger Ollie Brennand who collected the ball and grounded it for the try, his 24th of the season. Nutt converted and led his side to a 19-0 nil lead.

The visitors' attacking play continued and their other top class winger Nick Royle then got into the action. He broke clear and drove over the try line only for a marvellous piece of defence by an Ionian player who ripped the ball off him as he was about to touch down.

Just before the break, Fylde's task became marginally more difficult as their flanker Dan Bowman was unjustly sinbinned due to the intervention of a touch judge. With spectators howling in his ear, the official mistakenly believed that Bowman had kicked an opponent on the ground rather than the ball. Whilst he was in an offside position when he did it, it was quite unfair to show him a yellow card.

Given that they were down, albeit temporarily to 14 men and the howling wind would be behind Ionians for the 2nd half, would the visitors be able to defend this substantial lead? It would certainly require a resolute defensive effort against a team that had got with a couple of points the previous week at leaders Tynedale.

Fylde buckled down and played the required tighter, forwards-oriented style that the conditions demanded. However, on 47 minutes they offended well inside their own half and Ionians fullback James Ferguson kicked the subsequent penalty to open his side's scoring and reduce the deficit to 3-19.

Fylde also had periods of pressure inside the Ionians' half. From one such situation on the Hull 22m line on 59 minutes, a clearing kick from an Ionians defender was charged down by the ever alert Aikman who hacked the loose ball over the line before touching down for his second try. Nutt's attempted conversion failed but Fylde had picked up what might turn out to be a very important bonus point for their 4th try.

Ionains came back and battled hard in a losing cause. On 66 minutes they at last perfected a driving maul near the Fylde try line and no 8 Rob Kench claimed the try. Ferguson's conversion failed but the score was marginally more favourable at 8-24 down.

There was sporadic excitement for the remaining quarter of the game as both sides continued to play positive rugby in the bad conditions but no further scoring.

Overall, this was a very good performance from a determined Fylde side who maintained an attacking game throughout yet were disciplined in defence. The pack, to a man, worked very hard and the backs looked as though on a dry day they would have run in many more tries. But credit must go to both teams for an entertaining, end-to-end contest despite the weather conditions.

2 Aikman (t) 5-0

20 Hurst (t) 10-0

Nutt (c) 12-0

27 Brennand (t) 17-0

Nutt (c) 19-0

Half-time 19-0

47 Ferguson (p) 19-3

59 Aikman (t) 24-3

66 Kench (t) 24-8

Hull Ionians: 15 James Ferguson; 14 Gary Stephenson, 13 Ryan Girking, 12 Travis Plumridge, 11 Joe Donkin; 10 Karl Birch, 9 Tom Boyle; 1 Chris Starling, 2 Carl Mortimer(c), 3 Albert Thundercliffe, 4 Richard Hill, 5 Paul Spivey, 6 Rob Kench, 7 Richard Wigham, 8 Danny Hague. Reps. 16 Tom Rice, 17 Kieran Dannatt, 18 Mark Wigham, 19 Sean Hannah.

Fylde: 15 Richard Kenyon; 14 Nick Royle, 13 Alex Hurst, 12 Neil Hunter, 11 Oliver Brennand; 10 Steve Nutt, 9 Craig Aitken; 1 Matt Filipo (Sam Simpson ), 2 Alan Holmes (Chris Tyms), 3 Darren Clark, 4 Nick King (Getty Schinkel), 5 Roger Banks, 6 Dan Beaumont, 7 Dave Wilks, 8 Sam Beaumont.

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