Fylde v 1stXV, Sat Feb 27, Match Preview
This weekend Ampthill travel to Lancashire for the first ever fixture with Fylde, postponed from December 2015. Another club steeped in the tradition of rugby, Fylde is located in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, next to the renowned golf club and in sight of the Irish sea.
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 9th in National 1 with a played 22 won 9 record Fylde have seen mixed results recently.
Having been outplayed in the first half Ampthill secured a win over Loughborough Students last week with a last play of the game try and nerveless touch line conversion from replacement William Maisey who scored all 16 of Amps second half points.
Back up to 6th place in National 1 with a played 22 won 14 record Ampthill remain on target for a mid table result.