Fylde v 1stXV, Sat Nov 05, 15:00, Match Preview
Ampthill travel to Lancashire for their second ever away fixture with Fylde, 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 where they thrived finishing in the top 6 every season until last where, with a played 30 won 11 record they took 10th place. Fylde remain uncompromisingly entertatining 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.
Currently lying 10th in National 1 with a played 9 won 3 record Fylde’s home record includes a win against Plymouth Albion and two losing bonus point losses to Moseley & Blackheath.
Ampthill secured a bonus point win at home to Esher last weekend after consecutive losses against Blackheath & Hartpury. Now lying 5th in the National 1 table with a played 9 won 6 record Ampthill remain on target for a mid table result.
There are several changes to the squad again this week.
Forwards – Joe Bercis returns at openside flanker with Maama Molitika starting at Eighthman having come off the bench last week while the backs remain unchanged.
Replacements – Chris Muncaster is promoted from the 1881s at prop while flanker Rob Bell rotates to the bench.