Fylde made to work hard for win at home to Sheffield

With the cold weather sweeping in across the UK and especially down on the Lytham coastline on Saturday afternoon, it was Fylde’s job to try and put on a blazing performance to warm up the fans in attendance.
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However it didn’t quite play out that way, with Sheffield frustrating the home side all afternoon with the hosts just doing enough to make it seven from seven at home this season in the league.

Fylde started strongly as Tom Carleton picked the ball up off the ground and from 35 metres out danced his way through the Sheffield defence and shrugged off the covering fullback to score underneath the posts.

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Greg Smith, who was making his 150th appearance for the club, slotted over the conversion to make it 106 points so far this season and put Fylde into an early 7-0 lead.

Fylde were pushed all the way by Sheffield. Photo: Chris FarrowFylde were pushed all the way by Sheffield. Photo: Chris Farrow
Fylde were pushed all the way by Sheffield. Photo: Chris Farrow

The ‘Tigers’ had been in good form though as of late and responded when Lewis Taylor slotted over a penalty, with regular goalkicker Mark Ireland watching on from the bench.

It didn’t stay that way for long though as Fylde responded with their second try of the afternoon.

Camped on the visitor’s try line, David Fairbrother picked the ball up from the back of the ruck and darted over to score his second try of the season and extend Fylde’s lead to 12-3.

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Sheffield were starting to turn this game into a back and forth one, with the ‘Tigers’ not going down without a fight and they came roaring back to put pressure on the Fylde defence with Simeon Meek going the closest, but they couldn’t get themselves over the line.

Instead they settled for another penalty goal on 33 minutes through Mark Ireland who had come on off the bench, but he then missed another one before half-time, keeping the score at 12-6.

In the second half, Smith stayed calm and nudged over a penalty goal for Fylde to put them more than a converted try in front, then another period of pressure by the hosts resulted in Sheffield being reduced to 14 when Lewis Anderson was sin binned.

They soon made the extra man count, skipper Ben Gregory always made sure he led his team forward when games got tough, and he did the same here.

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A penalty kick to the corner from Smith set up the line-out, which saw Gregory bind on at his usually position at the back, pick up the ball, and jump out and barge his way over the line to score his 10th try of the season, and make it 20-6.

Try scorer Fairbrother was then sin binned for a high tackle, and Sheffield finally scored their first try of the game on 77 minutes when Josh Redfern barged his way over.

Ireland is usually very reliable with the boot, but missed the important conversion attempt to keep the gap to over a converted score, Fylde going down to 13 men in the aftermath of that try, Matt Garrod had only returned to the pitch moments earlier after Olli Parkinson limped off but found himself being sin binned.

They did go searching for the bonus point but again errors let them down, and in the end it finished 20-11.