Match report: Caldy 37 Fylde RFC 19
The Wirral club were worthy winners of this National League One fixture, which they led from the first minute.
Fylde were rocked by the hosts’ start and their cause was not helped by losing both lock Harlan Corrie and skipper Greg Nicholls, the latter to what looked like a serious leg injury.
It was a sunny but breezy day at the beautiful Paton Fields, where fly-half Rhys Hayes beat some weak tackling for a try from the kick-off, converted by winger Ben Jones.
Jones added a penalty in the seventh minute before Fylde hit back strongly, their backs starting to ask questions.
Number eight David Fairbrother broke tackles on the left and the ball was worked to winger Tom Carleton, who touched down in the corner. Greg Smith converted beautifully to reduce the deficit to 10-7.
Corrie injured his hip in the move and was replaced by debutant Matt Postlethwaite, a dual-registered player with Sale Sharks.
A couple minutes later Nicholls was carried off by team-mates and Carleton switched to scrum-half for the first time in a senior game.
Caldy mostly dominated until half-itme, Jones adding another penalty on 16 minutes and influential centre Gavin Roberts scoring down the left.
Fylde conceded another penalty on 24 minutes, from which Caldy kicked to the corner and drove over. Number eight JJ Dickenson was last man up and Jones’ goal made it 25-7.
Caldy secured several turnovers and exploited poor tackling but Fylde had the final say of the half when Connor Wilkinson drove over from another Fairbrother break, making it 25-12 at the interval.
Fylde’s best spell came in a tight third quarter, in which Fairbrother smashed through again to send Carleton on a 30-metre burst between the posts. Smith’s goal left Fylde within a converted try of the lead.
The visitors had the bit between their teeth and mauled their way to the line but crucially turned over possession in the 68th minute.
Fylde were then penalised and a fluent Caldy backs move ended with Roberts breaking through to score near the posts, Jones’ conversion making it 32-19.
Caldy now had control and sealed victory on 77 minutes, when Hayes’ accurate kick to the left corner was caught and touched down athletically by Jones to complete his 17-point haul.
This second successive defeat was disappointing for Fylde, whose medical team face a busy week before Old Elthamians’ first-ever visit to the Woodlands on Saturday.