Fylde aim for grand finale

Stephen Briers - swansong appearance
Stephen Briers - swansong appearance
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Fylde rugby club bid to sign off in style on Saturday when they entertain Old Albanian in the final match of the National League One season.

The game will be followed by an end-of-term ceremony in the club-house when player of the year presentations will take place.

Coach Mark Nelson said: “It will mark the end of a long, hard season.

“We lost by one point in our last match at Blaydon, which would have meant five away wins this season and a first-ever win up there, but it wasn’t to be and it is important to get back to winning ways against Old Albanian.

“We hope for a big crowd at the Woodlands in what will be the supporters’ last chance to see the team play until August when we take on Sale Sharks in a pre-season match,”

The hope is that it will be an entertaining encounter, with Old Albanian coming to Ansdell safely positioned in mid-table.

The clash will mark the farewell appearance in a Fylde shirt by centre Stephen Briers, who is retiring from rugby. He will have the honour of leading out the team, though Evan Stewart will captain the side.

Nelson said: “It will be a poignant day for Stephen.

“It will be his last game - he will be playing alongside his brother Chris, while his family will be there too.

“His father has watched him playing for the past 26 years.”

The Fylde v Old Albanian clash is being billed as the biggest rugby union match to be played in the North West tomorrow afternoon.

If the corresponding encounter between the two sides is anything to go by the match should be a cracker.

Fylde scored a 45-41 win way back at the start of the campaign.

Last season, Fylde completed the double over Old Albanian, winning 26-20 at the Woodlands and 30-10 on their home patch.

Stephen Briers says he intends to keep close tabs on Fylde, even though he is standing down on the playing side.

He said: “I look forward to being a continued supporter of the club and anything that I can do to help the club in any way, outside of playing, I will endeavour to do so.

“I wish the club and its members every success with their future ambitions and hope to see Fylde remaining a force in national league rugby and continuing to be active in the further development of the game both locally and

nationally long in to the future.”