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Home > News > Fylde crash to defeat
Your News Fylde crash to defeat

Hull Ionians 27 Fylde 17

Fylde crashed to their seventh away defeat of the season at Hull Ionians in another disappointing National Two (North) performance away from their Woodlands base. A poor 1st half saw them 7-27 in arrears at the interval and although two late tries indicated what might have been, these were no more than consolation efforts. It must have a particularly long journey home for Director of Rugby Mark Nelson who has seen his side put in a rousing display against promotion chasing Caldy one week followed up by this effort against relegation threatened Ionians seven days later. There was no doubt, however, that the home side wanted the victory very badly and thoroughly deserved their success. On this evidence it's hard to understand why they are struggling towards the bottom of the division. They will surely climb to safety in the coming weeks.

This turned out not to be a good day for goal kicking. Joe Wright for Ionians and Tom Barlow for Fylde missed early penalty chances, Barlow's straightforward effort somehow hitting the post. But the afternoon was soon to get much worse for the visitors. Ionians established early control and on ten minutes a missed tackle by a Fylde forward in midfield opened the pitch up for centre James Greene who stormed through a vacant defence for an opportunistic try under the posts. Fullback Joe Wright converted for a 7-0 lead.

Fylde struggled for equality up front and, as for the entire 1st half, had very little ball with which to work. Scrummages were pretty even but Ionians' England Counties lock James Rule dominated the lineouts. Wright extended the Ionians lead on 13 minutes when he converted a penalty for a 10-0 advantage.

The home side were now firmly in their stride and looking dangerous all over the pitch. On 22 minutes a lovely switch move by the home backs released highly promising winger Will Greenwood who dashed through from 30m out for a fine try under the posts. Once again Wright converted for a 17-0 lead and in successive matches Fylde found themselves substantially in arrears before getting out of their starting blocks. Against Caldy they came back in spectacular fashion. Could they do this again at Brantingham Park?

Their cause wasn't helped by the disruption of losing lock Nick King with a knee injury after 17 minutes. However, Ionians also suffered as four minutes earlier they lost flanker Mark Wigham through injury. Grant Ferguson replaced King.

Ionians became a little too confident immediately after Greenwood's try. They tried an ambitious backs move which was read by Fylde's ever dangerous England 7s winger Nick Royle. He intercepted smartly on halfway and raced clear for the easiest of tries under the posts. Barlow converted and Fylde were back in the contest at 7-17 down.

But more indiscipline let Fylde down after 32 minutes and Wright kicked another penalty goal to stretch Ionians advantage to 20-7. The crucial moment of the match, however, occurred four minutes later. With Fylde pressing hard on the Ionians line, a Fylde forward took a wrong option and spilled the ball in contact. With the Fylde backs lined up in attacking formation, winger Greenwood scooped up the loose ball and ran the length of the pitch for the killer try under the posts. Ionians deservedly took a 27-7 lead into the interval and a humiliating defeat looked on the cards for the visitors.

As it transpired, Ionians didn't add to their score for the rest of the game. This was due not only to a significantly improved Fylde performance but also because the home side's influential playmaker James Ferguson didn't reappear for the 2nd half. He was replaced by promising Fylde youngster Rob Whittam who is at university in Hull.

The third quarter of the game was undistinguished with both teams prone to frequent errors of handling and other basic skills. Ionians were content to sit on their lead and Fylde struggled to find ways to break them down. In the 60th minute Nelson rang the changes with replacements Martin Wallwork, Tom Hart and Alan Holmes replacing Tom Barlow, Sam Russell and Laurie Smith.

In the last ten minutes Fylde at last injected some dynamism and creativity into their play. A lovely 50m break by fullback Mike Waywell on 73 minutes set up a chance for replacement Alan Holmes to power in from 20m for a good try. Waywell missed the conversion but at least the deficit had been reduced to 12-27.

In the 79th minute a flowing move by the Fylde backs put Nick Royle clear and he sprinted in from30m for another impressive try. Suddenly there was the prospect of a 4th try bonus point and Fylde threw everything into attack. But this was too little, too late and the final whistle blew with the scoreboard showing a 27-17 victory to Hull Ionians.

Apart from the last ten minutes, the home side had ruled the roost and their victory was very deserved. Although they look to be climbing away from the relegation scrap, and certainly on this performance look too good for the drop, they might rue their inability to get a try scoring bonus point when they had Fylde seemingly at their mercy after 40 minutes.

The Fylde coaches and players meanwhile will be licking their wounds and contemplating the visit next Saturday of one of the outstanding teams in the division, 2nd placed Macclesfield. The Cheshire club have put together a superb run of eleven successive league wins and Fylde will have to improve considerably if they are to have any chance of ending this sequence.

Mark Nelson said: "I thought that Hull Ionians played very well. They dominated possession in the1st half, maybe earning even 80%. If anything, once we were behind, we were trying too hard, chasing the game, gettiung frustrated. Most things fell right for them and they took due advantage for which I give them full credit.

"We were better in the 2nd half and edged it 12-0. They were very focused, as you would expect in a team fighting to get away from the relegation zone. We have to learn to play every game on its merits, even though we're neither going to be promoted nor relegated. We will be playing a number of teams who still have much to play for at both ends of the table. I'm delighted we're facing Macclesfield at the Woodlands on Saturday. They have a very strong squad and the game won't be dog fight. We will have to be focussed if we are to compete with them."

Joseph Wright 15 Mike Waywell

Stephen Slingsby 14 Nicholas Royle

James Greene 13 Sam Russell

Oliver Marns 12 Jack Ward

Will Greenwood 11 Matt Gargett

James Ferguson 10 Tom Barlow

Joe Bartlett 9 Craig Aikman

Chris Starling 1 Andrew Irvine

Thomas Rice 2 Johnny Roddam

Neil Lyons 3 Adam Lewis

Joe Makin 4 Nick King

Jimmy Rule 5 Alastair Atkinson

Richard Wigham 6 Laurie Smith

Mark Wigham 7 Mark Stephenson

Chris Cusack 8 Sam Beaumont

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