On Tuesday we bade our farewells to a loyal and reliable friend of the club, David Millachip. His many friends in the packed church of St Peter’s, Oughtrington, were left exhausted after listening to a synopsis of his life, dutifully delivered by his sons, John and Peter. What a full and energetic life he led, whether it be with family, work, cubs and scouts, or sport. Grandson Isaac also delivered his own loving testimony and confirmation of his granddad’s energy and involvement with his grandchildren.
A MESSAGE FROM BETTY
Betty wishes to say thank you to all the people who attended David’s funeral; for all the lovely flowers, cards and messages received and the donations made to St Rocco’s in David’s memory, she and the family are most grateful.
DAVID MILLACHIP – RUGBY REPORTER
In memory of our dear departed friend and long-time collaborator at Lymm Rugby Club, we would like to re-publish two of his match reports from last season. One being the report he wrote for the away match at Rossendale in November.
This superb piece of journalism, and a favourite of mine, records a famous victory against our old foe Rossendale on Saturday 4th November 2017. It is the first time we beat them away from home, at Marl Pits. The first half was amazing, witnessing four of the best tries, arguably, this team has ever scored, and David captures the scene brilliantly.
The second is for our away match at Kirby Lonsdale in February this year and his last report for the club. David had travelled on the team bus and attended the pre match lunch.
David’s match reporting was always first class, full of incisiveness, inside knowledge and a pleasure to read. He had to be talked into it a few times but once in the groove always produced the goods. I hope you enjoy reading them again, as much as we did, as we say farewell to a great and reliable friend to all of us at Lymm Rugby Club, for over 30 years. Thank you David for everything you did!
Simon Plumb & Peter Cornelia
Saturday 4th November 2017
Northern Premier Division
ROSSENDALE 10 – 38 LYMM
Report by David Millachip
BONUS POINT WIN FOR LYMM
The previous night’s rain threatened to favour the hosts at their Marl Pits ground, noted for its water retention properties. Despite this however, the players had an excellent playing surface and it was the spectators who had to negotiate the waterlogged pitch surrounds. Lymm had never won here at Level 5, their sole victory was in a Level 6 match more than 10 years ago. There were a few changes to last week’s Lymm squad: Gav Woods was rested with a nagging calf injury; Joe Denman took a knock in training on Thursday. Jordan Widdrington started at tighthead and Matty Hand came onto the bench, the young Lymm squad, with its three teenagers, also welcomed to the bench, the return of Ben Rees after a lengthy injury absence.
The omens were not good as Lymm captain, Adam Bray, almost unrecognisable in black scrum cap following his previous week’s head injury, managed to lose the toss and hear Rossendale say, “Well, you can start off playing down the hill”. From the kick-off Lymm took possession and moved the ball swiftly into the home 22. A scrum 5m out allowed ever sharp, scrum half Andy Davies’ quick hands to get the ball out to full-back Cormack Nolan who came in on a great line to touch down by the right hand post in the first minute. He added the conversion for a 0 – 7 lead.
Key features of coach Adam Fletcher’s side this season has been; expansive play; pace and superb defence organisation. The pack is not the biggest in the League but quick and mobile. It was no surprise when, after 10 minutes, from a scrum in their own 22, Davies broke across the gain line and passing to Matty Connolly who made ground down the left touchline before passing inside. Fast, safe hands, moved it right before lock Connolly took the final pass, scoring out on the right, 0 – 12.
Territorially, Rossendale had the upper hand in the first half, the game being played between the half-way and the Lymm 22. But that was as far as they got against Lymm’s rock solid defence. Lymm were patient, soaked up Dale’s attacks and waited for errors from the home side. On 35mins, whilst down to 14 men, following a Yellow for No 10 Scott Redfern, they were soon rewarded. A spilled ball was picked up by Tom Bray and seconds later Lymm were in the home 5m area battering at the line before Sam Mullarkey touched down and Nolan Converted, 0 – 19.
4 minutes later, Lymm earned a 4 try bonus point. Following another break by Tom Bray, Richard McEvoy chipped over the Rossendale defence enabling full back Cormack Nolan to sweep round and dot down out on the right. He then countered the stiff and wet wind with a superb kick from the touchline.
HT 0 – 26.
The Rossendale faithful were fulsome in their praise of the visitors with comments of Lymm being the most entertaining side they had come up against this season and fully deserving of their 26 point lead, one of them even adding that they could have been further behind but for the adverse weather being on their side !. A very fair summary of Lymm’s style and first half dominance.
Lymm now faced the difficult task of a second half playing up the steep slope and Rossendale seeing their opportunity of sweeping aside the opposition in the next 40 minutes. They were to be sorely disappointed. After 50mins, Connolly was held up as he drove forward in yet another multi-player move but No, 8 Olli Higginson, swept round to gather the recycled ball and place it down wide on the right for a spectacular team try. The most difficult of Nolan’s afternoon’s kicks hit a post and bounce back, 0 – 31.
Rossendale, despite the possession gained from their forwards and enterprising strong running by the backs were finding it extremely difficult to penetrate Lymm’s defence. Penetrate they did however on the hour mark from the half-way line and crossed the line on the right, 5 – 31.
An entertaining passage of play now ensued with both sides moving the ball slickly about but yet another Lymm scintillating move on 62 minutes saw Richard McEvoy add his name to the score sheet outpacing the defence to swoop on a kick ahead and running in under the posts. Nolan converted, 5 – 38.
Rossendale still had 4 tries in their sights and crossed the line again in the 75th minute for their 2nd try. A conversion attempt was declined, 10 – 38. On 79 minutes, in the gathering gloom on the Rossendale line, Lymm denied themselves another try by virtue of a forward pass and after the Rossendale scrum and hoof into touch, Mr. Charlton blew the final whistle on a thoroughly entertaining game, a considerable credit to both sides in the wet and windy conditions.
Coach Fletcher commented. “Following some squad changes, I am delighted at the way the team maintains its shape and game management. We left probably another 15 points on the pitch, but in these conditions it was a job well done”.
Next week Lymm are at home for a first-ever meeting with the East Yorkshiremen from Pocklington. 2.15 p.m. KO.
Squad: 1) Jordan Widdrington, 2) Adam Bray (C), 3) Dan Horton, 4) Matty Connelly, 5) Joe Watson, 6) Sam Mullarkey, 7) Alli Sutherland, 8) Olli Higginson, 9) Andy Davies, 10) Scott Redfern, 11) Lucas Titherington, 12) Tom Bray, 13) James Kimber, 14) Richard McEvoy, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Matty Hand, 17) Ben Rees, 18) Jake Ashall.
Referee: Mr Dave Charlton – Northumberland
Saturday 17th February 2018
North Premier Division
KIRKBY LONSDALE 5 – 11 LYMM
Report by David Millachip
Lymm took the trip up the M6, to the picturesque setting of Kirkby Lonsdale’s Underley Park in the Cumbrian fells, hoping they might be spared the mud of many previous weeks.
After only a couple of minutes play, the pitch surface started to cut up with deep divots to slow down the free running style of the Lymm side, missing only a couple of regulars. Playing down the slope, Kirkby quickly settled into kicking mode but found Joe Denman in excellent catching form to blunt their efforts. After only 10 minutes, another Kirkby kick into the Lymm half was swiftly gathered by the Lymm back line and the ball swept out wide right to 2nd row Sam Malarkey, who outpaced most of the Kirkby team over 40m, before running into traffic and passing to open side flanker Jake Ashall, who drove through and over the final 10m to set down over the line for a superb try. The cross wind didn’t help and the conversion attempt was missed, leaving the score at 0-5.
That was really only the real entertainment the large 200 or so crowd were to see for the rest of the afternoon as the players struggled to cope with the conditions. However, on 15 minutes, Kirkby entered a good passage of play, going through many phases and finally their outside centre going over wide on the right. The kick was missed, 5-5. From the kick-off Lymm pushed into the Kirkby half where the home side found themselves offside in a central position to allow reliable full back Cormac Nolan to bisect the posts, 5-8.
The remaining 20 minutes of the first half was spent between the 22 meter lines, with neither side able to assert any dominance and just the odd penalty in non-kickable positions to give players a bit of a rest. Your reporter noted hereabouts the speed of the Lymm physio, Chris, as he swept over the mud to fettle stand-off Scott Redfern back to playing condition. Half time came, still 5-8.
The second half started much as the first had ended in it’s somewhat less than thrilling manner although strong passages of defensive play from both sides prevented further scores. Lymm did find themselves down at the Kirkby end after a few minutes but an infringement at a breakdown 1m saw a clear cut scoring opportunity was lost as Kirkby booted them back to halfway.
The Lymm replacements were slowly becoming colder but coach Fletcher responded to their pleas and after 60 minutes Kieran O’Callaghan came on for Matty Hand; Aaron Rasheed for Matty Connelly. Reece Jones came on for injured Cormac Nolan. On the 70 minute mark it was Kirkby who were adjudged to have not rolled away and Scott Redfern accepted an easy opportunity from 20m to increase Lymm’s scoreline, 5-11.
Play continued with its strong, stifling, defensive tactics and Kirkby who had seen some 70% of the second half play and seeing the game there ready to be won decided to pressure Lymm even more and camped out on the Lymm 5m line. With just a couple of minutes to go, another ill-judged Kirkby infringement left a Lymm player with a nasty eye injury, which he did not appreciate and retaliated thus leading to him leaving the field under a red card. How much the referee saw of the melee one wonders as the assailant stayed on the pitch. However Lymm saw out the game with the same resolute, organised defensive game which has been so much a feature of this season’s play thus denying Kirkby Lonsdale any further addition to the 5-11 score.
Having conceded so much ball to Kirkby, particularly in the second half, it turned out to be a good 4 point win for Lymm; and so it was back to the packed Clubhouse with its roaring open log fire, and the much enjoyed hospitality of the hosts who had earlier entertained the visitors to a great lunch.
Lymm will be hoping for the current dire pitch conditions to improve significantly enough for their Grounds Team to undertake significant improvements before the visit of Hull when they will have to be much less generous in conceding the ball to the East Yorkshire visitors.
Now 3rd in the table, just a point behind Harrogate and a long way behind the season long leaders, Preston Grasshoppers, Lymm face a must-win game against 4th placed Hull. KO is 2.15 at Beechwood.
1) Gav Woods, 2) Dan Horton, 3) Matty Hand, 4) Sam Mullarkey, 5) Matty Connelly, 6) Adam Bray(c), 7) Jake Ashall, 8) Ali Sutherland, 9) Andy Davies, 10) Scott Redfern, 11) Luke Richards,12) James Kimber, 13) Tom Bray, 14) Joe Denman, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Aaron Rasheed, 17) Kieron O’Callaghan, 18) Reece Jones.