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Home > News > Fylde 20 - Preston Grasshoppers 13
Your News Fylde 20 - Preston Grasshoppers 13

Scheduling an early Lancashire Cup game between such traditional opponents, in part as a pre-season workout, was always going to be a mixed blessing. Is winning more important or is it immaterial against wider interests of trying out different combinations and new players? Both clubs fell a little between these two stools at the Woodlands in a very competitive and hard fought battle in front of a an impressive crowd of 400.

Fylde, as the holders of the trophy for the last two seasons, had rather more to lose than the visitors. And they started off in impressive and dominating fashion with debutant lock Paul Arnold always to the fore. After only five minutes a series of forward drives sucked in Hoppers defenders and when the home side moved the ball left pacey flanker Dan Waller strode clear to touch down.

England Counties & Lancashire winger Oliver Brennand was making his competitive comeback after losing the majority of last season through a shoulder injury. He made his presence felt with some excellent breaks down the touchline but desperate tackling by Preston managed to keep him out.

On 31 minutes 19 year old fly-half Kelham O'Hanlon, who had a promising senior dbut, broke the Hoppers defensive line and powered through for a fine try. He hit the uprights with the conversion attempt. Minutes later, some impressive interplay between backs and forwards ended with flanker Mark Briggs picking a ball off his bootlaces and racing clear for the try of the day. O'Hanlon converted and Fylde had a decisive 17-0 lead and looked to be sailing clear.

A couple of successful Neil Smith penalties either side of the interval gave Hoppers just the encouragement they needed. Fylde were camped on the Hoppers line with three drives over the try line but were adjudged to be held up each time. As Fylde rang the changes with a glut of young replacements, Preston stepped up their efforts and controlled the last 20 minutes. On 70 minutes they bundled debutant flanker Mike Millward into the left corner for a try and Edwards kicked a lovely conversion to reduce the deficit to 13-20 and 'game on'!

Hoppers piled forward and were close to scoring through their pack. But Fylde held out for a deserved three-tries-to-one victory. Jason Robinson looked on, thinking no doubt about his club dbut against the same opponents in two weeks time in rather more serious league action.


Tries: Waller 5, O'Hanlon 31 & Briggs 34. Conversion: Hough 35. Penalty: O'Hanlon 60.

Backs: Curren, Hough, Lever, Ward, Brennand, O'Hanlon, Wallwork, Russell, Lighttowler, Wiseman, Edgar

Forwards: Altham, Roddam, Lavelle, Rosen, Arnold, Waller, McGinnis, Beaumont(S), Beaumont(J), Shepherd, Briggs, Thoma, McGuiness, Madden.


Try: Millward 70. Conversion: Edwards 70. Penalties: Smith 40, 44.

Backs: Smith(J), Ball, Hall, Smith(N), Edwards, Hughes(T), Berry, Thomas, Ashton, Spratt, Taylor, Manning, Murphy.

Forwards: Peterson, Irving, Ferguson, Lowden, Sands, Duckworth, Steel, Rigbye, Balshaw, Cunningham, Pearson, Millward, Maudsley, Charters, Morton.

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