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Home > News > Season ends for Fylde in honourable defeat at Tynedale
Your News Season ends for Fylde in honourable defeat at Tynedale

Fylde finished their 2007/8 season with a disappointing though not dispiriting 7-22 defeat at champions Tynedale. If their late charge for the runners-up position and play-off place failed at the last hurdle then the squad has come a long way during the eight month season. On the day, they were beaten by the better side. Tynedale are worthy and overwhelming champions of National Three (North) and demonstrated the reasons why they've won 24 out of 26 games since September. Following their close victory at Morley, Darlington Mowden Park finish in clear second place and qualified for the play-off game at Cinderford next Saturday.

Fylde's cause took a hard knock before they left Lancashire for the long journey to Corbridge. Fulcrum of the backline and tallismanic fly-half Steve Nutt was struck down by flu overnight and dropped out. Tyro centre, the extremely promising Alex Hurst, followed him out of the line-up when his troublesome calf forced him to withdraw after a late fitness test at Tynedale Park. John Armstrong came in at fullback and David Wiseman at centre, with Neil Hunter moving to fly-half. It was always going to be difficult to beat such an accomplished side. With their game plan disrupted by the withdrawals then it was inevitably going to be even tougher.

But things were about to get worse once the game started in front of a reasonable crowd. First of all they lost the toss and had to play into the teeth of a very strong wind blowing directly into their faces. Tynedale's Phil Belgian kicked off, the ball bounced loose and a Fylde hand knocked it on. From the resultant scrum, Belgian broke a weak attempted Fylde tackle 20 metres out and passed to winger Ben Duncan who cruised in for a sucker try. Belgian converted, so Within a minute Tynedale were 7-0 ahead.

From the restart on 3 minutes, Tynedale drove back into Fylde's half and one of the visitors' forwards infringed. Fylde's nemesis, the veteran yet evergreen Belgian, kicked the penalty and his side had a 10-0 lead almost before Fylde had stepped off the coach.

Fylde battled back and tried to establish a degree of parity. Their scrummage was causing the home side some discomfort and on one occasion they took a strike against the head. But even this advantage was undermined somewhat when veteran prop Matt Filipo limped off with a knee injury on 14 minutes to be replaced by Sam Simpson. But their efforts at stabilising the ship was proving successful in a game which became a fierce and competitive midfield struggle for the rest of the 1st half. A 10 point deficit with the prospect of the elements at their backs in the 2nd half would have been redeemable.

But the crucial moment of the game was in the 11th, yes 11th, minute of injury time at the end of the half. Where referee Chris Seeley found those extra minutes then only he'll know. Tynedale's forwards secured turnover ball 40 metres out and quickly switched the direction of play down the blindside. They totally caught out the Fylde defence and flanker Matthew Fieldhouse ran in a try into their right corner almost unopposed. Belgian's attempted conversion failed but Tyne took a decisive 15-0 lead into the half-time break.

News from Morley that Fylde's rivals for the promotion play-off place, Darlington Mowden Park, were leading the home side by 16-12 couldn't have boosted their morale.

But Fylde's collective heads didn't drop as they took the game by the scruff of the neck at the beginning of the 2nd half. They proceeded to use the wind sensibly and to pin Tyne back in their own half. Apart from rare sorties into the Fylde half, Tynedale were penned in their own half by the hard working visitors. But Fylde found it very difficult to penetrate a skilful and disciplined Tynedale defence. Scrum-half Craig Aikman was continually dangerous with his sniping runs and on one occasion broke clear with flyer Nick Royle clear outside him. But Aikman's pass was taken by the wind and missed Royle. And a long range penalty by fullback John Armstrong drifted just past the posts.

However, on 62 minutes Fylde made the breakthrough they so badly needed when they launched yet another attack, this time down their left. Fullback John Armstrong came into the line and did a delightful 'show and go' to bemuse the Tynedale defender. As he drifted outside winger Oliver Brennand, he put in a clever grubber kick behind the Tynedale defence and Brennand did the rest as he outpaced everyone to get the vital touchdown - his 26th in league and cup games this season. Armstrong converted and Fylde were back in the contest at 7-15 down with everything to play for.

But with Bill Beaumont in the grandstand waiting to award Tynedale the N3N championship trophy at the end of the game on behalf of the RFU, the hosts were in no mood to let Fylde be party poopers. They applied the coupe de grace on 67 minutes when Phil Belgian again created space by breaking through another weak midfield Fylde tackle and he put winger Robert White in for a try under the posts. Belgian's conversion put his side decisively in front at 22-7. Try as they might Fylde were unable to add to their points total by the final whistle.

Tynedale were deserved winners although the margin of victory rather flattered them. Fylde continue to find Tynedale a bogey side although, sadly for them, they won't have a chance for revenge next season as Tyne move up to National Two. But the Woodlands squad will take heart from a splendid final third of the season which saw them make up significant ground on the top clubs and take their unlikely promotion challenge into the final league Saturday.

Tynedale: 15 Jack (Hamish) Smales; 14 Robert White (James Rastall 76), 13 Jack Harrison, 12 Phillip Belgian, 11 Benjamin Duncan; 10 Gavin Beasley, 9 Ross Samson; 1 Peter Southern (Douglas Jupp 68), 2 Aaron Charlton, 3 Rupert Harden, 4 Ben Marshall (Graeme Dunn 75), 5 Stuart Walker, 6 Matthew Fieldhouse (Graeme MacGilchrist 68), 7 Grant Rastall, 8 Andrew Murray.

Fylde: 15 John Armstrong; 14 Nick Royle, 13 Richard Kenyon, 12 David Wiseman, 11 Oliver Brennand; 10 Neil Hunter (Martin Wallwork 62), 9 Craig Aikman; 1 Matt Filipo (Sam Simpson 14), 2 Alan Holmes (Chris Tyms 66), 3 Darren Clark, 4 Dylan O'Grady, 5 Roger Banks (Getty Schinkel 66), 6 Dan Bowman, 7 Dave Wilks, 8 Sam Beaumont.

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