Fylde RFC win final friendly

Fylde v Sedgley Park   Picture: Fylde RFC
Fylde v Sedgley Park Picture: Fylde RFC
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Fylde RFC scored six tries to two to defeat Sedgley Tigers 34-14 in Saturday’s pre-season warm-up at The Woodlands.

The visitors led at half-time but Fylde made their superiority count in the second half and the visitors were swept away in the final 20.

A depleted Fylde back-line suffered another setback when winger Anthony Bingham was injured in the warm-up. James Bailey replaced him on theright wing.

Injuries to props Simon Griffiths and young Tom Horner forced head coach Paul Arnold to improvise. He persuaded his opposite number from Eccles RU, Sam Simpson, to make a guest appearance for the club where he spent four happy seasons up to 2009.

Fylde were understandably disjointed in the first half but started strongly with the wind at their backs.

And they opened the scoring after 10 minutes when number eight David Fairbrother, prominent throughout with his driving runs, crashed home from 20 metres, though fly-half Jack Harrison missed the conversion.

Handling errors by Fylde helped the National Two North club to come more into the game, led by excellent half-backs Callum McShane and Steve Collins, and after 20 minutes they moved the ball sharply left for centre Richard Wainwright to score. Collins’ conversion put the visitors ahead.

Fylde were penalised frequently at the breakdown and had flanker Mark Goodman sinbinned on 25 minutes. And McShane made the one-man advantage count eight minutes later, taking a quick tap-penalty and sprinting through for an excellent individual try which Collins converted.

Lock forward Nick Gray won good possession at the line-outs and had a fine game for Fylde, who hit back three minutes before half-time.

Harrison made a break and chipped ahead for birthday boy Evan Stewart to touch down. The conversion from wide out was missed and the Tigers led 14-10 at the interval.

Fylde dominated the second period as Connor Wilkinson took over at fly-half, capitalising on a kind bounce to step through for a try on 63 minutes. Jordan Dorrington’s goal edged Fylde further ahead at 17-14.

As the Sedgley pack tired, Fylde enjoyed their best period of handling, off-loading and running. Chris Briers broke up the middle to score against his old club, though Dorrington’s conversion struck a post.

England Counties player Dorrington scored the next try himself on 70 minutes, following a 30-metre break by prop Adam Lewis.

Oli Brennand had a try disallowed for a forward pass but Fylde saved the best for last.

Debutant lock Jack Turley made a superb 35-metre break to set up winger Bailey, who burst clear for a deserved try.

Outstanding centre Scott Armstrong became Fylde’s third goalkicker of the game and scored.

Following an 81-0 defeat by Sale Sharks in their first warm-up game, this win will send Fylde into the National One opener at home to Brimingham Moseley on Saturday week in high spirits.

Coach Arnold said: : “I was pleased with our second-half performance, when we scored some good tries, but there’s a lot to do ahead of the Moseley game and we’re certainly a work in progress. We’re very grateful to Sedgley for making it such a competitive game and playing it in very good spirit.”