Fylde 36, Rosslyn Park 20
Fylde’s disconcerting, four-match losing sequence is a relic of the past - far from looking lie a side on the decline, Fylde produced every inch a top-of-the-table performance.
Apart from a sticky spell in the run-up to half-time when they gave away two tries and had as many players sin-binned, this was a display packed with pride, skill, aggression, culminating in a timely, morale-raising result.
This was Fylde’s best performance of the campaign by some way, with so many players putting their hands up.
Trailing 20-15 at half-time, Fylde dominated the opposition, who never got within hailing distance of the home line in a totally one-sided second period.
It was relentless by Fylde as they ‘nilled’ Rosslyn Park and claimed three converted tries in a second half they bossed completely, forwards and backs combining in near-perfect fusion.
Such was Fylde’s superiority that they were value for more than the six tries they scored.
Ryan De La Harpe was a livewire at scrum-half, ensuring that the match was played at Fylde’s tempo.
He fed off a plentiful supply of ball from the forwards and made the optimum use of it in one of his best displays in a Fylde shirt.
Ralph Dowds will have done his confidence no end of good with two tries, while in the pack Adam Lewis was real workhorse, who never shirked the issue from first minute to last and earned a five-star rating.
Fylde took the lead on five minutes - a throw-in to the front of the line found Evan Stewart, a maul was formed and Todd Prisk was on the end of it to touch down in the right hand corner. Chris Johnson was off target with the conversion.
The home side made the early running in the opening 15 minutes, garnering most of the possession and field position, Stewart figuring prominently in another move after a probing cross-kick by Johnson - the ball was shifted to Oli Brennand, but he was unceremoniously bundled into touch.
Rosslyn Park gradually worked their way into it and on 19 minutes, they drew level.
Visiting fly-half Brett Herron’s run went on for far too long without him being tackled, and Fylde were still much on the defensive as hooker Adam Bellamy burrowed his way over.
Herron had a chance to give Rosslyn Park the lead with the conversion, but he missed out.
Fylde hit back in style on 24 minutes, after forcing Rosslyn Park to conceded two penalties in rapid succession.
From the second - a quick tap - Fylde stretched the Rosslyn Park to breaking point, the ball moving swiftly along the line before centre Ralph Dowds rounded it off with a well-taken, but unconverted try.
Two minutes later Fylde were pinged a good 40 yards-plus away from the posts and Herron landed an excellent penalty.
On 32 minutes, Fylde notched their third try - from a line-out, the home pack mauled in exemplary style and having done some collateral damage the space opened up.
Mark Goodman slipped a beauty of pass outside to Scott Rawlings, who needed no second invitation to crash through.
With Johnson missing a testing conversion, Fylde had to be content with a 15-8 advantage on 32 minutes.
It was Rosslyn Park’s turn to go on to the offensive, forcing two penalties near the Fylde line, resulting in a yellow card for Stewart - the visitors made the one-man advantage tell as they poured forward again and there was a certain inevitability about Sam Shires forcing his way over for a try.
Herron’s straightforward conversion levelled the scores at 15-apiece on 39 minutes.
Rawlings looked set to break away near the halfway line, but not only was he halted, but Rosslyn Park gathered possession and launched another attack.
Fylde were in all manner of strife in stoppage time as hooker Danny Maher was yellow-carded, leaving them with 13 men and having to defend two line-outs.
It proved too much and in the seventh minute of first half stoppage-time,Edward Milne burst through for a try - the conversion went badly awry, but Rosslyn Park had the lead for the first time at 20-15.
Oli Brennand made a superb break at the start of the second half, but he was stopped feet from the line by a last-ditch, saving tackle.
Minutes later, Fylde forced a penalty, but Johnson failed to register his first successful kick of the contest.
Fylde were camped near the Rosslyn Park line in the next passage of play and there was neat link-up between Stewart and De La Harpe, but referee Jack Makepeace penalised the home side for crossing and a promising position was lost.
Ben Vernon was the next to put Rosslyn Park on the back foot with a burst of acceleration that took him all of 30 yards through the back-tracking defence,
Dorrington was denied by a bone-shuddering tackle by Milne as Fylde attacked again with potency yet again.
Next up Fylde got the try they richly-deserved and what a superb effort it was.
Dorrington and Brennand were both heavily involved - Fylde continued to move the ball in tremendous, free-flowing style, with Phil Mills coming into the line and popping up a pass for Ralph Dowds, the Fylde centre skipping in for his second try of the match after 55 minutes.
Johnson landed the conversion, his first successful kick of the match, and Fylde had sneaked back in front 22-20 in an enthralling contest.
Fylde continued to attack and one threatening maul led to Rosslyn Park infringing and a yellow card for forward William Bonney.
From the resulting line-out, Fylde scored again, their fifth of the match - Stewart took the line-out throw smartly, passing it on to Paul Arnold, who offloaded in rpaid-fire style into the hands of Mills, who notched the try
Johnson landed a magnificent conversion from wide out to take Fylde two scores ahead at 29-20, with 63 minutes gone.
It was all Fylde in the second half, underlined in the 77th minute when Fylde claimed their sixth try.
It resulted after the home pack won a scrum against the head - from the re-formed scrum, with the home side’s put-in, De La Harpe embarked on a diagonal run that ended in an opportunist try It was well-deserved as the Fylde scrum-half had been all over the field, a one-man hive of industry, constantly toiling to keep the line going.
Johnson’s kick make it 36-20.
Brennand threatened a seventh try as the one-way traffic continued, but he was hustled out of play as the clock ticked down to the game’s logical conclusion, a thumping Fylde win.
Briers; Dorrington, Dowds, S Rawlings, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Maher, Lewis, Arnold, Prisk, Goodman, Vernon, Stewart. Replacements: Griffiths, Mills, Moon, Spragg, Gray