Fylde 17pts Old Albanian 21pts
Two weakened teams kicked off in damp and blustery conditions in a match which could have contained all sorts of end of season malaise. Fylde have suffered with inconsistency most of the season whilst Albanians had travelled North after being on the end of their most serious towsing in recent memory at the hands of marauding Esher. In fact this encounter was played thoughtfully and in a disciplined fashion and, in the end, OAs probably just deserved the honours.
The hosts kicked off with the wind and the slope in the first period and after initial positional dramas made the most of their first serious attack, Jack Turley crashing over from close range and Greg Smith’s conversion posed no problems.
Harry Bate responded with a typical touchline charge and his try in the left corner was brilliantly improved by Ben Palmer. Departing head coach James Shanahan made his presence felt when out-thinking the Fylde defence to cross half way out on the right. Palmer was again successful with the kick.
Jack Daly completed a happy first half for Albanians when he accelerated past the last Fylde defender for Palmer to improve once more. Thus far Albanians had made the most of position and opportunity but Fylde were to show more menace after the restart.
Notionally with pitch and elements now in their favour Albanians were yet forced onto the back foot as the hosts tried manfully to close the gap. At last Evan Stewart was forced over the line from a rolling maul and Smith’s kick brought the margin to seven points.
Still Fylde pressed but the visitors defence was up to the task and, with only minutes to go to no side Smith took the final penalty on offer.
Coventry, who have won their last five matches after an indifferent start to the season, are next week’s opponents at Woollams. Kickoff 15.00hrs.