Sedgley Tigers 46 Fylde 26: Match report

Tryscorer Connor Wilkinson
Tryscorer Connor Wilkinson

ylde were well beaten by their impressive National Two hosts in this first pre-season game, though several young players gave strong performances.

After losing 12 players from last season’s squad, it was always going to be challenging for new head coach Warren Spragg to meld his young squad immediately.

Only eight players in Fylde’s 25-man squad were first-team regulars last season.

Playing into a very strong wind and uphill in the first half, the visitors had an early chance but the Tigers took control and scored the opening try.

To add to Fylde’s problems, new lock Olli Parkinson was forced off with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Karl Capstick.

A second home try by Tom Coe was converted to make the score 12-0.

Ten minutes of Fylde pressure resulted in a series of penalties, the sinbinning of a home player and a try for all-action flanker Toby Harrison. Greg Smith added the goal.

Sedgley hit back as fly-half Rob Holloway asked many questions, setting up Fylde old boy Danny Maher fort their third try. A fourth followed and it was 24-7 at the break.

Henry Hadfield, Ben Vernon and George Brookes came on for the second half, and the latter set up former Kirkham GS team-mate Connor Wilkinson for an excellent try goaled by Smith.

Debutant lock Harlan Corrie then scored his first Fylde try and Smith’s extras cut the gap to 24-21.

But Fylde knocked on from the restart and Sedgley broke to score in the left corner.

Dave Fairbrother then broke powerfully down the left for Fylde and released winger Tom Grimes for a try. Smith’s kick struck an upright and Fylde trailed 29-26.

But as Fylde introduced all 10 replacements, Sedge took advantage of their readjustment with three tries in the final 20 minutes as skipper Greg Nicholls and Jamie Brookes both suffered injuries for the visitors.

Fylde welcome Bury St Edmund’s to the Woodlands for their second friendly on Saturday before the National One season begins seven days later at home to Cambridge.