Fylde RFC 62 Sheffield Tigers 17: Sturgess stars again

Lightning struck twice for Matt Sturgess with a second hat-trick in as many weeks in another comfortable home win for Fylde.

By Elliot Burrow
Sunday, 13th March 2022, 2:48 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th March 2022, 2:50 pm

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The hosts made two changes to the team that had beaten Blaydon 79-31 a week earlier as Scott Rawlings returned from suspension, enabling Tom Carleton to revert to full-back, while Harlan Corrie replaced Ben O’Ryan.

Adam Lanigan made his 50th appearance of the bench and Olli Parkinson had a new supporter at the game – his son born the previous day.

Action from Fylde vs Sheffield Tigers. Matthew Sturgess scores for Fylde.

Sheffield arrived at the Woodlands on the back of a win over Loughborough but have been ravaged by injuries in an up and down season.

Carleton soon sliced open the Sheffield defence from inside his own half, winning a penalty from which Rawlings eventually barged over in the right corner.

Moments later Carleton waltzed through again, drawing the full-back and sending Tom Grimes in to score.

Greg Smith missed both touchline conversions but Fylde led 10-0 after only three minutes.

Sheffield finally managed to get their hands on the ball and James Broadley's penalty got them on the scoreboard.

Soon Sturgess was continuing where he left off against Blaydon, showing great acceleration from a quick tap to burst through and score under the posts.

Another slick passing move saw Henry Hadfield race clear to send in the supporting Carleton for his first try.

Rawlings, a big miss in recent weeks, linked up with Smith as quick hands sent skipper Ben Gregory through a gap to score.

Carleton then produced another trademark break to set up Sturgess for his second and Smith's fourth conversion made it 38-3 at the interval.

The second half started with Corrie winning the ball from Fylde's short kick-off and Tom Forster's inside pass sent Sturgess clear for his seventh try in two games.

Sheffield were starting to see more of the ball and a strong run from Connor Scott saw him shrug off the tacklers for their first try, converted by Broadley.

Fylde soon hit back with a second for Carleton, bring up Fylde's half-century and taking his tally to five against the Tigers this season.

Forster was sin-binned for a high tackle and Sheffield took advantage as Sam Down collected a brilliant crossfield kick for their second try, Broadley's goal completing their scoring.

Smith didn’t want to be out done and produced a delightful chip of his own for Gregory to score his second. Smith added a sixth and final goal.

There was still time for Matt Ashcroft to run through 40 metres of space for Fylde's 10th try.

Fylde remain third in National Two North, a point behind Sedgley Park and above Rotherham Titans on points difference, after the top four all won.

Fylde now face a weekend off before their final block of six games begins at Hull Ionians on March 26.

Fylde: Carleton; Hadfield, Forster, Rawlings, Grimes: Smith, Sturgess (Lanigan 51); 1 Kyle-Clay (Higgins 35), Gregory (Kyle-Clay 65), Ashcroft (Bowker 35, Ashcroft 69), Parkinson (Blake 40), Garrod, Corrie, Partington, Fairbrother (O'Ryan 51).

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