Stourbridge 18 Fylde RFC 36: Second-half try-spree gives Fylde a big lift

David Fairbrother made his presence felt on his Fylde RFC return
David Fairbrother made his presence felt on his Fylde RFC return
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Fylde returned to winning ways with a five-try second-half display at Stourbridge, including scrum-half Cam Crampton's first tries for the club and a 16-point haul for half-back partner Greg Smith

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This third win in four visits to the West Midlands club was a massive boost to Warren Spragg’s Fylde side, who climbed back into the top half of National Two North after four defeats in their previous five games.
It was the ultimate game of two contrasting halves: a dour, attritional opening 40, in which a solitary penalty goal by the home side was the only score, and an all-action second period, which saw eight tries and 54 points scored, along with three sin-binnings.
A very strong wind blowing straight down the Stourton Park ground was a major feature of the match, though the hosts failed to capitalise on the elements in their favour during a tryless first half.
Stourbridge played most of the opening quarter in Fylde’s half and dominated the penalty count but could not breach the Fylde defence.
Their only score of the half was a penalty for not releasing in the tackle which fly-half Chris Scott goaled on 15 minutes, having missed an earlier attempt.
The best try-scoring chance of the half fell to home full-back Mark Harrison, who lost the ball over the line following a break down the right by centre George Morgan.
Harrison took out his frustrations with a high tackle on Fylde winger Tom Carleton, resulted in a sin-binning which boosted Fylde’s bid to see out the half without conceding again.
With the wind in their favour in the second half it was a completely different story as Fylde opened up and scored 29 unanswered points before the hour-mark.
Crampton scored his first within a minute of the restart, and although Smith missed the goal he soon made the score 8-3 with a 45th-minute penalty
Fylde scored some spectacular tries, including Crampton’s second on 48 minutes.
Full-back Connor Wilkinson broke and spread play to Carleton, who was running out of space but put over a crossfield kick which bounced kindly for Crampton to score his second between the posts, Smith converting.
Smith scored the next try himself on 56 minutes, finishing a move which started with Henry Hadfield’s break from inside his own half. Smith converted his own try from out wide to stretch the lead to 22-3.
Two minutes later and Fylde were in again. Centre Ralph Dowds, who had a solid game in attack and defence, burst through up the middle before passing for hooker Ben Gregory to scamper over from outside the 22 and secure a bonus point.
Smith goaled and Fylde were in command only for a double sinbinning to halt their momentum.
Fairbrother took exception to being dumped to the floor on 63 minutes, with spectators getting involved in an unsavoury melee by the touchline.
The upshot was yellow cards for the Fylde number eight, who had made some big carries on his return from injury, and for fellow Fylde forward Elliot Horner, yet with 13 men Fylde still managed to outscore their hosts by seven points to five.
Stourbridge scored their first try from back-to-back penalties on 65 minutes, centre George Morgan crossing from close range. Replacement Rickie Aley missed the goal and it remained 29-8.
But despite their two-man disadvantage Fylde scored again on 71 minutes. It followed another strong run by Hadfield and ended with Carleton’s seventh try of the season, beating the defence on the outside before Smith added his final goal.
The points were safely in the bag but Stourbridge did manage to close the gap with two late tries on 77 and 79 minutes.
Scrum-half Joe Heatley scored the first and winger Dan Rundle gathered a cross-kick for the final score.
Neither conversion was attempted against the wind as Stourbridge tried to give themselves maximum time for a bonus-point try of their own. But this was not to be and Fylde leapfrogged their hosts in the table.

Delighted head coach Warren Spragg said: "It was similar to the Hull game in terms of the conditions being fairly identical. We looked after the ball well against the wind in the first half and didn’t give them many opportunities.
"Against Hull we thought the wind would do the work for us in the second half but this time we stuck to playing how we wanted to.
"They probably had more of the ball in the second half but our defence was pretty epic, and when we got the ball we were a pleasure to watch. Tom and Ralph looked sharp and I’m pleased for Cam to score a couple.
“It was a test of character when we went down to 13 men. The incident was a bit messy and watching it back the sin-binnings were probably fair, though maybe one of their could have got 10 minutes too."

With no game next weekend, Fylde go into their two-week break in a positive frame of mind as they prepare for South Leicester's visit to the Woodlands on Saturday week.

Fylde: Wilkinson, Carleton, Dowds, Briers, Grimes, Smith, Crampton; Horner, Gregory, Joyner, Ashcroft, Parkinson, Corrie, O’Ryan, Fairbrother; replacements (all used): Ford, Ashman, Garrod, Hadfield, Lanigan.