Fylde lose after letting lead slip twice

,Mistakes costly for Fylde
,Mistakes costly for Fylde
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Fylde 19, Ampthill and District 29

Fylde played some excellent rugby in parts, but were eventually out-matched by a strong Ampthill side, the host club contributing to their own downfall with some fundamental lapses.

Matters were made difficult for the home side as they depressingly lost a succession of line-outs - and they could ill-afford to do that against a team that exacted full advantage.

In addition, Fylde lost one of their most potent threats in Jordan Dorrington, who had looked lively and dangerous every time he had the ball in hand until he was forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury in the second half.

Fly-half Tom Morton looked good too, but he had to be used sparingly as his parent club Sale want him for a match on Monday night for the Jets' team, affording Connor Wilkinson to come on for a tough baptism against a seasoned Ampthill side, coached by former Welsh international Paul Turner, roaring in encouragement and advice from the touchline, oft-times far beyond the confines of the technical area and on one occasion in Fylde's!

Morton did not take the field at the start of the second period and was only used again late on by necessity when Warren Spragg was injured.

For Fylde, there was not even the consolation of a losing bonus point, which was a pity given they had played so well and all three tries they scored were all beauties and well crafted.

Oli Brennand had a hand in all three, scoring one and helping to create two, as well as putting in a try-saving tackle in the first half.

On a raw day with an easterly blowing, the first real chance fell to Fylde after a scything run by Dorrington - Phil Mills managed to keep the momentum going as the ball went forward off his knees, but Ampthill scrum-half Gavin Williams managed to scramble back with a saving cover-tackle.

On 16 minutes Fylde opened the scoring after several attacking phases.

Spragg and Dave Fairbrother were at the heart of the move, linking well along the right, the attack taking them deep into the heart of Ampthill territory.

Scott Rawlings carried it on strongly before the ball was switched across the park and Brennand, who marked his 250th appearance in style as he raced in at the corner.

Tom Morton, replacing regular fly-half Chris Johnson, was off target with a difficult conversion kick from wide on the left.

Ampthill';s retaliation was as quick as it was decisive.

Letting their guard down after their own early try, the ball was spilled by Fylde in midfield and the visitors took due advantage, the counter-attack ending with flanker Darrell Dyer careering over.

Centre Will Maisey's conversion kick gave Ampthill the lead 7-5.

Fylde regained the advantage in exciting style after 26 minutes.

Morton found Brennand with an asute kick - the winger picked up the ball, running with with a few yards before before finding Morton, who had showed intelligence and anticipation to be available to receive the pass and dash over for a lovely try.

Morton landed a fine conversion (12-7 to Fylde).

It was a thoroughly entertaining contest and Fylde got into another promising position only to lose it with the latest off-key line-out throw, relieving the pressure on Ampthill, doing their job for them.

Sam Beaumont then nearly caught the opposition napping with a slipped pass to Brennand, but his route through to the line was blocked off.

Dorrington, who was having a stormer, posed more problems with yet another tricky run, but the attack petered out when Dan Birchall spilled a difficult pass aimed towards his toes allowing Ampthill to counter-attack.

Joe Tarrant galloped into clear space as Fylde were in full retreat, but Brennand matched him for speed and bundled the Ampthill attacker into touch.

Right on half-time Ampthil became camped on the Fylde line,

They looked on the verge of scoring, but Fylde held out purposefully, their cause helped in no small measure when prop Alex Lutui slipped and lost his footing as he saw the try-line yawning invitingly in front of him.

Therefore, Fylde had a five-point advantage at half-time, reward for plenty of enterprise, not to mention hard work.

Wilkinson came on for his debut in the second half, replacing Morton.

Fylde had to dig deep in defence at the outset after another dropped pass in midfield put them on the back foot - Ampthill were then penalised as they closed in on the home line.

Fylde lost possession again on their own line-out throw and they paid the maximum price.

Less than a minute after that lapse, Ampthill won a penalty and from the resulting line-out, they scored from a catch-and-drive through replacement William Evans. His score went unconverted.

That levelled the scores and within a couple of minutes, Ampthill had gone ahead - a big gap appeared on the Fylde left and Dyer rounded the move off with his second try, which again went unconverted (17-12 to Ampthill).

Dorrington had been injured making a timely, try-saving tackle earlier in the move and was then forced to leave the field as Fylde started to be up against it after losing their hard-earned lead so swiftly.

George Elliott gave Fylde more trouble than they could handle with a tremendous surge through the middle that threatened another Ampthill try, but the home side survived that raid.

The away side were reduced to 14 men when winger Conor Bullivant was yellow-carded.

This excellent match took a turn in Fylde's favour with another splendid move.

Fairbrother showed a clean pair of heels to his pursuers down the left wing before he moved the ball on the Brennand.

The Fylde wing nearly made it to the line himself and just as he was being tackled he managed to slip to Chris Briers who touched down.

Rawlings, in an accustomed role of kicker, belted over a superb conversion (19-17 to Fylde)

It was starting to get tense in the final 10 minutes with Fylde hanging on to a slender lead.

It didn't siurvive for long, and Fylde, under siege near their line, and twice penalised, cracked as Joe Tarrant got over the line for a try goaled by Maisey (24-19 to Ampthill).

Fylde were finally undone four minute from time when they were breached all too easily again, and Maisey passed out to try-scorer Ma'ama Molitka (29-19).

After this, skipper Briers read the riot act to his players in the huddle behind the posts, berating the team for shoddy defending, but the damage by then had been done.

Fylde: Dorrington; Spragg, Briers, Rawlings, Brennand; Morton, Nicholls; Birchall, Mills, Lewis, Gray, Beaumont, Goodman, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Griffiths, Burtonwood, Robinson, Wilkinson, Dowds