1stXV v Fylde, Sat Oct 07, 15:00, Match Preview
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 where they thrived finishing in the top 6 every season until that before last where they took 10th, last season with a played 30 won 10 record they finished 12th. Fylde remain uncompromisingly entertaining never deviating from playing an open, running style.
One of those clubs which Ampthill seek to emulate, Fylde maintain 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.
Under new head coach Warren Spragg the new look Fylde squad have a played 5, won 1 record in National 1 this season securing their first victory last week at home to Rosslyn Park to lie 15th in the table.
Ampthill secured a fine away victory against Bishop’s Stortford last week by 22-41, after a competitive first half which saw the visitors score in injury time to lead 10-13 at the break Amps dominated the second half with a convincing performance.
Amps squad sees multiple changes this week, up front Toby Trinder starts at loosehead, Josh Taylor at hooker and Aleki Lutui moves to tighthead.
In the backs, Kevin Barratt starts at scrum half, Josh Sharp at fly half, Karim Lynch at inside centre, England U20 & Saracens dual registered Ali Crossdale at wing and James Pritchard moves to full back.
The bench sees Scott Wright & Matt Dawson promoted from the 1881s, Karl Garside & Stef Liebenburg rotate while Lawrence Rayner returns from injury.