Two more Fylde RFC players have been ruled out for the season.
Forwards Sam Beaumont and Simon Griffiiths have picked up injuries and will miss the final month of the campaign, beginning with tomorrow’s home clash against Blackheath in National League One.
They were hit by shoulder and ankle injuries respectively in the bruising, 40-14 loss away to Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday.
The latest setbacks added to Fylde’s mounting injury list.
Player-coach Paul Arnold said: “I have never known anything like it but these things can happen towards the end of the season.
“For the match at Darlington Mowden Park, we had 10 lads injured or unavailable and we got more four injuries on the day.
“I was actually proud of the way the lads dug in at the end; otherwise, it could have been 50 or 60 points (DMP did not score a point in the final quarter).
“The encouraging thing was the performance of the young players we brought in.
“Matt Garrod was on for 25 minutes and had seven carries in that time. Connor Wilkinson topped the tackle count and Dickie Whiteside showed some good touches as well. It augurs well for the future.”
Arnold is able to put out a stronger line-up for tomorrow’s match, with back row forward Dave Fairbrother returning, along with Chris Briers, Adam Lewis, Tom Morton and Jordan Dorrington.
With Ralph Dowds another injury casualty from the trip to DMP, there will be a fresh centre partnership – Sam Bedlow and Wilkinson – while Briers returns at full-back
Arnold said: “Centre is Wilkinson’s more natural position.”
Blackheath comes to the Woodlands after crushing Hull Ionians last weekend.
If tomorrow’s contest is anything like this season’s previous encounter in London, it will be a worthy spectacle for the home supporters and for the former Fylde players present for a reunion and pre-match lunch.
The sides played out a thrilling 34-all draw in December and Arnold said: “ We know what to expect from Blackheath.
“They are a powerful side, with two big wingers and an organised midfield.
“Looking back at that match in December, it is one we think we should have won.
“Our aim is to put on a performance in our last two home games.
Wharfedale, who visit the Woodlands on April 23, are battling against the drop and Arnold said: “Wharfedale have a tough trip to Plymouth tomorrow and if we beat them it could be the final nail in their coffin.”
Fylde: Briers; Bingham, Wilkinson, Bedlow, Brennand; Morton, Nicholls; Birchall, Loney, Wild, Gray, G Rawlings, Stewart, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Lewis, Mills, Arnold, S Rawlings, Dorrington. Kick-off 3pm.