Darlington Mowden Park 66 Fylde 22: Match report

Scott Armstrong scored at DMP
Scott Armstrong scored at DMP
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Fylde find themselves back in a relegation battle after this 10-try defeat at the Northern Echo Arena.

Three straight wins in February appeared to have secured their National One status but a run of five defeats since then has left the Woodlands club requiring a win from their remaining two matches to guarantee survival.

The Lancastrians will not blame a weakened squad for their heaviest defeat of the season, though the absence of Jack Turley, David Fairbrother, Nick Gray, Anthony Bingham, Ben Vernon and their dual-registered players from Sale Sharks – Matt Rogerson, Jake Pope, Sam Bedlow and Connor Dever – was always likely to make life difficult.

On a beautiful day in the north-east, Fylde started positively as fly-half Greg Smith kicked a first-minute penalty.

Five minutes later they were behind as prop Darren Fearn was driven over from a lineout close to the try-line. Fly-half Gary Law kicked the conversion and subsequently dominated the match.

Newcastle Falcons Academy winger Adam Radwan, DMP’s leading try-scorer this season, was also to prove a serious thorn in Fylde’s flesh and it was his break which set up the second try for Law on nine minutes.

Six minutes later Radwan scored their third, despite the attention of number of Fylde defenders, and Law converted for a 19-3 lead. Fylde were back in the game in the 23rd minute, when hard-working no.8 Matt Lamprey drove over for an unconverted try.

However, five minutes before the interval DMP secured their four-try bonus point when powerful centre Ben Frankland scored and Law’s goal made it 26-8.

Fylde’s situation worsened after the restart as hooker Chris Wood offloaded for prop Ralph Appleby to drive over, Law adding the extras.

Three minutes later, Scott Armstrong notched his 11th try of a productive season for Fylde and Smith’s goal cut the arrears to 33-15.

But Fylde were ripped apart during 15 minutes of continuous Mowden attacking. Radwan scored his second try followed quickly by one from replacement back James Fitzpatrick.

Law scored again on the hour and completed his hat-trick five minutes later, converting both for a personal haul of 25 points. A couple of minutes later replacement Joel Gill scored to compound Fylde’s misery.

But their heads didn’t drop and in the 74th minute winger Oli Brennand scored their third try. Despite late efforts, they couldn’t secure a bonus point and enter the Easter break eight points above the bottom two.

Head coach Paul Arnold said: “We were outplayed all over the park by a good DMP side. The pressure is now on us after the three teams beneath us all won. “It’s in our hands and we have to beat Loughborough Students at the Woodlands on Saturday week to guarantee the club’s status in National One.”

Fylde: Carleton; Armstrong, Briers, Wilkinson, Brennand; Smith, Nicholls; Wild, Burtonwood, Lewis, Griffiths, Ashcroft, Lamprey, Stewart, Vernon.