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Home > News > Fylde 48 - Preston Grasshoppers 17
Your News Fylde 48 - Preston Grasshoppers 17

For 52 minutes of this keenly contested derby match the result was in the balance until the home side burst into life scoring 30 unanswered points in the final 28 minutes despite playing 20 of those with 14 men. There was a large crowd of 2400 despite the torrential downpour 30 minutes before kick-off with the Fylde debut of Jason Robinson the headline act. Although Robinson failed to get on the scoresheet, he had a hand in a couple of tries and created space for his team mates as he was closely trailed by 2 or 3 defenders at every opportunity.

The weather had brightened for kick-off and it was the home side who opened the scoring on 8 minutes with a penalty from centre Mike Waywell. Five minutes later they extended their lead with the games first try as wing Oli Brennand went over for the score following good approach work from the pack. The conversion was missed. Hoppers opened their account on 29 minutes with a penalty converted by former Fylde fly half Mark Edwards. Mike Waywell responded with his own penalty just two minutes later which went in off the post and crossbar.

Five minutes before the interval visiting prop Mark Irving received the first of four yellow cards issued by referee Nick Coburn following an off the ball incident. He was joined in the sin bin by Fylde prop Pete Altham for a tackle that was adjudged to be dangerous. On the stroke of half time Hoppers got a try of their own, Edwards put in a grubber kick, Robinson appeared to be taken out as he tracked back, the ball struck the post and winger Thomas Ashton got a hand to the loose ball. Edwards added the simple conversion to leave the match finely poised at 11-10 to Fylde.

During the break head coach Mark Nelson urged his players to throw caution to the wind and play a more expansive game and this paid immediate dividends with a breakaway try. Robinson made a trademark break down the left and fed Brennand on the outside, he drew the last defender to feed scrum-half Craig Aikman on the inside who finished off. Waywell added the extras. The lead was soon back to a single point as centre Tom Hughes made the most of some confusion in the Fylde backline, Edwards converted but this was to be the last points the visitors would score.

Man of the match Richard Kenyon got the first of his brace on 52 minutes making the most of an overlap down the right hand side. Waywell converted. Josh Beaumont replaced Grant Ferguson and again made an impact with some bursting runs. On the hour Fylde were reduced to 14 men with a red card for the second successive week as Altham received his 2nd yellow card for foul play. This failed to inhibit their style as they continued to spread the play whilst the visitors were running out of steam, slowing down the ball at every breakdown and giving away penalties. Waywell converted two kickable chances on 72 and 76 minutes before adding a try of his own, squeezing in at the corner following a burst down the touchline, securing the bonus point in the process.

Right from the kick-off Fylde nearly scored again but Nick Royle was denied a try by the assistant referee's flag. Kenyon grabbed his second try in injury time following up a break from Royle, Waywell converted to take his tally to 23 points. It was impressive lock Paul Arnold who completed the scoring by getting on the end of a crossfield kick to touchdown.

Next week Fylde travel to Morley, who have lost both games so far, and will hope to continue where they left off in the final third against Hoppers.

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