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Leicester Lions 25 Fylde 21
9:07am Monday 15th September 2008 in Fylde RUFC
The match was played in hot sunny weather on an excellent surface which was ideal for a fast flowing game.
Both sides tore into each other taking advantage of the conditions and the new laws.
This set the tone for the rest of the game with neither side settling to a constructive pattern of patient building up the phases but repeated launching of attacks that, more often than not, lead to the opposition coming away with the ball.
This was extremely frustrating to both coaches.
After 15 minutes of even play, Leicester's excellent fly half broke the line in mid field and raced to the Fylde try line only to be held up by some last ditch cover defence.
From the resultant ruck the Leicester forwards managed to force the try duly converted by the fly half – 7 to 0.
Fylde duly put Leicester under intense pressure and a clever chip ahead from Dave Wisemen just evaded the dive by Nick Royle diving full stretch and frustratingly trickled over the dead ball line.
This was quickly followed by Wiseman breaking free with the line at his mercy only to be called back by the referee for an earlier offence.
Fylde got on the score board after 25 minutes with a carbon copy move that had narrowly failed earlier.
A fine break by Craig Aikman, fed through the hands to Wiseman who chipped through for Royle to scorch through to collect and plant the ball between the posts.
Conversion by Steve Nutt made it 7 all after 25 minutes.
Dave Wilks limped off with a groin strain to be replaced by Dan Palmer.
It was all Fylde for the rest of the half but they couldn't add to their score but from a rare foray into the Fylde half, a needless penalty was given away and the Leicester fly half duly scored with a great deal of help from the post.
Half time then 10 – 7 for Leicester.
The second half started badly with another three points gifted via a penalty after just a minute of play 13 – 7.
Things were not looking good, Fylde's discipline was poor and a succession of penalties were given away.
Then on 50 minutes, Fylde started a purple patch with a beauty of a try for Royle.
The ball was won from a scrum inside our half, spun through the hands to Royle in space.
He ran at the covering wing and full back, deftly chipped over their heads and collected the bobbling ball a full speed for a touch down, duly converted from out wide by Nutt 14 – 13.
The next break through came on 70 minutes when following sustained pressure, Fylde gained a line out, took the ball off the top, Aikman found Nutt who put up a steepling up and under which was caught by Richard Kenyon whose popped pass found Palmer galloping into space for an excellent try converted by Nutt 21 - 13.
What followed could not be made up. Oli Brennand sped the length of the pitch for a wonderful try only for the touch judge to belatedly for an alleged trip by Royle on his wing man.
Fylde lost their shape and discipline and lock Nick King was sin binned for entering a maul from the side.
This boosted Leicester who launched wave after wave of attacks against a fatigued and depleted defence and from a lineout 10 metres out from the Fylde try line, they spotted that there was no one covering the blind side and the hooker got the ball back and strolled over for a soft try without a hand being laid on him.
The conversion was missed and we went into stoppage time 21 – 18.
Then the killer blow in the 7th minute of extra time, the dangerous Leicester full back went on a mazy run leaving the Fylde defence flapping at his heels before flopping over the line.
The conversion was successful and was the last kick of the game 21 – 25 to the Lions.