Fylde 28 Hull Ionians 12: Battling to a win at the Woodlands

It might have been anything but a sunny day on Saturday but Fylde supporters had plenty to smile about as their side kept up their unbeaten home league record.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 4:45 pm

Conditions were definitely not set out to play to Fylde’s strengths with the rain pouring down, making it more of a focus on the pack rather than the slick outside backs.

Fylde made one change to the starting line-up from last weekend’s win over Sheffield Tigers, Ben O’Ryan coming in to start at blindside flanker for Matt Garrod.

A further three changes were made to the bench, with Adam Lewis, Charlie Partington and Tom Forster all returning to the fold.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Greg Smith kicked 13 points in Fylde RFC's victory

Read More

Read More
Fylde RFC boss Alex Loney welcomes break in season

It was the first time the teams had met since 2019 when Fylde’s starting line-up that day included Bevan Rodd – who earned his second cap for England in Saturday’s win over South Africa – and with the floodlights on, the stage was set for both teams to battle it out.

The game was like a chess match early on, with both teams looking for a way to break down the other.

The visitors suffered two injuries within the opening 10 minutes, which stopped either side from getting any real rhythm into their games.

Fylde’s Henry Hadfield made an excellent break up the middle before being tackled, and when the defenders didn’t roll away on the ground, it resulted in Nathan Hill being sent to the sinbin.

Greg Smith slotted over the penalty for the first points of the match to push Fylde into a 3-0 lead before adding a second to make it 6-0.

Fylde’s captain Ben Gregory then decided enough was enough and broke through the Ionians line before spinning the full-back and putting the ball down to score the game’s opening try.

The conversion made it 13-0 before Hill made up for his earlier ill discipline with a try in the corner on the stroke of half-time to leave the visitors 13-5 adrift at the break.

Hull had got themselves into the game now though, and after sustained pressure on the Fylde line, Ben Bell powered over from close range.

Ben Smith converted and reduced Fylde’s lead to a single point at 13-12.

Fylde were having to dig deep now, but when Scott Rawlings found Tom Carleton with a short pass inside their own 22, everyone in the crowd knew what was going to happen.

Carleton, with his usual trademark burst of pace, hit the line to perfection and broke the Hull defence.

Despite Hill doing his best to try and catch Carleton, he was unable to do so, and the Fylde man scored a game-breaking try.

Greg Smith couldn’t convert the try, but when Hull’s Ben Stephenson was sinbinned after giving away a penalty, he stepped up to put Fylde 21-12 ahead.

Lewis then powered over off the back of a ruck with Greg Smith’s conversion completing the scoring.

Victory moved Fylde into third place in National Two North ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Luctonians, followed by a home game against unbeaten league leaders Stourbridge.

Fylde RFC: Grimes, Hadfield, Carleton, Rawlings, Fisher, G Smith, Sturgess, Kyle-Clay, Gregory, Bowker, Parkinson, Blake, O’Ryan, Mills, Fairbrother. Replacements: Parker, Lewis, Partington, Forster, Lanigan.

Hull Ionians: Wilson, Thompson, Britton, Townend, Hill, B Smith, McDaniel, Laverick, Stephenson, Thundercliffe, Mewburn, Makin, Holgate, Hudson, Sanderson. Replacements: Bell, Morton, Heelas, Powell.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here