Fylde RFC can take confidence from performance against Hull into Chester clash says coach Alex Loney

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Fylde RFC boss Alex Loney was left to feel a combination of pride and disappointment after their 28-26 home defeat by National Two North champions-elect Hull.
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Fylde 26 Hull 28: Table toppers edge to Woodlands win

Fylde, who play their penultimate game of the season at Chester tomorrow, led for most of the Woodlands match and were 19-7 ahead at half-time only for the visitors to snatch victory with a 73rd-minute try.

It virtually secured the title and promotion for Hull, though they were pushed hard for their 19th successive win.

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Dave Fairbrother touches down for Fylde in the narrow defeat by Hull Picture: CHRIS FARROWDave Fairbrother touches down for Fylde in the narrow defeat by Hull Picture: CHRIS FARROW
Dave Fairbrother touches down for Fylde in the narrow defeat by Hull Picture: CHRIS FARROW

Joint-head coach Loney told The Gazette: “I'm really proud of the lads and their efforts against the top team, who will be promoted, but we don't want to think of ourselves as plucky losers and we're fiercely disappointed.

“We had chances to win it but fair play to Hull – they had us under big pressure and are a tough team to beat.”

The outcome could have been different had the Hull full-back Reece Dean been shown a red card, rather than yellow, for a high tackle on his opposite number Tom Carleton in the first minute.

Loney added: “In my opinion it possibly should have been a red. Tom was taken high and with force. He was taken off his feet and you can’t tackle high any more. ”

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Fylde can finish no lower than their current position of fifth and could yet overhaul Stourbridge for fourth .

Asked if he would have settled for either position at the start of the campaign, Loney said: “We'd have liked to finish higher but we've lost to some of the better teams and have no complaints.

“We are competing at the right end of the table. We are pretty much there with retaining everyone for next season, when the goal will be to be competitive again and by definition to finish above fifth.

“But firstly we don't want this season to peter out. We look forward to the final away game at Chester, where we always have tough games on their 4G pitch. The players will be disappointed after two defeats but we must not try to over-force it because we have the quality to win.”

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It may be their last meeting for a while, with Chester likely to join the Midlands competition next season, when English rugby's fourth tier switches from two regionalised leagues of 16 clubs to three of 14.