Birkenhead Park 22, Lymm 15
Another opportunity to beat Birkenhead went begging! We have the majority of the possession and territory but made more mistakes than them and were over all, less patient.
We arrived at Park ready for action with a couple of players missing so we were unable to rotate the backs but still managed to field a strong side. The pitch was in perfect condition and looked good for an open game between the two standout sides in the league.
It was clearly going to be a hard fought and close game and sadly after only 2 minutes a blind side drive from a ruck saw the home hooker crash over out wide.
A minute later Lymm were awarded a penalty for off side and the resulting kick went just wide of the posts.
Lymm had now woken up and managed to play some flowing rugby with good hands and no errors. From this pressure Park were caught offside again and from the penalty Hadland crashed over to even up the score.
The visitors had their tails up now and were looking hungry in attack. The forwards were crashing the ball into the opposition and creating space out wide for the backs to exploit. When the moves did break down Park were only able to clear the ball up field before being turned over at the breakdown. Lymm were dominating the lineout and from a penalty Lymm kicked for touch. The lineout was won and the ball whipped down the line; Price stepped in, broke the tackle and cruised in for a try and to give Lymm a 5-10 lead.
Another lapse in concentration 2 minutes later saw the home side centre crash through and score making the half time score 12-10 to Park.
The second half was much the same as the first with Lymm on the attack and Park defending well. Park then changed their tactics and began to kick the ball behind the Lymm defence making them turn. They coped with this well until a dropped ball caused us to concede a penalty and the home side slotted it to go further in front.
Lymm were still trying to play open rugby and made several breaks into the 22 but lost the ball at crucial points allowing Park to clear their lines. Eventually the pressure told and the Park centre was penalised and yellow carded for another offside offence. Lymm opted to run it and the forward drive was stopped just short giving a scrum to the home side and although Lymm managed to push Park back off the ball, it somehow popped out the wrong side and the ball was cleared up field. From the resulting scrum and then ruck the ball ended up with the Park wing going over for a converted try leaving Lymm a mountain to climb.
There were minutes left on the clock and straight from the restart Lymm attacked and managed to bundle Brown over in the corner. That’s how the game finished with a narrow 22-15 win for the home side and probably the preliminary league championship. They don’t have a game next week when Lymm play their game in hand at home to Caldy where only a bonus point win will do.