Saturday 7th October 2017
Howell & Co Division 4 South
LYMM 4th XV 29 – 16 MARPLE 2nd XV
Report by Stuart Wraith
On a wet and very blustery October afternoon, the 4s welcomed their nemesis of previous seasons Marple 2s to Crouchley Lane.
From the kick off Lymm showed how they had grown as a team and shocked the young men of Marple. 3 minutes in and Alan Reddecliff struck one of his classic cross field kicks only for Tom B on the wing to be thwarted by the wet ball. 4 minutes later though Stewart Norman made up for it utilising the moist surface to slide in from what looked like the Marple 22. Lymm usual kicker Jonny Butler, on a cruise, proving he was useful for something, as Stewart missed from the left-hand touchline.
By minute 9 the referee was beginning to show his true colours as a series of penalties went Marple’s way bringing them back to 2 behind. “Have no fear Normy is here” was the call from somewhere in the ground and a beautiful try was scored behind the posts allowing for a simple conversion. 3 minutes later though, Marple followed up with a try of their own. 12-10 with 17 minutes played.
The day will be remembered by the forwards as “Day of the Scrums”. They may blame the hands of their teams Piano players, but this group of Piano shifters enjoyed deep down, the primeval rutting in the rain leading to some massive turnovers of the ball by Lymm. Henders’ shouts “ball at 8s feet” wasn’t taken as information, but as an instruction to unleash fire and brimstone on the Marple pack and take it against the head. Pure dominance from the Homesy, Brown, Nudge front row.
At the 32 minutes mark a questionable high tackle call led to an unquestionable handbags at 5 paces with Oli Brown being picked on by the Marple pack, luckily for him their village folk were scared away by the BFG, sorry Griff, looming behind. Marple kick the resulting penalty to go one ahead.
This state of play could not be accepted by the Lymm backs and a beautiful looping pass move, taking advantage of swift hands in the centre, lead to Chris Kinsey passing to Alan to Beards and then himself which had created that extra man sending Tom in for another 5 points. But low and behold, Marple score a penalty.
Half time Lymm lead 17 – 16.
The half time talk from the knowledgeable few, to the blank faces of the Lymm forwards seemed to do the trick in the 2nd half. Hard yards were attacked and won, the 1st team crowd sensing a classic ending were turning to watch the mighty 4s march in. The reconfirmation that this was the Lymm 4s/Vets they were watching and not an All Blacks training match made their £5 entrance fee all the worthwhile. The back row dominated in the form of Craig, Worso and Bushy who combined to provide the bridge the backs required. Jack balls were fired in from close range through Aldin and Griffs sturdy hands. The penalty count was kept low, the 4s played to the conditions and 10 mins in Normy scores another, but fails at the posts with his boots again.
The battle continued against the sturdy opposition but the hard-hard tackles by all led to audible winces from the now massing crowd. Craig Capewell, the raging Viking in his new-found position of back row, had to be restrained at times, from ripping the opposing 8 men to pieces as he scavenged for the ball in broken play. At the 63rd minute Alan took the ball on the Marple 10 and stepped his man, he was clear for the line bar the full back and the closing left winger. Then the cry came out from the crowd, as if from the trenches of the First World War, “Gas, Gas, Gas!!” Alan reclaimed his faltering foot, put foot to peddle and scythed between Marple’s final guardians. Stewart stepped up and slotted the best kick of the season.
Marple continue to try and drive for the line, for that reviving try but Lymm kept them at bay. A maul creeps over the line the referee calls held up. At the following scrum, Lymm are penalised, Marple attack from close range down into the bottom left corner. Substitutes’ Derek, Dan, Stuart and Tom G use their fresh legs to keep the Lymm castle safe. A line out and a missed interception allows Marple hope. Lymm rip the ball and try and clear by running in the 2 metre blindside gap, the crowd are stunned into silence by this bold, some might say questionable, play. Marple drive the carrier out for a 5 metre lineout but the clock saves the day. Lymm win and remain top of the league 29 – 16.
Squad: 1. Andy Norcott, 2. Chris Barrett, 3. Oli Brown, 4. Phil Griffiths, 5. Rob Calderbank, 6. Craig Capewell, 7. Bushy, 8. Ian Worswick, 9. Martin Henderson, 10. Chris Kinsey, 11. Stewart Norman, 12. Alan Reddecliff, 13. Beards, 14. Tom Coghill, 15. Martin Bower, 16. Derek, 17. Tom G, 18. Stuart Barnes, 19. Dan Portas, 20. Rob Webster