Fylde 62, Morley 19
FOR the second match running, Fylde made the scoreboard operator work overtime!
After crashing through the 70-point barrier against Rugby four weeks earlier, they ensured the man who kept the tally toiled hard again by beating another of the National Two North’s strugglers by ten tries to three.
It seems almost churlish to say so, but it could have been more if Fylde had tightened the screw completely.
Indeed, they slackened off appreciably in the second half, letting errors creep into their game.
There were some solid efforts by Fylde, with Paul Arnold a dominant figure at lock, while Josh Beaumont underlined his potential, not just by scoring twice but with his eye-catching work throughout.
Fylde rang the changes in the second half, making a raft of substitutions. Of these, Alan Holmes made the biggest impact and was a one-man hive of industry in the brief time he was on.
Fylde laid down an early statement of intent, with Jason Robinson at the forefront of a piercing attack, which forced Morley on to the back foot.
In the next attack, Fylde swept forward purposely, and although Oli Brennand was hauled into touch near the left corner flag the home side did not have to wait long for the breakthrough.
From the subsequent lineout, the Fylde forwards stole the ball and Arnold bulldozed through from close range in trademark fashion after four minutes.
Richard Kenyon pulled the conversion attempt well wide.
Morley refused to be deterred and dangerman Craig Field, their captain and No.8, looked set to break through but knocked on close to the line.
On nine minutes, Fylde doubled their advantage as Brennand, temporarily in the half-back berth, fed Kenyon and he shifted it to Robinson, who shrugged off a tough tackle to score. Kenyon’s goal made it 12-0.
It got better for the home side after 14 minutes, when Fylde muscled forward in a full-throttle rolling maul.
Craig Aikman broke away from the back of the pack, scampering away on the blindside with such alacrity that no Morey defender had a hope of halting him.
Kenyon added the conversion but within two minutes Morley had opened their account, centre Christopher Hall making the most of good work by Field with a try, augmented by Simon Bradshaw.
That cut the arrears to 19-7 in an entertaining first quarter.
This trend continued and Fylde notched their bonus point try in the next attack.
Mike Waywell found himself in the clear after a Morley attack broke down and found Nick Royle with a peach of a pass, the winger making something of a monkey of the opposing defender as he sauntered over the line.
Royle cut inside, closer to the posts, and Kenyon converted.
On the half-hour, Josh Beaumont went in for a pushover try. If that was a conventional score, the same could not be said of his next effort.
Arnold made vital yards with a thrust down the centre, finding Beaumont, who showed strength to shrug off a tackle and speed in eluding his chasers for a fine try.
Kenyon’s kick took Fylde’s half-time lead to a commanding 38-7.
It could have been more as Brennand almost stole in for an interception try but the ball just eluded his grasp.
Fylde almost scored again within minutes of the restart. Brennand broke clear and looked to be going it alone. Instead he passed and Royle touched down as the action moved on, but the referee ruled there had been a forward pass.
There was more frustration as prop Pete Altham knocked on within sniffing distance of the try-line.
On 49 minutes, Fylde did score courtesy of another darting run on the blind by Aikman.
However, Steve Collins’ first touch in a Fylde shirt was not one he would want to remember. On as a fly-half replacement for Kenyon, his pass was intercepted gratefully by Morley centre Michael Ash, who had a clear run to the line. Charles Spon-Smith’s conversion made it 43-14.
After an almost frenetic first half, the action was much more subdued in the third quarter.
By then the outcome was a formality, but it did not stop coaches Mark Nelson and Brian Ashton demanding from the stands that Fylde step up the tempo and do more to stretch the opposition out wide.
But on 65 minutes Morley scored again, bizarrely a carbon-copy of their previous touchdown.
Fylde had done a lot of hard work to get out of their own half, but when Collins tried to open up the visitors’ defence he again only found Ash, who claimed yet another gift as he galloped unopposed to the line.
To compound his indifferent debut, Collins knocked on near the tryline as Morley were outscoring his side in the second half.
Collins atoned on 71 minutes as he tricked his way over. The replacement No.10 augmented his own try as Fylde belatedly brought up the half-century mark.
Three minutes later, Alistair Sutherland raced over after a tremendous surging run by Arnold.
There was an unheralded – and unwanted – musical finale with a Michael Buble song sounding out over the PA, but there was something to make a proper song and dance about as replacement Martin Wallwork scored Fylde’s concluding try, Collins adding the goal.
Fylde: Robinson; Royle, Briers, Waywell, Brennand; Kenyon (Collins, 50) Aikman (Wallwork, 61). Livesey, Roddam (Holmes,50). Altham (Lavelle, 50), Arnold, Ferguson, J Beaumont, McGinnis (Sutherland 11), S Beaumont.