SECOND HALF FIGHTBACK GIVES PARK THE POINTS
Report by Mo Sher
Rosslyn Park 14-12 Fylde
A tough, abrasive encounter at the Rock went the way of the hosts as they suffocated their free-spirited hosts in the second-half en route to recording a deserved 14-12 win.
Despite losing out to Blackheath last time out, Park showed plenty of spirit and boss James Buckland largely kept faith with the same match day squad.
One of the new faces in Stephen Hihetah impressed in the opening stages as Park looked to get on top of a typically ambitious Fylde early on and after butchering a couple of good opportunities, only had a Tom Whelan penalty to show for their efforts.
And they were made to pay on the stroke of half time. David Fairbrother went over from a 5m scrum, and then Ollie Brennand notched a typical poacher’s try seconds before the break. Scott Rawlings’ cute dink through put the Park defence on the back foot, and the prolific winger was on hand to scoop up, evade his man and scamper over.
Despite having shaded the first-half, the hosts knew they had to raise it again to stand any chance against a side renowned for their ability to cut loose in a heartbeat. Park were up to the challenge, though – the midfield defence was outstanding and they scored the only try of the half, via a penalty score, 15 minutes from time to move ahead for the first time in the game after a couple of Tom Whelan penalties had reduced the Fylde lead to three.
Fairbrother’s sin-binning moments before the try made life difficult for Paul Arnold’s as they chased the game but they never really threated the Park line in that final quarter, Park completing a very professional job.
With two-thirds of the season complete, Park consolidated their position in the top half of the table ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Midlands, and a clash against one of the division’s newcomers this season, Ampthill.
Led by former Welsh fly-half Paul Turner, the ambitious Dillingham Park club came up through the National Two play-off last term, downing Bishop’s Stortford, and are enjoying a hugely successful first campaign at the higher level, currently residing in sixth position.
Kick-off on Saturday is at the slightly earlier time of 2.15pm and, as ever, there will be live match commentary on our official club twitter feed, @rosslynpark.
Match Gallery by David Whittam