Hartpury College 57 Fylde 14: Match report
The National One leaders rampaged to a fourth straight victory, continuing winless Fylde's miserable start to the season.
The hosts had secured their four-try bonus point inside half an hour and added a fifth converted try to have victory safely in the bag by half-time at 35-0.
Fylde were forced into changes in the absence of the unavailable Greg Nicholls, and the injured Nick Lock and Evan Stewart, while Sale Jets’ Connor Dever and George Nott came into the side, with fellow Sale products Sam Bedlow and Jake Pope on the bench.
Having scored over 100 points in their first three games, it took Hartpury only six minutes to start the scoreboard ticking over as Sebastian Negri’s try was goaled by fly-half Adam Hastings.
Just four minutes later, left wing Harry Cochrane raced in to scored out wide after a break up the middle by full-back and captain Mike Wilcox.
The hosts were making yards with each carry and continued to punish Fylde for missing tackles out wide.
A penalty on 13 minutes then resulted in a five-metre lineout from which openside prop James Stephenson burrowed over.
Having converted the three tries, Hastings finally blotted his copybook by striking the post with a penalty, but he was bang on target again after scrum-half Harry Randall scored from a quick tap-penalty.
And Hartpury completed their first-half haul two minutes before the break, when Wilcox touched down from a chip and chase by Hastings, who duly added his fifth goal.
Wilcox scorred his second try 10 minutes into the second half , a weaving run from halfway.
Hastings missed the goal but converted the next five minutes later, when Fylde lost possession at the breakdown and play was switched wide for former Bristol centre Luke Eves to score.
His fellow centre Steve Leonard burst through to bring up the half-century on the hour.
That made the score 52-0 and that’s how it remained until the dying moments, when Fylde finally troubled the scorers.
Fylde showed plenty of spirit in the final quarter but could not breach an excellent defence until three minutes from time, when inside centre Scott Rawlings scored after sustained pressure.
Hartpury were able to record a ninth try in stoppage time when Joe Dancer finished from a break by Randall.
And Fylde had the final say in the eighth minute of stoppage time, when Jordan Dorrington touched down after replacement hooker Ben Gregory had been held up just short. Greg Smith converted both Fylde tries.
Fylde winger Oliver Brennand admitted: “It wasn’t a great start. We were still on the coach and they made us pay, but they are a very good side.”
Unable to add to their three bonus points so far this season, Fylde are now second-bottom, while Hartpury are sitting pretty at the top with maximum points.
Fylde are in ever more desperate need of a win and will be anxious to achieve it at home to Esher this weekend.
Fylde Dorrington; Brennand, Rawlings, Briers, Armstrong; Smith, Dever; Lewis, Burtonwood, Pope, Nott, Turley, Lamprey, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Simpson, Gregory, Goodman, Bedlow, Bingham