Fylde RFC 73 Bournville 7: League's top scorers bounce back in style

Fylde put a disappointing display at Sedgley Park behind them and got back to basics with this ruthless win over the Birmingham visitors.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th October 2021, 4:58 pm

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The home side made three changes to the team beaten in Manchester, with Phil Mills returning to the side alongside the experienced David Fairbrother, who had been injured for six weeks.

Sam Fisher made his debut on the wing in place of the injured Henry Hadfield as coaches Chris Briers and Alex Loney went all out for a fourth straight home win in National Two North.

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Greg Smith races clear for Fylde's first try, supported by Tom Carleton who would score three of his own against Bournville

Bournville have won three games since promotion and were only defeated 48-46 by unbeaten Rotherham, though they arrived at the Woodlands on the back of three losses in a row and with player-coach Mitch McGahan looking for a response.

In what was also the first league meeting between the two sides, Greg Smith opened the scoring with the first Fylde try.

He started the move himself on halfway before Scott Rawlings broke the line and found Phil Mills, who offloaded for Smith to score.

Smith couldn’t convert his own try but Fylde were in again minutes later.

Rawlings took the ball off his captain Ben Gregory while driving strongly from a lineout and the centre touched down, Smith’s goal making the score 12-0.

Fylde’s backline then combined and debutant Fisher was involved before Tom Carleton sent Tom Grimes racing clear to score, Smith converting again.

Grimes then turned provider, taking the ball following Rawlings’ break and finding the electric Carleton, who wasn’t for catching.

Gregory scored next, then Carleton crossed for his second following a brilliant break by Smith, who converted both tries to leave Fylde 40 -0 ahead at half-time.

The second half brought more of the same from the home side as another Carleton break set up scrum-half Matt Sturgess to score.

Carleton broke clear from another Rawlings break to complete his hat-trick and converted his own try to make it 54-0.

The loss of prop Zack Barrow to the sin-bin in the 51st minute made no serious difference to the balance of the match, though Fylde were forced to reshuffle at half-back when Smith suffered a knock.

Adam Lanigan came off the bench to partner Sturgess and it didn’t take him long to make his mark, plunging over the line for a 64th-minute try.

The visitors got themselves on the scoreboard with 10 minutes remaining, when Ben Tibbetts backed up a break to cross for a deserved score.

McGahan converted but Mills and Sturgess, with Fylde’s 50th try of the season, ran in further scores to move the hosts beyond the 70-point mark.

Carleton was at his usual best, while Rawlings was excellent with his superb attacking and big efforts in defence.

Fisher slotted in on the wing with no problems and Fairbrother brought his high standards back to the pack with a polished performance.

The 11-try win lifted Fylde a place to fourth, six points behind leaders Sedgley Park.

Fylde are now the league’s top pointscorers with 335, 230 of those scored in four games at the Woodlands, where they are averaging 57.5 points and nine tries per match.

They don’t return to their home patch until November 20, their next assignment being at Blaydon on Saturday.

Fylde team: Carleton, Fisher, Forster, Rawlings, Grimes, Smith (Lanigan 52), Sturgess, Kyle-Clay (Barrow 25), Gregory, Bowker (Ashcroft 25), Parkinson (Partington 59), Garrod, Blake (O’Ryan 59), Mills, Fairbrother.

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