Match report: Blackheath 36 Fylde RFC 5
Fylde's unequal battle to maintain its position in National One ended at Well Hall when they lost 36-5 to Blackheath.
After seven seasons at level three, they will be competing in National Two (North) in 2018/19.
Once again, the young team put in a gritty performance, especially in the second half, and showed pride and determination.
Blackheath took early control as, in the seventh minute, Fylde conceded a penalty and Blackheath opted for a scrummage near the visitors’ line.
Fly-half Joe Tarrant, chief tormentor in their narrow victory at the Woodlands in November, slipped through a gap in the defence for a neat try and converted for a 7-0 lead.
Blackheath were soon back on the attack and, from a lineout, the forwards drove to the line with Matt Miles last up to claim the try as they led 12-0 in only the 12th minute.
Fylde earned somewhat more possession but were under pressure in the set pieces and slipped further behind eight minutes later.
Marcus Burcham exploited some weak tackling by selling a neat dummy and scoring his side’s third try before the bonus point score came in the 26th minute.
A scrum near the Fylde line saw Jack Walsh go over from close range, Tarrant’s conversion making it 24-0.
Fylde heads didn’t drop and, in typical fashion, they hit back with a splendid long-range try in the last minute of the half.
Winger Jake Foster, making his first National One start, linked up with Tom Carleton who sprinted away to leave Blackheath defenders clutching at thin air.
Fylde upped the intensity of their play in the second half and were more competitive.
However, they conceded again on 46 minutes when a simple overlap put Alex Pickersgill over.
Fylde sent Dan Richardson, Toby Harrison and Harlan Corrie into the fray as they battled back to earn equal possession and territory without being able to penetrate an effective Blackheath defence.
Play was held up when Blackheath flanker Anders Nilsson appeared to suffer a very painful dislocation of his elbow but, in the closing minutes, Burcham drove through tors for their sixth try with Tarrant’s conversion ending the scoring.