Cambridge 7, Fylde 26

Simon Parrott with a tackle on Fylde's Oliver Brennand
Simon Parrott with a tackle on Fylde's Oliver Brennand
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Four second-half tries secured Fylde’s first away victory of the season and lifted them three places up the table.

The first half was a fierce physical battle in which Fylde met a steadfast Cambridge defence head on.

Fylde were trying to force the game and made numerous errors, and as they failed to capitalise on their few breaks the Blood and Sands took a measure of control.

Despite losing flanker Gareth McComb for 10 minutes after a 13th-minute yellow card, Cambridge weathered the storm and opened the scoring on the half hour.

No.8 Steve Hipwell charged at the Fylde defence, and although he was held up short of the line, prop Tom Fidler picked up from the breakdown and plunged over near the posts, the conversion added by centre William Carrington.

It remained stayed 7-0 until the interval. Fylde made some tactical adjustments for the second period as they attempted to move the ball wider. They made the breakthrough in the 46th minute after a series of rucks near the home line.

Warren Spragg received the ball on the blindside and made space for Scott Barrow to touch down in the corner.

Scrum-half Ryan de la Harpe missed the conversion from the touchline, meaning Fylde still trailed by two.

Steve McGinnis and Chris Johnson replaced Danny Maher and Stephen Briers, and both were to make a quick impact.

In the 56th minute, Fylde went into the lead when full-back Olly Viney ran a Cambridge kick back to the halfway line.

He linked with McGinnis, who broke down the right before popping a pass to Oli Brennand.

The winger, who had come off the left side in support, raced through and stepped around the full-back to score near the posts.

Johnson quickly got into the groove and kicked the conversion to give the visitors a 12-7 lead.

With Fylde starting to get the upper hand, Cambridge suffered another blow in the 58th when scrum-half Danny Hunter was shown a straight red card for stamping at a ruck by referee Richard Kelly.

With a man advantage, Fylde poured forward and in the 70th minute Paul Arnold powered over from a tap penalty 20 metres out. Johnson converted.

It was Fylde’s turn to get on the wrong side of Mr Kelly in the 72nd minute, when flanker Ben Vernon was sinbinned

But as both teams tired, Fylde sealed victory with a try in the last minute.

Skipper Evan Stewart carried the ball up the left touchline and Brennand took the switch pass and went through a big hole for this second try and Fylde’s fourth, securing an important bonus points. Johnson maintained his spotless goalkicking record for the afternoon.

Back-to-back victories have seen Fylde climb to eighth, and another at the Woodlands on Saturday would see them leapfrog above visitors Coventry.

Fylde: Viney; Spragg, C Briers, S Briers, Brennand; Barrow, De La Harpe; Birchall, Loney, Lavelle, Arnold, Banks, Maher, Stewart, Vernon. Replacements: Altham, Burtonwood, McGinnis, Wallwork, Johnson.