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18
OCT

Mark Nelson took over the coaching reins at Fylde in mid-October 2007 and his first game was a 18-31 defeat at Leicester Lions. He will look ruefully on this two year anniversary following one of the Clubs heaviest defeats of recent seasons when his squad suffered a 3-35 reverse at the same Lutterworth Road ground on Saturday.

The Lions were superior in all aspects of the game and thoroughly deserved their maximum points win. The Lions player/coach and fly-half Jon Boden made his seasons debut with an authoritative performance and a 15 point contribution.

Fylde hardly seemed to be off the coach when they went behind after only five minutes. One of their backs drifted offside and Boden kicked a straightforward penalty for a 3-0 lead. He extended this on 13 minutes when a visiting forward failed to roll away from a ruck and Boden doubled his sides lead.

Bodens counterpart, Fylde fly-half Tom Barlow, reduced the deficit three minutes later with a penalty kick following a Leicester forward diving over the top of a ruck. Neither Barlow nor his team mates could have thought at this stage that this was to be their only reward of the afternoon.

Fyldes scrummage was under serious pressure throughout the 80 minutes. Without a sound foundation in the tight exchanges, their play deteriorated quickly. Indiscipline crept in and the Lions duly punished them in the sternest fashion. In the 24th minute one of several penalties against the visitors was kicked to the corner and from a driving maul the Lions pack powered over for a try claimed by no 8 Junior Fagalilo. Jon Boden converted and his side had a 13-3 lead. He extended this in the 32nd minute with another successful penalty kick.

The crucial score came just before half-time when from another lineout catch and drive, free scoring Kiwi wing Scott Alfred joined in the close quarter work and got the touch down. For once, Boden missed the kick yet his side took a handsome and conclusive 21-3 lead in to the dressing rooms at the interval.

Fylde Director of Rugby Mark Nelson kept his squad out in the middle during the break, stressing the need to step up their performance in the 2nd half by any number of degrees. Although Fylde stemmed the scoring for a period, the team talk had little effect as basic errors and bad decisions continued to litter the visitors play.

Indiscipline yet again contributed to Fyldes ignominious defeat. On 57 minutes lock Nick King retaliated after his fellow second row partner Alistair Atkinson had been brought down in a lineout and was yellow carded for his trouble. This was the signal for the Lions to step up the intensity of their play and take due advantage.

Two minutes later the Lions scored their third try. They recycled the ball numerous times inside the Fylde half and then attacked out wide. Alfred scored his second try (and his 9th this season) with ease as Fylde ran out of defenders. Boden converted for a 28-3 lead.

On 67 minutes yet another Fylde back move ended with a mistaken pass and from broken play the Lions attacked and centre Steve Cross raced through the middle to score under the posts. Boden converted for a 35-3 lead and this concluded the scoring for the day.

Mark Nelson said: This was an unacceptable performance against an ordinary team whom we made look like potential champions. Id like to think it was a blip, a bad day at the office. Nothing went right for us, our players became frustrated whilst Leicester had the run of the ball. I thought that they were an average side and that made the defeat even more galling as it was a game we had been confident of winning. All the Lions Christmases came at once whilst Scrooge was sitting at the head of our table.

Scoring sequence:

5 mins Jon Boden (Penalty Kick) 16 mins Tom Barlow (Penalty Kick)

13 mins Jon Boden (Penalty Kick)

24 mins Junior Fagalilo (Try)

24 mins Jon Boden (Conversion)

32 mins Jon Boden (Penalty Kick)

36 mins Scott Alfred (Try)

59 mins Scott Alfred (Try)

59 mins Jon Boden (Conversion)

67 mins Steve Cross (Try)

67 mins Jon Boden (Conversion)

Leicester Lions: Boden; Alfred, Morris, Cross, Collins; Boshoff (Dyment 66), Walker; Moore (Tyers 57), Agar (Williamson 66), Murray, Kite, Solomon (Cheney 66), Dockray, Rudkin, Fagalilo (Saxon 64).

Fylde: Wallwork; Royle, Waywell (Wiseman 69), Hurst (Moore 48), Brennand; Barlow, Aikman; Altham (Stover 64), Roddam, Lewis, Atkinson (Hodgkins 69), King, Briggs (Cassidy 70), Smith, Banks.

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