fight a rearguard action

fight a rearguard action

to try very hard to prevent something from happening when it is probably too late to prevent it (often + against ) The unions were fighting a rearguard action against the government's attempt to strip them of their powers.
See also: action, fight
References in periodicals archive ?
No company should have to fall back on The Grocer to fight a rearguard action on their behalf.
He was told to fight a rearguard action so that the others could be rescued from the beach.
The Saddlers defied the odds to beat the South Coast club 1-0 despite losing Rhys Weston and Netan Sansara in the first half and having to fight a rearguard action for more than an hour.
YORK were forced to fight a rearguard action at Glanford Park after seeing Jon Parkin sent off in the first-half.
The local supporters club are planning to fight a rearguard action but it must be long odds against them succeeding.