Fylde RFC 23 Sheffield 22: Fylde see off Sheffield in a thriller

An exciting and nervy encounter at the Woodlands on Saturday ended with Fylde edging out Sheffield by a single point.
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Tries from Valu Tane Bentley and Ben Turner, as well as three penalties from Greg Smith, proved enough to drag Fylde over the line in a match full of penalties.

Sheffield scored three tries of their own, including a double for Chris Hooper, but it wasn’t to be against an effective and totally committed Fylde defence.

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Heading into the match, Sheffield were one of the division’s form teams with 11 wins from their last 12 matches.

Fylde defeated Sheffield by one point at the Woodlands last weekend Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFCFylde defeated Sheffield by one point at the Woodlands last weekend Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFC
Fylde defeated Sheffield by one point at the Woodlands last weekend Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFC
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They kept possession well at the breakdown in the opening 10 minutes, with Fylde given very few chances to get on the ball.

It was Sheffield who scored the first points of the day after 17 minutes when William Smith knocked his defender out of the way in running to the 22.

A pass out wide to Elliot Fisher saw him accelerate into space for the first try of the afternoon.

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Their lead lasted all of three minutes, however, as Fylde winger Adam Lanigan broke through the Sheffield defence before being brought down five metres from the visitors’ line.

The ball travelled out wide, where one quick offload back inside gave Bentley enough space to power over.

Smith added the conversion via the post to put Fylde into the lead for the first time at 7-5.

They extended that advantage just before the half-hour as Smith kicked his first penalty of the day.

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The remainder of the half was scoreless with neither team able to capitalise on each other’s mistakes.

Seven minutes into the second half, Sheffield were back on the attack as Alfie Kimpton dummied his way through before sending the ball out to Hooper, who sneaked through to score.

Fisher’s conversion made it 12-10 to Sheffield before his mazy run and offload sent Hooper over again a minute later to establish a nine-point cushion.

Fylde looked to respond when they established a four-on-one situation but Jordan Dorrington was dragged into touch by some last-gasp defending.

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Nevertheless, they didn’t have to wait much longer to score their second try which came on 60 minutes.

Turner found a gap in the defence and made the most of it, speeding under the posts to put the hosts back within two points at 19-17.

Smith’s second penalty then put Fylde back in front, only for Fisher to do likewise and see Sheffield retake the lead.

Then, with just 10 minutes left, Fylde won a penalty at the breakdown and opted to go for the posts despite only just being inside the Sheffield half.

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Smith stood up, put his boot through the ball, and kicked it to give Fylde a one-point lead with not long to go.

A nervy final period followed, the majority being in Fylde’s half as they were reduced to 14 men when Smith was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on with three minutes left.

Fylde defended bravely though, securing a narrow win to the delight of their supporters.

Fylde RFC: Bowker, Gregory, Altham, Parkinson, Garrod, Deeks, Bentley, Harrison, Wootton, Smith, Turner, Stott, Reader, Lanigan, Dorrington. Replacements: Brooks, Kincart, Raymont, Gould, Forster.

Sheffield: Whitney, Campbell, Hicklin, Crapper, Parsons, Fawdry, Hignell, Burrows, Fisher, Posa, Hooper, Smith, Flint, Catleugh, Kimpton. Replacements: Bartlett, Rogers, Flinders, Adcock, Napier.