Tynedale 27 Fylde RFC 34: Hat-trick for Grimes as unbeaten start continues

Tom Grimes scored a hat-trick for Fylde at Tynedale
Tom Grimes scored a hat-trick for Fylde at Tynedale

Fylde stretched their unbeaten start to the National Two North season to five games in this exciting, see-saw encounter in Northumberland.

READ MORE: Fylde coach Spragg hoping history will not repeat itself

This was only Fylde’s second win in 10 visits to Tynedale Park and their first since 2011.
After trailing at the interval with a player in the sinbin, Fylde enjoyed a glorious spell of four tries in 11 minutes to move 34-15 clear.
A spirited late revival brought two Tynedale tries which moved them back within a score, but it was too late to deny Fylde maximum points which consolidated second place in the table.
The pitch was in fine condition and a dry day was made for running rugby.
Fylde won an early scrum inside the Tynedale half and Tom Carleton made a crucial break before Connor Wilkinson fed winger Tom Grimes for an athletic touchdown in the corner. Greg Smith’s conversion from the touchline was perfect.
Fylde continued to press and in the 11th minute Smith converted a penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts, making the score 10-0.
Tynedale came back strongly and pushed Fylde deep into their own half, full-back Rob Parker getting the hosts on the scoreboard with a penalty.
As play switched from end to end, a smart Fylde move ended with a try disallowed for a forward pass and a penalty against the men in claret and gold for back-chat.
Discipline was becoming a problem for the visitors, who had lock Matt Garrod sinbinned in the 33rd minute following sustained Tynedale pressure.
The penalty was kicked to the corner and the lineout resulted in Tyne number eight Ben Bell driving over to cut the deficit to two points.
Fylde were clearly off the pace as a couple minutes later poor tackling allowed Bell to weave through for his second try, Parker’s conversion giving Tyne a 15-10 lead as they trotted off at half-time.
Whatever was said in the visiting camp in the interval appeared to pay off handsomely.
With Garrod back, Fylde dominated and Grimes finished a swift break for his second try in the left corner. The scores remained level as Smith’s conversion from wide out drifted wide.
The visitors were now on fire, and after Carleton carried the ball to the 22-metre line three minutes later, the pack drove forward and Elliot Horner scored his first Fylde try on his 25th appearance. Smith converted for a 22-15 lead
In the 53rd minute Fylde were again pressing in the Tynedale half and centre Ralph Dowds’ long miss-pass to the wing enabled Carleton to scoot across the line virtually unchallenged, Smith adding another pinpoint conversion.
It was more of the same three minutes later as Wilkinson’s jinking run took Fylde into the heart of Tyne territory.
The ball was recycled left and this time an even longer and higher miss-pass by flanker Jacob Conner created a four-man overlap for Grimes to stroll in for his hat-trick.
Smith’s attempted conversion missed but those 24 points without reply had surely put Fylde in a match-winning position, even with 23 minutes remaining.
But not for the first time this season, Fylde were guilty of taking their foot off the gas and Tynedale dominated the final quarter.
A strong scrummage inside the Fylde 22 resulted in a try for scrum-half John Clarkson on 71 minutes, Parker’s conversion closing the gap to 34-22.
Tyne ran the ball at every opportunity against a tiring Fylde side, who held out until stoppage time, when wing Will Roberts scored after 16 phases of home possession. The conversion was missed.
Tynedale were unable to claw back the deficit resulting from Fylde’s purple patch, though the final score was rather too close for the visitors’ comfort.
Fylde remain one point behind the league’s last 100 per cent club, Caldy, and this win sets up a tasty contest on Saturday, when fourth-placed Stourbridge visit the Woodlands.
It will be 100 years and a day since Fylde’s first competitive game, a 26-0 win over Manchester YMCA on what are now the playing fields of Lytham St Annes School. This will be commemorated at a pre-match centenary lunch, for which places are still available.
Head coach Warren Spragg said of Saturday’s win: “The lads knew we needed to perform near our best to avoid the hammering we got up there last season and we are happy to have exorcised that particular demon.
“Our set-piece was strong again and I thought we controlled most of the game when we maintained our discipline.
“Unfortunately we got frustrated at times and gave away cheap penalties that put us under pressure as well as bombing some clear-cut tries, meaning the last 10 minutes were pretty nervy to watch!
“However, it’s great to be picking apart a five-point win rather than scraping the bones of a 60-point demolition, so I’m happy overall and looking forward to another strong test when Stourbridge come to the Woodlands next Saturday.”
FYLDE: Wilkinson, Carleton (Botha 66), Dowds (Forster 64), Rawlings, Grimes; Smith, Lanigan; Horner (Wild 70), Gregory, Lewis (M Ashcroft 66), Parkinson, Garrod, Conner, Vernon (Chapman 40), Fairbrother.