Back-rower on front foot for a big finish

Sam Beaumont
Sam Beaumont
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FYLDE skipper Sam Beaumont will have his brother Josh alongside him in the pack when the pair don Barbarians shirts next month.

The plan is for the pair to be in the side that takes on Richmond on April 12 – a match to commemorate 150 years of the London club.

And by then Sam is hoping to have led Fylde to within touching distance at least of the National League Two North title.

He came on as a late replacement for Fylde at Preston Grasshoppers last Saturday, having played for England Counties the previous evening in Dublin, where the touring side lost 16-8 to Ulster Bank Club International line-up.

Beaumont said: “I was disappointed that we lost but I enjoyed the game. It was great experience to be away with the squad.

“I thought I did OK – made a few tackles and did a few carries, but it was a pretty frantic, physical game.”

Beaumont took an early-morning flight back to England, arriving home about mid-day ahead of the Lightfoot Green match.

He was on the replacements’ bench at Hoppers, coming on in the closing stages of the second half.

Mike Waywell, who had come on as a substitute the previous night in Dublin, sealed the derby game with a last-gasp try, though it was not vintage Claret as they were not at their best in winning 27-20.

Beaumont added: “It was a great win, though we didn’t play very well.

“They (Preston) dragged us down (to their level) and we didn’t get a chance to play properly. But on a derby day, I will take any kind of win.

“It was frustrating in the first half. We defended well enough when we went down to 13 men, and I thought we were going to blow them away and tire them out second half but we never really got going.

“We can’t complain with a bonus point win, though.”

It is now reaching the defining phase of the season, with Fylde enjoying a handsome lead at the top, but their next two matches are at home to Luctonians and Westoe, two of the three teams to beat them this season.

Though Fylde have won their last 12 matches, they have had to scrap hard in most of them, and Beaumont expects no different in the final six matches.

“Being top of the league everyone wants to have a shot at us. Every team is desperate to knock us off our pedestal,” he added. We have two big games coming up. We just need to tick them off. It is getting to the stage of the season when a 3-0 win will do!

“We didn’t really have any expectations at the start of the year but we have got into the winning habit.

“We went through a patch of not playing very well and I think the Christmas break did us good.

“They were two hard games, losing to Westoe and Luctionians away. We need to get revenge on them in the next couple of weeks.”

But like everyone else at the club, Beaumont is deriving enjoyment from the way the side is performing and the style demanded of them, coinciding with the arrival of Brian Ashton to work on a consultancy basis.

Beaumont said: “We have bought into the way Brian wants us to play, having a go from whatever part of the field we get the ball and playing with no fear.”