Fylde 26 Blaydon 17


Blaydon missed a golden opportunity to move away from the relegation zone when they ran in 2 tries unopposed in the opening 13 minutes at fellow strugglers Fylde only to let it slip away in the second half with some indifferent tackling.
No8 Jason Smithson touched down the first after considerable pressure in the home 22 and then made a decisive break from a scrummage 15 metres out to send in winger Dan Marshall. Fly-half Brett Connon converted both scores to make it 0-14 and at that point the future was looking rosy.
Significantly however Fylde who had infringed 5 times during that torrid spell in their own 22 suffered no further punishment whereas Blaydon on the half-hour had Smithson yellow carded following 2 offences and the game then swung in favour of Fylde.
With the interval approaching home centre Connor Wilkinson broke through a half-hearted tackle for an easy score and then almost direct from the restart they ran it down the park for scrum-half Greg Nicholls to cross the Blaydon line again. Fylde leading points scorer Greg Smith put over the conversion and at the break they had pulled it back to 12-14.
Much of the second period belonged to the home side who were constantly asking questions but Blaydon hung on well in defence and in a rare excursion up-field increased their lead with a Connon penalty. But then disappointingly it was a case of ‘Deja vu’ with Fylde hitting back with 2 tries in quick succession, both from winger Scott Armstrong. Smith added the extras to both scores to make it 26-17 and that was to be the last of the scoring, but Blaydon could and perhaps should have got closer.
After being encamped in the Fylde 22 in the final minutes but unable to break through they were awarded an eminently kickable penalty with 30 seconds remaining but elected to tap and go. They hammered away at the home line but to no avail and whilst Fylde now move onward and upward Blaydon must battle on.

John Brennan