THIS was a very competitive game and, considering the hype before the game and the pressure on the sides to get a win, it was a tribute to both that they carried on playing a very open style of rugby.
Dale supporters will spend the gloomier Christmas but they should not be disheartened by this performance.
A bumper crowd was treated to a fantastic game of breathtaking rugby. Fylde director of rugby Brian Ashton commented that both sides played with a lot of ambition and the only disappointment was the number of yellow cards produced.
Wharfedale, at one stage, were reduced to 12 men against 14!
The game was played at great pace with Fylde outscoring Dale by five tries to two and running out worthy winners, leapfrogging them in the table and earning five points.
Wharfedale used the slope to good advantage in the first half with their pack dominating the set piece and being rewarded time after time with a penalty.
This gave leading points scorer Tom Barrett two chances which he converted for a 6-0 lead.
A breakaway try put Fylde on the scoreboard but good interplay by the forwards and backs led to two converted tries from Wharfedale.
The first was created by looping play and great line running which was finished off in fine style by Christopher Georgiou. The second was created by the forwards and led to a stroll in for Dan Scarborough. A late penalty by Johnson meant Wharfedale led 20-10 at the break.
Fylde coach Mark Nelson re-focused his team at half-time and they dominated after the interval and the yellow card count against Wharfedale saw them reduced to 12.
Nelson said: “This was our most competitive game all season. No quarter was given. The result could have gone either way but we took our chances to get to the line and score.”
Tries from Griffiths, Stewart, Brennan and Robinson gave Fylde a deserved double.
Wharfedale, with only 13 men on the pitch, did close the gap to 29-26 before Robinson’s try sent the Lancashire crowd home in a happy mood.
SHEFFIELD turned in a battling display in their re-arranged North One East game at Rochdale, but the bottom club lost 30-14. Leading at half-time, Sheffield had travelled with a depleted squad and even director of rugby Ben Wade had to play.
But they were 14-7 ahead at half-time following a good first period, only to switch off early in the second half. Interchanges and injuries disrupted their play and let Rochdale back in with three unanswered tries.
After Rochdale had scored an early try, Sheffield stand-off Adam Byron touched down, converting it to pull level, and when openside flanker Tom Womack crashed over, Byron added the conversion to give his side the lead. That was as far as Sheffield got but they were unlucky not to get something for their efforts. They remain hopeful of making new signings.