Hinckley 16 Fylde RFC 5: Match report

Fylde's Henry Hadfield was sent off in the second half for foul play
Fylde's Henry Hadfield was sent off in the second half for foul play
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Hinckley and Fylde fought out a very tough, physical battle at Leicester Road which ended with the home side edging to a 16-5 victory.

Despite Fylde taking an early lead, Hinckley kicked their way to a 6-5 lead at half-time.

When Fylde were reduced to 14 players after Henry Hadfield’s straight red card, it was always going to be hard work for the visitors.

Fylde began the game in dominating form and they opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

From a lineout inside the Hinckley 22, they set up a rolling maul and tighthead prop Adam Joyner drove over to claim his maiden first XV try for his local club.

In only his second senior starting appearance, the former Kirkham Grammar student is proving to be a reliable front rower with a sound scrummaging technique.

Fly-half Greg Smith’s attempted conversion was off target but Fylde had a 5-0 lead.

As Fylde continued to press, a Hinckley forward offended in the 11th minute and Smith opted to go for goal but, unfortunately, the kick drifted wide.

It was Hinckley’s turn to win a penalty a few minutes later but their full-back, Joe Wilson, was no more successful with his kick than Smith.

However, when he had a second chance in the 21st minute, he made no mistake and reduced the deficit to 5-3.

Fylde had plenty of possession and territory but were unable to exploit their chances and extend their lead.

In the 35th minute Wilson had a third opportunity and was successful in putting the home side ahead at 6-5.

The second half started with the same fierce struggle for possession and the physicality was intense as home lock James Moreton was sent to the sinbin in the 42nd minute.

Fylde pressed hard on the Hinckley line, with several phases of possession as they drove forward.

They believed that lock Matt Garrod had got the touch down but the referee disagreed.

Fylde’s numerical advantage was brief and the crucial moment in the game proved to be a couple of minutes later when Hadfield was shown a red card for foul play.

From the ensuing penalty, the Hornets pressed inside the Fylde half and hooker Jack Dickinson burst clear to score a good try.

This was converted by Wilson and Hinckley were clear at 13-5.

Fylde’s 14 men continued to battle hard but things didn’t run their way and their usually potent attack was blunted by Hinckley’s determined defence.

By the 60th minute, head coach Warren Spragg threw his replacements into the action with Cal Ford, Nick Ashcroft, Luke Fowden and Cameron Crampton replacing Joyner, Sam Dugdale, Connor Wilkinson and Gus Warr, who was making his debut for the club.

The final blow inflicted by the home side was a third Wilson penalty in the 65th minute.

Fylde didn’t give up but could not narrow their deficit as Hinckley ran down the clock and left Fylde slipping one place to seventh in the National Two (North) table.

Fylde: Carleton, Hadfield, Briers, Wilkinson (Fowden 60), Grimes, Smith, Warr (rampton 60); Horner, Loney, Joyner (Ford 58), Garrod, Parkinson (Gregory 71), Corrie, O’Ryan, Dugdale (Ashcroft 58).