Fylde 55, Caldy 29
WHAT a match! It was one from which spectators dared not avert their gaze as the action was non-stop.
And they may have earned a new fan, for among the spectators was Blackpool midfield maestro Charlie Adam, who must have been impressed by the entertainment at the Woodlands.
Fylde won by nine tries to four, some by the home side of the spectacular variety.
Caldy gave as good as they got for long periods in this compelling game, Fylde making some uncharacteristic errors.
But Fylde more than made up for that with some magnificent attacking play.
Richard Kenyon took the lion’s share of the honours with his hat-trick, while Oli Brennand displayed his blistering speed on numerous occasions and the outstanding Tom Lavelle showed commendable running power allied to hard graft up front.
Mark Stephenson was all willing toil and industry in the pack, while Jason Robinson had his best game in Fylde colours, including a try-saving tackle at a crucial point.
Fylde made the ideal start, with a solo try by Kenyon after only two minutes. He eluded a clutch of tacklers before side-stepping the full-back neatly to score.
The home side scented a second touchdown, which arrived two minutes later.
The ball passed through ten pairs of hands in an incisive build-up before Brennand was unleashed on the left wing. He was halted after a 30-yard surge but there was no stopping Mike Waywell, who burst through to touch down.
Waywell added his second conversion and the National Two North leaders were 14-0 in front after four minutes, Caldy not realising what had hit them.
However, meek tackling by Fylde afforded them a route back. Centre Shaun Woof escaped from two poor attempts to score and Richard Vasey’s conversion halved the deficit with only nine minutes gone!
Nick Royle took the ball superbly in one hand for Fylde, released by Robinson’s pass, but Caldy scrambled back to cover.
Royle then featured on the opposite flank as he almost reached Kenyon’s dink of a kick.
Caldy were well in it as the second quarter began, playing Fylde at their own game by running the ball from deep.
Craig Ross crashed over on the left for Caldy but it was disallowed for a forward pass.
However, play was called back for a Caldy penalty, which Vasey slotted over from in front of the posts to cut Fylde’s lead to a slim 14-10.
But on 25 minutes, Fylde hit back with a sensational try by Brennand.
He got the ball fully 40 yards out and set sail for the line with only one intention.
Almost knocked out of his stride by one defender, the Fylde wing somehow maintained his balance to finish off a superb run.
Kenyon took over the kicking duties, with Waywell temporarily off the field for treatment, and extended the lead to 21-10.
Paul Arnold also left the park briefly with a bloodied nose following a belligerent run against his former club.
Caldy, as good as any visiting side seen at the Woodlands this season, showed their attacking flair on 40 minutes, when Gavin Roberts exploited a big gap and hared over between the posts, Vasey’s goal making it 21-17 at half-time.
It was all to play for after Fylde’s flying start but they secured their bonus point with a fourth try three minutes after the restart.
Kenyon, Lavelle and Brennand created space down the left for the excellent Stephenson to gallop over.
Fylde scored again within two minutes as Lavelle fed Brennand, who needed little prompting with the try-line looming invitingly in front of him.
Brennand slipped but still managed to shift the ball to ever-willing front-rower Lavelle, who claimed a deserved try as he again showed pace a three-quarter might have envied.
Waywell missed both conversions, the second hitting the woodwork, but Fylde had breathing space at 31-17.
But Caldy were not to be subdued easily and spent a significant period pounding the Fylde line.
Eventually the defence cracked as No.8 Josiah Dickinson crashed over for an unconverted try.
Robinson then saved a certain try as he got across to tackle Ross, who must have thought he was nailed on to score.
Caldy were not to be denied, swarming forward again for Vasey to dodge over for a try he converted.
At 31-29, Fylde were wobbling but welcome respite arrived when a rolling maul on 65 minutes took the pack 25 yards to the try-line, with Grant Ferguson at the bottom of it all and claiming the final touch.
As the excitement mounted, Brennand couldn’t quite reach the line and his pass just eluded replacement Craig Aikman.
Then Waywell made the mistake of going for glory as he spurned a two-man overlap on his outside.
But Fylde scored from their next attack as skipper Sam Beaumont collected cleanly at a lineout and Kenyon escaped indifferent tackling.
Fly-half Kenyon was the provider two minutes later, his beautiful pass giving Waywell an easy run-in. Kenyon took the conversion to bring up the half-century.
Right at the death, Fylde rounded off the scoring with another outstanding try. Robinson made a searing break and fed Royle, who in turn sent Kenyon sprinting over for his hat-trick in a match that will linger in the memory.
Fylde: Robinson; Royle, Briers, Waywell (Collins 75) Brennand; Kenyon, Wallwork (Aikman 62); Livesey (Altham 62) Roddam (Holmes 73) Lavelle, Arnold, Wells (Sutherlnd 62) Ferguson, Stephenson, Beaumont.