Winger may have to dash

Oliver Brennand could be forced out of Saturday's game
Oliver Brennand could be forced out of Saturday's game

Fylde flyer Oliver Brennand is used to showing his paces on the field but he could face a hospital dash this weekend.

The winger’s wife is due to give birth, which could result in him missing Fylde’s trip to Gloucestershire on Saturday to face Cinderford in National One.

Brennand would be a major loss for Fylde: he was inspirational in last week’s second half fightback against Hull Ionians. Having failed to register a single point in a dispiriting first half, Fylde notched 42 in the second, two Brennand tries accounting for 10 them.

If the freescoring winger is unavailable and Warren Spragg fails to recover from a shoulder injury sustained in the Hull game, Michael Lawton could get his chance on the wing.

Rock-bottom Hull shocked Fylde by taking a 7-0 lead into the interval at the Woodlands, so there will surely be no question of complacency when Fylde take on third-bottom Cinderford.

Head coach Mark Nelson confirmed: “There are no bad teams in this league and Cinderford are a formidable side at home. They beat Blackheath 25-0 on their own ground recently, so we are expecting a really tough afternoon in the West Country.

“The ground is on top of a hill and we aren’t expecting the weather to be glorious. It will be a tough test against a big pack.”

Fylde will be close to full strength, though will also check on centre Scott Barrow’s knee.

Oliver Viney returns at full-back, meaning Ben Rath switches to the right wing. Nelson will rotate his front row, with hooker Mark Rylance and Simon Griffith starting this time, having come on as replacements last Saturday.

Having won their first two away matches this season, Fylde have lost the last four and Nelson would love to see a return to winning ways on the road.

He added: “We’ve picked up points at all the away matches except Loughborough and Coventry. We concentrate on ourselves and on playing our own game whether we are at home or away. The key is to play for the full 80 minutes and not for 40 as we did last weekend.”

The victory over the Ionians lifted Fylde back into the top six, but Nelson won’t allow himself to become pre-occupied with league standings.

He added: “I know we are nearer the top than the bottom but other than that I couldn’t tell you much about the table.

“The league is so weird there’s no point obsessing over it. Here’s how weird it is: if we win promotion we could be playing Worcester next season, and if we are relegated we could play Rossendale!”

Fylde: Viney, Rath, C Briers, Barrow, Brennand/Spragg/Lawton, Johnson, De La Harpe; Birchall, Rylance, Griffiths, Gore, Arnold, Robinson, Stewart, Beaumont; replacements, Lewis, Burtonwood, Thompson, Dorrington, S Briers