ALNWICK 24 – 3 LYMM Injury list grows

Saturday 3rd November 2018

North Premier League

ALNWICK 24 – 3 LYMM

Report by Peter Cornelia

Alnwick is the most northerly fixture for Lymm, following the host’s promotion from North East 1 at the end of last season. According to their keeper of records, we last played each other 18 years ago in 2000 and all in all we met 14 times over 10 seasons, with Alnwick having the best of it 10 wins to 4.

Whilst their records keeping is admirable, their internet connections are lagging by 3 or 4 years, as they extended a warm welcome to our President – ‘Simon Plumb’. Current President, David Newton is passing his bar tab bill, travelling and accommodation expenses onto Mr Plumb.

Again the Lymm team was much changed due to unavailability and injury. Only 12 of last week’s squad were on the team sheet, albeit some in different positions. We welcomed back James Kimber and Cormac Nolan from injury; with Aaron Rashid and Rob Makin returning from unavailability. Whilst the growing injury list is of concern, it does give opportunities to blood new talent. 17 year old Joe Senior, one of our Senior Colt’s stars, started on the wing and 20 year old James Pitcher started as hooker, following some excellent 2nd team performances.

Scott Redfern held just short of line

A reasonable crowd of Lymm supporters made the long journey, extending their stay to 2/3 nights, to enjoy the sights of Northumberland. For the first 15 minutes of the game it was all Lymm and they enjoyed lengthy possession in the Alnwick half with only a forward pass preventing a certain try after 3 or 4 phases. The set pieces also looked good and an excellent, controlled rolling maul was just stopped short of the line. However on 17mins, the first of four critical injuries occurred with skipper Adam Bray having to leave the field with suspected concussion, Matty Connelly taking his place in the back row and Aaron Rashid coming off the bench as second row.

With 24 minutes on the clock, the hosts started to make in-roads into the Lymm half and from a lineout they found a chink in the Lymm defence, with some poor tackling allowing their full back to score an unconverted try, (5 – 0).

Will Baldwin secures a lineout

33 minutes and it got worse. No8 Ali Sutherland, also had to leave the pitch with suspected concussion. This necessitated some pack changes with Rob Makin coming on as hooker and James Pitcher moving into the back row. This destabilisation of the Lymm pack benefitted the hosts and started to put them on the front foot at the set piece. Following a certain try saving tackle into touch from full back Nolan on our 5m line we were judged not to have thrown in straight at the lineout. From the attacking 5m scrum, Alnwick were awarded a penalty try, (12 – 0).

Cormac Nolan converts a long range penalty

Jordan Widdrington came on at prop as rolling replacement for Matty Connelly and Matty Hand moving to No8. With injuries extending the half to 45mins, Lymm were awarded a penalty just inside the host’s half. With a strong following wind, Lymm opted to go for goal and Nolan struck it perfectly between the uprights, (12 – 3).

HT 12 – 3

With 5 minutes of the 2nd half played, Lymm’s plight got worse as Joe Watson was taken off with what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder and replaced by Connelly. One minute later Connelly was out cold with a head injury and was also taken off. So, with four key forwards out of the game and all replacements used, Lymm were down to 14 men and facing an uphill battle.

Lymm battled courageously and were tenacious in defence, keeping wave after wave of Alnwick attacks at bay. When they had possession they attacked and recycled the ball with confidence, making in-roads into the home half. However, a 57 minute break from the halfway by Alnwick resulted in a converted try and finally on 78 minutes, the tiring Lymm 14 conceded a bonus point, unconverted try to finish the game.

FT 24 – 3

Credit must be given to the Lymm team, especially in the second half. Their determined defence and attitude was exemplary and young James Pitcher and Joe Senior were not out of place in what was a difficult debut game for them both.

Next week there is no 1st team fixture so Head Coach Fletcher will have to assess his now extended injury list before taking on table toppers Hull in two weeks’ time.

Team: 1) Gav Woods, 2) James Pitcher, 3) Matty Hand, 4) Matty Connelly, 5) Will Baldwin, 6) Joe Watson, 7) Adam Bray (C), 8) Ali Sutherland, 9) Tom Shard, 10) Scot Redfern, 11) Luke Richards, 12) Ben Stansfield, 13) James Kimber, 14) Joe Senior, 15 Cormac Nolan, 16) Jordan Widdrington, 17) Rob Makin, 18) Aaron Rashid.

Referee: Gavin Jones – Yorkshire Society

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