Valiant Fylde prevail in dramatic, high-scoring clash

Fylde win thriller
Fylde win thriller
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Fylde 39, Plymouth Albion 37

Fylde could hardly have left it any later - the winning try by Greg Smith coming in the sixth minute of added-on time - but they were deserving winners at the Woodlands.

Fylde had made a rapid start to this National League One contest.

After Kieran Hallett had put the visitors in front with a penalty - Fylde replied with tries by Jack Turley and Dave Fairbrother, both converted by Smith.

But Fylde, leading 14-3 after only six minutes, could not capitalise on this flying start and Plymouth retaliated with a converted try by Robin Wedlake-Millecam.

Exemplary kicking by Hallett enabled Plymouth to hit back and register a 19-14 advantage as the visitors made the most of the string of penalties that came their way.

George Nott hit back for Fylde with a try, again converted by Smith to put Fylde back ahead 21-19.

Plymouth's response was a penalty by Hallett, which saw them the advantage at 22-21 in a hugely entertaining encounter.

Smith had an early penalty chance for Fylde less than two minutes into the second period and it was Fylde's turn to nudge ahead in this topsy-turvy encounter (24-22).

Fylde turned defence into attack on 45 minutes in exemplary style.

Plymouth had been on the attack, but Fylde defended resolutely, Jake Pope doing much of the donkey-work with a superb carry to set up a counter.

Evan Stewart took it on before passing to Anthony Bingham, who pressed the accelerator-button and nimbly evaded a last-ditch tackle to finish off a 55-yard sprint to claim Fylde's fourth and bonus point try.

Smith converted (31-22).

Fylde were reduced to 14-man when Fairbrother was yellow-carded following a rolling maul that took Plymouth perilously close to the Fylde line.

More trouble ensured from the next phase of play as the Fylde pack were pinged at a scrum and the referee awarded Albion a penalty try, goaled by Hallett (31-29).

Smith missed out on the chance to give Fylde some vital breathing space as he was wide of the mark with a penalty from distance.

Plymouth came close to getting their noses back in front, but their attack ended when the Albion attacker was bundled into touch, feet from the line.

On 66 minutes, Fylde, who had been up against it in the scrum all game, cracked - Plymouth got a good shove on and Michael Stupple stole through on the blindside to score a try - Halett missed the conversion, his first of the match.

Fylde's resonse was tremendous break through the middle by Chris Briers, but he hauled down 10 metres out with Plymouth in full retreat.

Fylde continued to probe forcibly and won a penalty under the sticks, which Smith duly landed to level the scores (34-34)

Replacement Scott Armstrong was penalised for a high tackle, which enabled Plymouth to set up a late attack.

A try looked on after an all-out, rolling maul, but Fylde just managed to survive as Plymouth knocked on close to the line - Smith followed that up with a vital clearance kick from well behind his own line as the tension rose.

A spilled ball by Fairbrother gave Plymouth the springboard for a late attack - Fylde, under the cosh again, were pinged and Hallett had an easy chance to inch his side in front (34-37).

Bingham had a late run for Fylde that promised a last-ditch score, but he knocked on under a sturdy cover tackle.

Then with the match moving into six minutes of stoppage-time, Smith went on a gliding run across the pitch after excellent approach work by Fairbrother.

Smith successfully defied all defenders to tackle him as he gleefully touched down to clinch deserved victory at the death.

Fylde picked up five points from this thrilling encounter and deserved nothing less.