Fylde 2nd XV vs PGRFC 2nd XV

Date: 13 April 2014

The second team slipped to a frustrating defeat at the Woodlands on Friday night as the Fylde Hawks ran out winners by 26 points to 20.

Hoppers enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession whilst Fylde were in the main restricted to long range forays. Young’s men dominated the early exchanges but spilled the ball in the Fylde twenty two. The home side hacked through and did so all the way to the Hoppers try line for an opportunist and somewhat fortunate score.

Preston kept knocking on the door and Fylde transgressed on more than one occasion. Young’s men had a foothold in the Fylde red zone and worked a clever line out which allowed Berry to barge over. The conversion was good and the score was tied at seven points each.

Fylde got some possession in the Hoppers half and a defensive lapse saw Lawton scoot round the outside for a converted try. The teams turned round and based upon the balance of play it was somewhat surprising that Hoppers were 14-7 in arrears.

Hoppers opened the scoring after the break as Lewis Allen slotted a penalty over from 30 metres. Shortly after, Fylde had one of their own but Lawton’s kick crashed against the upright.

The visitors continued to dominate but lacked penetration in wide arrears whilst Fylde’s backs looked sharp when trying to run the limited amount of ball their forwards provided. Some sloppy play by Hoppers saw Fylde secure possession in the Hopper’s red zone and Trippier crashed through some tame defence to score. The conversion was good and the hosts led 19-10.

Hoppers came back and turned the Hawks over, however the home side contested the break down illegally and Allen made no mistake with the penalty.

There then followed a crucial score as Preston cleared their lines and the pacy Curtis Strong counter attacked. Hoppers afforded the skilful centre too much space and he broke down the left. Strong who has been playing for Sedgley Tigers got close to the line before a last ditch tackle. He appeared to have gone to ground but the referee permitted his offload and the supporting player scored. The try was converted and the home side led 26-13.

Hoppers came straight back form the restart and applied pressure on their hosts who scented a long awaited victory. The ever alert Allen pounced to score under the posts. He converted his own score and the arrears were reduced to 26-20.

Young’s men applied enormous pressure towards the final whistle but the Hawks repelled the danger and held on by their claws for victory.

After winning their first fourteen games, the season has taken a frustrating swing for Hoppers. A mammoth injury list coupled with a loss of form and confidence has seen the season come to a frustrating end. Next week Hoppers travel to Sedgley Tigers, the newly crowned champions of the Bateman Premier League for their final match.

Young’s men will be looking forward to well earned rest before the planning starts in earnest for next season.

@Jebbster1975 @JY75

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