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Home > News > Westoe 43 - Fylde 21
Your News Westoe 43 - Fylde 21

A disastrous showing by Fylde in the second quarter of this National Two (North) match at Westoe's Wood Terrace ground consigned the visitors to yet another away defeat. From the 19th to 38th minutes Westoe ran in five tries, three by their highly impressive fly-half Charlie Rayner. From a position of 9-36 down there was no coming back for the Woodlands side and their fifth away defeat in seven games beckoned. Rayner had a personal haul of 28 points. Fylde came back into the contest in the 2nd half to restore some pride but it was far too late to get anything tangible out of the game.

Things started much more promisingly for the visitors. Fylde's tactical approach of playing up the slope in the 1st half, holding Westoe's attacks and then pressing in the second period seemed to be paying off. A first minute penalty kick by Rayner was matched by a similar one by Fylde fly-half Tom Barlow. Barlow edged Fylde in front on 17 minutes when he converted another penalty for a 6-3 lead.

But two minutes later Rayner skipped through the Fylde midfield and scored a neat try. He converted this himself and it proved the overture to 19 minutes of mayhem for the Fylde defence.

On 25 minutes Fylde were penalised for crossing in their own half and Westoe winger Chris Clark punished them in the simplest way by taking a tap penalty and racing through the empty ranks of a hapless defence for the try. Rayner converted and his side had suddenly built a 17-6 lead.

Matters were going to get better, much better, for the home side. Barlow pegged them back a little on 29 minutes with another penalty but this merely held up the inevitable. By now Westoe were simply running around and through the Fylde defence at will. On 31 minutes Rayner scored his second try, quickly followed up by the other Clark twin, centre James. Both Chris and James have damaged Fylde in past seasons when playing for Darlington Mowden Park and once more they wreaked havoc.

By now Charlie Rayner, another former DMP & Blaydon star, was having the time of his life. In the 38th minute he scored his third try of the day and converted it for a 36-9 half-time lead.

Whilst turning this around was never a likely option for Fylde, they did have the chance of at least restoring some pride and, maybe, pressing for a bonus point. The Fylde pack, in fact, played well throughout and began to step up the pressure on the home side. Four minutes into the half they set up a driving maul and lock Nick King powered over for Fylde's opening try. Barlow converted and reduced the deficit to 16-36. King was replaced by Grant Ferguson three minutes after his try and the newcomer looked on helplessly when three minutes later his backline was attacking only for Westoe winger Peter Phelan to intercept and race clear for his side's sixth try, converted by Rayner.

The Fylde pack continued to press the home eight and force penalties. Flanker Aaron Myers was sinbinned on 53 minutes and he was followed nine minutes later by centre James Clark. Just before the second yellow card was waved by referee Rob Sheard, the Fylde backline at last discovered some coherence and a neat move put winger Matt Gargett over in the right corner. Barlow was unable to make the conversion but at least this was better stuff from the visitors.

With Westoe on the back foot and a man down, there was a glimpse of a bonus point for Fylde. But this came to nothing as their challenge ran out of steam. The final quarter saw no more scoring and the game finished with a very deserved and totally clear Westoe victory.

Fylde Director of Rugby Mark Nelson didn't hide his disappointment with his team's display. "However you look at it, this was an unacceptable performance. The forwards played well throughout and individual backs did too at times. But during that 20 minutes of madness in the second quarter the collective alignment and tackling of the backs was awful. The Westoe backs cut some nice angles and hit the line at pace. But this doesn't excuse our inadequacies. We really lost the plot big time, rather like we did in similar displays at Leicester Lions and Macclesfield. We can do well away from home - our wins at Caldy and Broadstreet showed that - but there has to be much greater quality and focus in the crucial upcoming games before Christmas."

Fylde slip three places in National Two (North) to 9th. The next match, this coming Saturday, against Harrogate at the Woodlands takes on great significance given that the following week the most difficult trip of all beckons, against leaders Loughborough Students, followed quickly by the great local battle with Preston Grasshoppers at the Woodlands.

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