FYLDE completed a bonus point win at the Avenue despite picking up three yellow cards and a red on Saturday.

They stopped Dale scoring by any means and left the home side with only two penalties from Tom Davidson to show for their efforts.

Forget the cynicism because at times Fylde played some excellent rugby. Their play was often slick and too fast for the Dale defence to cope with. Wharfedale did start well and pinned Fylde back before turning the ball over and winning a penalty. Davidson opened the scoring in the second minute with a penalty.

Dale pressed again from the restart but with a penalty advantage Rob Baldwin was yellow carded for foul play and the penalty was reversed. Fylde took full advantage with a superb passage of play and good handling and support play from David Fairbrother ensured the visitors added their first score of the afternoon, this time the conversion missing.

Wharfedale were struggling to cope with Fylde’s running game with good off-loading and support play. More clever play led to their second try. Fairbrother made a strong break from a ruck on Dale’s 22 which led to a try by Corey Bowker with Gregory Smith converting.

Dale clawed their way back into the game with another Davidson penalty. The hosts finished the first half camped on Fylde’s line, but the visitors held out. They did pick up two yellow cards but kept the Green Machine from scoring.

The first yellow card was for a late tackle and Davidson drilled the ball for a Wharfedale line-out deep in Fylde’s 22. Fylde’s defence for the rest of the first half was impressive. Two attacking line-out drives were thwarted as Fylde players managed to get players in the way. Time and time again the home side pressed in the red zone but could not get quick ball from the ruck. Fylde earned a second yellow card, but Dale couldn’t capitalise on their advantage and went in at half time without scoring a try.

Mistakes in defence by Wharfedale meant that they struggled to break out of their 22. Fylde increased their lead with a try from scrum half Cole Potts. Potts picked the ball from a ruck and darted down the blind side for an unconverted try. Connor Wilkinson grabbed the bonus point try again as a result of good ball handling and support play. Smith’s conversion finished the scoring. There was still time for the visitors to pick up another yellow card and a red.

Dale however did not capitalise on numerical advantage and finished a distant second on the day. They tried hard at the end to cross the line, but Fylde’s defence again proved too stubborn to allow them to cross the whitewash, and the visitors held on for a 24-6 victory.

Wharfedale are next in action this Saturday as they travel to Sedgley Park.

In other news, Sadly, Wharfedale have to say goodbye to another stalwart, who was ever present at The Avenue with his faithful sheepdog Millie.

In his last few days, the late Ron Clarkson had a surprise visit and was photographed with new England Cricket star Harry Brook.

Ron mentored Harry in his formative years at Burley Cricket Club, and predicted he would eventually star for England.