1st XV
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  National League 2 North
Tries: A Lanigan (3), J Dorrington, B Gregory, B Turner, S RawlingsConversions: G Smith (4), A ClaytonYellow Carded: T Carleton
Hull Ionians RUFC
1st XV
Tries: W Yates, G Mewburn, S HassardConversions: S Hassard
Fylde 45 v 17 Hull Ionians

Fylde 45 v 17 Hull Ionians

Malcolm Knowles24 Mar - 20:41
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I's woes continue with defeat at Woodlands.

I went all the way to Blackpool and never caught sight of the tower. It has to be said that wasn’t the only disappointment on the day. At half-time, on a cold and blustery afternoon, I went in search of a restorative hot drink. I called into the Coffee lounge and asked for a Latte, only to be told they didn’t serve coffee !!. Oh well.
I wasn’t disappointed by the result, that would suggest expectation; by the 10th minute of play I was resigned to the probability of another defeat.
In the opening exchanges the home side had been pinned in their own half, only escaping outside their 22 by dint of penalties conceded by the visitors. Fylde soaked up the predictably applied pressure and then, at the first sniff they got, they broke clear to go the length of the field for a try under the posts. Wingman Adam Lanigan finished the move, Greg Smith added the extras and the hosts went 7 – 0 up.
Ionians went straight back into the Fylde 22. A penalty was kicked to touch to put them close to the line, the maul was driven on but inexplicably the ball was moved in field where Ionians were penalized, allowing Fylde to clear their line.
Ionians came back again, but poor handling brought another let-off and Fylde worked their way into the Ionians half, for only the second time in half an hour. Trying to play expansively, the hosts threw out a long pass that went to ground, presenting Will Yates with a chance to race 60 yards. It was an opportunity he gratefully accepted. He was forced to go over wide out, making a conversion chance that was just beyond young Sam Hazzard.
Unfortunately, this prodded the hosts to up their efforts. In the next half hour they showed the home supporters the style of rugby for which they are renowned. Good interplay, slick handling and, crucially, a reliable defensive effort saw Fylde score five tries without reply.
Within a couple of minutes of the visitors score the Woodlanders stretched the lead, with a flowing move that went across the field and back again for Lanigan to race in at the corner, Smith struck a well judged conversion to give Fylde a 14 – 5 lead.
Fylde broke clean through from the re-start and went three parts the length of the field only to be pulled back, with a two man over-lap and the line at their mercy, for a forward pass. Unforgivable.
It wasn’t long before they made amends when Jordan Dorrington grabbed the home sides third try, making the most of some powder puff tackling, to race away to the posts. Smith added the extras to push the lead to 21 – 5.
As half time approached Fylde were pressing the Ionians line and won a penalty that was quickly swung out to skipper Ben Gregory. He easily dispatched the defender, pivoting round the last man, to cross by the corner flag. The hosts went to oranges 26 -5 to the good.
Ionians made a spirited start to the second half but couldn’t produce the slick handling and cutting edge demonstrated by Fylde. The home outfit merely bided their time and when the opportunity came, pouncing onto a loose pass, they chipped ahead for Ben Turner to gather his own kick and sprint clear to score.
Ionians put together a good passage of play with Josh Britton and Yates making some headway and Will Stowe looked to be clear away down the stand-side touch only to run his foot down the whitewash.
It was a brief respite before Fylde claimed a sixth try, Lanigan making the most of some weak defending to complete his hat -trick.
Ionians rallied to score two tries in the final ten minutes, either side of Fylde’s final effort, but it was too little, too late.
George Mewburn, who had given Ionians a bit of impetus after being introduced as a replacement, powered over after scrum ball had been switched down the blind side, Tom Winch made the extra man to take the ball to the line, Ionians won the ruck and Mewburn did the rest.
The rain that had threatened for most of the afternoon duly arrived making conditions difficult. Fylde butchered a nailed on try, but Ionians generously presented them with another chance when they coughed up possession, after winning a scrum, and the rotund Scott Rawlings crashed over from five yards out.
Ionians raised one final effort and laid siege to the Fylde try line. It looked as if the Woodlanders would keep Ionians at bay, but after a number of tight calls Sam Hazzard wriggled his way over. He nonchalantly knocked over the conversion to give Ionians time to go for the bonus point try but they were unable to make anything of a couple of penalty awards and Fylde stole a line-out to bring to an end a miserable afternoon.
A bright spot on the day was the news that Wimbledon had fallen to a heavier defeat than Ionians. One gets one’s joy where one can these days.

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




National League 2 North

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