All be it for a 15 minute spell of dazzling rugby from Fylde, Scunthorpe held their own for most of the game against the first time visitors to Heslam Park in the opening fixture of National 2 Rugby.
It was Scunthorpe that made the brightest start and they put Fylde under pressure forcing them to give away a penalty. Paul Cook duly collected the three points. Fylde then committed a similar offence close to the line. Quick thinking skipper Tom Foster took the tap penalty and darted over the line to score the touchdown, Cook converted and The Greens were 10-0 ahead after 7 minutes. Fylde then got off the bus and began to put the phases together. The influential man of the match Tom Carleton finished off a great move with a well-deserved try, converted by Greg Smith. Scunthorpe accepted another opportunity for three points and Cook converted from 20 metres. Fylde responded with another try from left wing Tom Grimes, Smith converted . Fylde struggled to keep on the referee’s good side and from yet another penalty, Foster kicked to the corner for the catch and drive line out. The forwards retained the ball and it was full back Paul Cook crashed over to score in the corner. Cook then converted his own try from the touch line and Scunthorpe were now looking good at 20 points to 14 after 25 minutes.
Scunthorpe suffered a massive blow when Olly Wood sustained a broken collar bone and had to leave the field. Fylde suddenly kicked into gear and scored 5 converted tries in 15 minutes. This period of play completely changed the nature of game and gave Tim Robinson’s men a massive wakeup call on their return to National 2 Rugby. Half time came and Scunthorpe were now 20-47 down.
After the break Scunthorpe showed some steely resolve and held Fylde for 33 minutes before they scored. The Greens forced the opposition back and kept the bell well. But for a couple of unforced errors, they should have got at least two scores on the board. However it was Fylde who got on the 2nd half score board first. Greg Smith put in an excellent cross field kick for Carleton to collect the ball and run in for his hat-trick try. Smith hit the post and missed a difficult conversion. Ben Hyde, one of Scunthorpe’s key players last season, continued his great form by scoring a great individual try. Hyde collected the ball 40 metres out. He crashed and weaved his way to the line, stretching at full length to claim the touchdown.
With only 2 minutes to go Scunthorpe were now in the ascendency and looking to complete the bonus point try. Fylde kicked off and Scunthorpe were willing to attack from anywhere on the field. They worked their way to half way. Fylde gave away another penalty which Foster kicked to the corner. From the catch and drive line out the pack worked wonders to allow Ollie Cole to dive over for the try they so deserved. Cook converted and the final whistle blew.
The old cliché of a game of two halves comes to mind and the Scunthorpe players should be very proud of the way they stuck at it and came back in the second half.
Match Report by S.J.Williams