Injury worries continue for Stour as a strong Fylde team 'do the double'!
By Richard Stanley
No excuses here and well done to Fylde who were a better side on the day. However, DoR Neil Mitchell and his team have their work cut out to field anywhere near a full strength team over the coming weeks!
No excuses here and well done to Fylde who were a better side on the day. However, DoR Neil Mitchell and his team have their work cut out to field anywhere near a full strength team over the coming weeks, with key players, Chad Thorne and Sam Montieri still unavailable.
Jack Lea travelled and was named on the bench but an as yet, unconfirmed, broken rib meant that the risk was too high to send him into battle. Moreover, numbers were depleted further when Reece Beddows pulled his hamstring with less than 15 minutes on the clock. 13 minutes later he was followed by Stef Thorpe whose foot injury is still causing problems meaning veteran prop Adam Sturdy played the remainder of the game but winning Man of the Match in the process.
In the second half Llyr Griffiths came off with an ankle problem followed by the industrious Nick Cairns. He had to leave the pitch after a nasty knee injury meaning Llyr had to trundle back on!
From the first whistle it was clear that the visitors were going to struggle as, despite wind advantage, Fylde were intent on running with the ball at every opportunity! Their speedy backs and quick offloads were enough for three first half tries and maximum 21 points scored by Tom Carleton, Ben O’Ryan and Cameron Crampton, with conversions by Greg Smith. In reply, Stour scored a well worked try through Hal Riley when his trademark running line and strength were enough to see him crash his way over on the half hour mark.
Just 2 minutes into the 2nd half, Stourbridge were down to 14 men after Joe Heatley’s high tackle and Fylde added another 14 points with converted tries by Crampton and replacement Fergus Warr. In the final 30 minutes, the hosts added a further 4 tries with all but one converted by Smith in very tricky wind conditions. Stour could only respond with a neat try by James Seabrook who was on the shoulder of a Dan Rundle break.
The final score could have been a lot different had referee Daniel Woods not disallowed two Fylde tries and an effort by Nick Murphy! Supporters from both teams were also encouraging action for numerous alleged off sides, forward passes, obstructions and off the ball incidents. However, even had they all been penalized the net result would not have changed.
Six out of our seven remaining fixtures are against higher placed sides and we have four more games left in March! Consequently, we need as much support as possible, particularly next week when we host 4th place Huddersfield to whom we narrowly lost 15 – 10 but both sides scoring 2 tries.