Macclesfield 44 Fylde 22: Report and reaction
Fylde have opened their National League One campaign with back-to-back defeats after losing to a bigger and more focused Macc side at Priory Park.
Any hopes of a repeat of Fylde’s 47-0 win on this ground two years ago were soon wiped out as the visitors conceded three tries in the first 12 minutes.
Macc added two further tries, while full-back Matthew Bradley converted all five and added three penalties for a 19-point haul.
Two late Fylde tries brought respectability to the scoreline but could not mask a highly disappointing performance.
Fylde took the lead in the second minute, when Scott Rawlings kicked a penalty for offside, but the Macc forwards soon got to work and they scored the opening try on five minutes.
Fylde conceded a penalty, and from the ensuing lineout skipper and number eight Ryan Parkinson was on the end of a driving maul.
It was more of the same three minutes later, when Ollie Parkinson was driven over from close range and Bradley’s goal made it 14-3.
Macc were completely on top and flanker Josh Redfern broke through the middle without a hand being laid on him to score the third try between the posts.
Fylde scored their first try on 15 minutes, sucking the defence in for centre Scott Armstrong to score his first try for theclub, Rawlings’ neat conversion from the right cutting the deficit to 21-10.
The comeback was shortlived as the Macc forwards continued to dominate, Fylde losing prop Simon Griffiths to injury after 27 minutes.
Bradley added penalties on 32 and 35 minutes, the second of which saw Fylde’s Nick Gray sinbinned for killing the ball illegally. The 14 men responded well and survived until half-time at 27-10.
Still a player down at the start of the second half, Fylde soon conceded a fourth try as winger Matt King ran a neat angle to score between the posts from 20 metres.
Fylde soon found themselves a man down again as number eight David Fairbrother was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on after 53 minutes and Bradley’s simple goal made it 37-10.
Macc made the most of their extra man in the scrum, pushing Fylde back to win the ball against the head for man of the match Ryan Parkinson to power over for his second try.
At least the final quarter of the game belonged to Fylde as they at last got their running game going, with pack leader Jack Turley and Adam Lewis to the fore.
Full-back Jordan Dorrington finished a good backs move down the right after 67 minutes and Rawlings’ conversion went in off the post to make it 44-17.
An even better try soon followed as Anthony Bingham twisted out of the tackle to score from 30 metres.
Rawlings’ conversion again struck an upright but this time rebounded to the wrong side.
Fylde couldn’t convert further pressure into a bonus-point try but Macc were worthy winners, with the Parkinsons and lock Dave Marwick outstanding.
Fylde head coach Paul Arnold said: “We were not at the races and credit to Macc for punishing us in every area.
“The work rate, decision-making, accuracy, set-piece and discipline were nowhere near the high standards we set ourselves and this isn’t acceptable.
“I’ve talked about how good and tight this squad has been this pre-season and the togetherness we have shown. We all need to pull together to improve.
“Poor performances happen. It’s now up to us to make sure it doesn’t occur again.”
Fylde: Dorrington; Bailey, Armstrong, Rawlings, Bingham; Briers, Nicholls; Lewis, Burtonwood, Griffiths, Gray, Turley, Goodman, Vernon, Fairbrother. Replacements: Pope, Maher, Garrod, Lamprey, Wilkinson.