Fylde RFC head coach Warren Spragg said their clashes with Wharfedale have an edge other rivalries can’t match as he reflected on Saturday’s nailbiting 24-17 Woodlands win.
READ MORE: Fylde's defence stands firm for victory over Wharfedale
Spragg said: “That was a highly charged final 20 minutes! There’s something about Fylde v Wharfedale games that sets them apart and go beyond even the more recognised local derbies against Preston Grasshoppers or Sedgley Park.
“The Greens are vocal on the touchline, they have passionate supporters and the coaches really care about the club.”
It was a backs-to-the-wall victory for Fylde, who led 17-3 but spent virtually the whole second half defending their line and lost four players to the sin-bin during the game.
“The players never give up. You might think that you’re clearly ahead but often you’re not. I thought we were going to lose that game with 15 minutes to go.
“Our support play in attack was poor and Dale earned penalty after penalty. Their coaches were very frustrated that they didn’t get the rub of the green.
“I was happy that our lads stayed in the fight, kept in front and managed to prevent them scoring at the end. Wharfedale had many opportunities to score in the last 20 mins but didn’t because of our defensive efforts.
“I’m really proud of that resilience but in terms of our tactics we weren’t how we needed to be in the last 20.
“We have to be smarter in the future but full credit to the lads for defending so passionately.
“Dale are a team towards the bottom of the table, but I said after the game there (in September, when Fylde beat the North Yorkshire club 32-19) that they are a good side, maybe a couple of players short and a few injuries away from being up there with the top handful of clubs.
“We’ve notched 10 points in the two games against them and I’m more than happy with that haul.”