Macclesfield 0 Fylde 47
Fylde won a one-sided North-West derby to start their season with back-to-back National One wins, and this was their biggest victory at this level since putting 76 points on Hull Ionians in April 2011.
Macclesfield had about as much possession as Fylde but could make little of it, whereas the visitors looked like scoring every time they attacked.
Fylde needed only four minutes to open the scoring at Priory Park as Warren Spragg made a break and linked up with right winger Jordan Dorrington, who finished off near the posts to give Chris Johnson an easy conversion.
The only sour moment of the game arrived on 10 minutes when Fylde loose head prop Dan Birchall, an ever-present in their last 62 matches, was helped off with an ankle injury and replaced by Simon Griffiths.
Scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe went close to a second try after racing 40m but Fylde did score again on 16 minutes, when Johnson’s steepling kick was caught by the stretching Dorrington and he grounded the ball on his knees. Johnson added the conversion from wide out to make it 14-0.
The Macc forwards were working hard and centre Ollie Fewtrell was prominent on debut, but Fylde went the length of pitch for a third try on 21 minutes.
Clever handling down the blindside ended with Scott Rawlings barging over in the left corner for his first try for the club. Johnson goaled from the touchline again.
Spragg was having a fine game and revelled in the space available at full-back. Another long breakout from him threatened the Macc line but good tackling saved the home side.
Macc pressed late in the half, helped by penalties from referee Jamie Leahy, but fierce defence kept them out and Fylde countered on 34 minutes, when centre Chris Briers stepped swerved through weak tackling from 35 metres out for a bonus-point fourth try which Johnson converted for a 28-0 half-time lead.
With the words of head coach Giles Heagerty perhaps ringing in their ears, Macc started the second half forcefully but could not penetrate the Fylde defence.
Fylde again showed them how to do it on 43 minutes, moving the ball right swiftly to give Dorrington just enough space for his hat-trick try in the corner. This looked like the talented winger’s coming of age at National League level.
After scoring eight successive conversions this season, Johnson missed from the touchline.
Again the Blues battered away at the Fylde line to no avail, and the sin-binning of home forward Matt O’Regan resulted in 40-metre break by Fylde replacement centre Tommy Banks before Oli Brennand scored in the left corner, his 172nd try on his 200th appearance for his hometown club. Johnson’s conversion brought up the 40.
Fylde head coach Mark Nelson was ringing the changes and using his full bench, Dorrington switching to scrum-half.And when Spragg broke through the defence on a 35-metre run to the line, Johnson goaled again and there were still 15 minutes left.
Yet there would be no further scoring as Macc camped n Fylde’s half for a while only to meet uncompromising resistance and the game became rather error-strewn.
Spragg stretched his legs in a 40-metre break but a desperate tackle denied Fylde an eighth try.
The hosts, who have lost both games so far, perhaps deserved a score to show for all their hard work.
Rawlings and David Fairbrother have strengthened Fylde’s pack, while Sam Beaumont played 48 minutes after injury and former Macc skipper Evan Stewart led Fylde superbly, tackling his heart out.
Head coach Nelson was naturally chirpy after the win but is already looking forward to Saturday’s visit by promotion favourites Rosslyn Park to Fylde and declared: “The honeymoon is over!”
Fylde: Spragg; Dorrington, S Rawlings, Briers, Brennand; Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Burtonwood, Lewis, Beaumont, G Rawlings, Vernon, Fairbrother, Stewart. Replacements: Maher, Banks, Robinson, Arnold, Griffiths.