Sheffield 34 Fylde RFC 28: Hosts Steel a late victory

Fylde suffered more away day woe with a fourth straight defeat on the road.
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Once again, Fylde showed great spirit in recovering from a slow start which saw Sheffield build up a 17-point lead.

Having roared back into the game and overhauled the hosts, Fylde then saw Sheffield score 10 points in the last few minutes to snatch victory.

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Fylde withstood some early pressure from the big Sheffield pack and pounced on their first error of the day.

Captain Ben Gregory was among the Fylde tryscorers  Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFCCaptain Ben Gregory was among the Fylde tryscorers  Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFC
Captain Ben Gregory was among the Fylde tryscorers  Picture: Chris Farrow/Fylde RFC
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Claiming a comprehensive win

Spilled ball in the ninth minute was kicked through by debutant Freddie Reader before the teenager controlled the ball over the line and touched down, Greg Smith converting.

Fylde’s 7-0 lead did not last long as just, four minutes later, Sheffield’s William Smith carried powerfully and bounced off two would-be tacklers for a converted try to level the scores.

Sheffield began to grind away at the Fylde defensive line but, although some stout defence kept them at bay, a raft of penalties followed.

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Elliott Fisher knocked one over in the 18th minute to give Sheffield a 10-7 lead before converting a Ianto Jones try which put them 10 points clear.

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In response, Fylde finally managed to gain penalties and field position as well as some possession to go with it.

However, a five-yard lineout misfired before Fylde were penalised from a penalty as a player lowered their body height too much in moving towards the line.

It meant they trailed 17-7 at half-time, after which their struggles did not initially ease.

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Further penalties followed and, with another advantage being played, the ball was shipped to Ryan Burrows who ran in from 20 yards.

Fisher’s conversion made it 24-7 but Fylde knuckled down and showed an appetite to battle their way back into the game.

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They grafted mightily to exert some stress and strain on Sheffield, whose defensive capabilities and discipline started to show signs of creaking.

A penalty kick to touch and subsequent lineout take ended with Toby Harrison scoring and Smith converting to leave Fylde 24-14 down on 57 minutes.

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Sheffield flanker Charles Flinders was yellow-carded for a breakdown offence a minute later, Fylde capitalising as a series of drives ended with Harrison going over again.

Burrows was then sinbinned as Smith’s conversion saw Fylde trailing 24-21 and with a two-man advantage for the next seven minutes.

With that numerical superiority, Fylde turned down a penalty on 70 minutes and kicked for touch instead.

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Skipper Ben Gregory duly smuggled his way over and Smith converted to see Fylde 28-24 in front with a little more than 10 minutes left.

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Sheffield gathered themselves and, with barely a minute left, another lineout led to Reece Bartlett crossing and Fisher’s conversion.

Trailing 31-28, Fylde had one last chance but, at the restart, Tom Burrows was adjudged to have played the man in the air and was yellow-carded.

The penalty was kicked deep before Fylde offended again, allowing Fisher to knock the kick over and give Sheffield victory.

Sheffield: Kimpton, Catleugh, Flint, Smith, Hooper, Posa (West 53), Fisher, Whitney (Lonsdale 47), Jones (Bartlett 53), Hicklin (Rogers 40), Crapper, Parsons, Flinders, Hignell (Adcock 47), Burrows.

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Fylde RFC: Carleton, Turner (Lanigan 53), Clayton, Reader, Dorrington, Smith, Gould, Bowker (Altham 62), Gregory, Raymont (Brooks 62), Garrod (Burrow 47), Parkinson, Hall-Lyon, Harrison, Bentley (Parker 47).