1stXV v Fylde, Sat Apr 16, Match Preview
This weekend Ampthill welcome Fylde for their first ever visit to Dillingham Park.
Fylde RFC was formed in 1919 after the founders coin toss came down in favour of the oval ball as opposed to round ball code while the root of the club name is the Saxon word meaning ‘low lying ground between two Estuaries’.
Games were first played at Woodlands in 1920 and the merger with with Blackpool Old Boys in 1934 saw an increase in playing numbers and resources.
The second world war forced the temporary closure of the club as the Army used the facilities and many of the players. Fylde was re-formed in 1946 and acquired 13 acres renamed the Woodlands Memorial Ground in honour of those players and members who gave their lives during the conflict.
The ’50s saw the erection of a clubhouse & dressing rooms while an extension was opened in the ’60s.
The Club’s two most famous players are Malcolm Phillips and Bill Beaumont, both followed distinguished playing careers with England with IRB membership and senior positions within the RFU. Roger Uttley, Brian Ashton and Wade Dooley are some of the other well known names to have worn Fylde’s colours.
Recent seasons have seen Fylde move up and down between levels 2, 3 and 4 in the RFU league hierarchy while the opening of the current splendid clubhouse facility in 2005 secured an on going income stream leading to further improvements including a 3G all weather pitch.
Fylde returned to National 1 in 2011 since when they have thrived finishing in the top 6 every season playing an open, running style.
Fylde is one of those clubs which Ampthill seek to emulate, maintaining the difficult balance between a community club with a thriving mini & youth system and a professional outfit able to compete for players, regionally and nationally.
Currently lying 10th in National 1 with a played 27 won 10 record Fylde have seen mixed results recently.
Ampthill twice established comfortable leads against Hull Ionians last week only to allow the Yorkshire side to come back both times securing a bonus point win 34-36 but allowing the hosts both 4 try and losing bonus points which have likely secured their status in National 1 for another season.
Amps continue to maintain 3rd place in National 1 with a played 27 won 18 record just 1pt ahead of 4th placed Blackheath. The news that Plymouth Albion have had an ‘Administration’ event and been docked 30pts leaves A’s 7pts ahead of 5th placed Esher and therefore in a strong position to secure a top four place in their first ever season at this level.