HALBRO North West Leagues – Cotton Traders Premier League
Saturday 5th January 2019
LYMM 2nd XV 23 – 25 PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS 2nd XV
Report by Malcolm Pritchard
The start of the New Year saw Lymm entertaining a rejuvenated Preston side in near perfect conditions at Beechwood. Lymm welcomed back a number of players from long term injuries and were hoping for a competitive game.
Lymm kicked off and almost immediately Preston were on the attack and after a couple of phases sliced through the Lymm defence to score from 40 metres. This didn’t look good for Lymm, and in the next attack they carved Lymm open again and only great defensive cover from Tom Baker kept them out.
Lymm were at six’s and sevens in defence and couldn’t get any decent possession to use in an attacking position. However gradually they started to put pressure on Preston with Josh Davies getting over the gain line to give the Lymm forwards a target. It was a good backs move that released Jorge Reynolds 40 metres out. He showed good pace and footwork only to be hauled down 5 metres sort. At the ensuing ruck Preston were penalised and Rory Riddell took a quick tap penalty to dart over for a try converted by Josh Davies.
Lymm continued the pressure and Preston started to infringe with Josh Davies kicking two penalties. Preston came back and after a good break ended with a 5 metre scrum on the Lymm line. Lymm showed great determination to take one against the head and Joe Dowdeswell made a great run to the 22 metre line. Will Leach then put in clearing kick which landed in space inside the visitors half. A good bounce allowed Alex Hickman to collect and race in from 40 metres for a converted try.
However Preston weren’t finished and after recycling well they found a gap in Lymm’s midfield, to score a converted try on half time.
At half time it was emphasised we had to keep on the front foot and retain possession. However Preston had other ideas and put Lymm under pressure to score two unconverted tries, which put them in the lead 22-20 with 15 minutes to go. Lymm were making a lot of errors and couldn’t get any momentum as they gave the ball away too easily. Then at last they put a decent phase together with Ben Stansfield powering through the centre to set up a ruck ten metres from the Preston line in front of the posts, from which Preston were penalised and Henry Simpson converted giving Lymm the lead with 5 minutes to go. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last long, Preston retained possession well and drove forward into the Lymm half. Good defence kept them out but an offence was committed and from the penalty Preston re took the lead. In the last few minutes Lymm threw everything at Preston but couldn’t breech the Preston defence to get themselves into a position to win the game.
This was an evenly contested game won by Preston in the twenty minutes after half time when Lymm made too many errors and lost their composure. If they had showed a little more patience and retained possession things may have been different.
In the pack Ben Rees, Rob Makin and Joe Dowdeswell stood out. Josh Davies always looked dangerous in the backs, carrying the ball well and crossing the gain line, making ground to put us on the front foot.
Squad: 15.T Baker, 14. J Reynolds, 13. B Stansfield, 12. J Davies, 11. J Hamer, 10. W Leach, 9. H Simpson, 8. J Dowdeswell, 7. R Riddell, 6. R Makin, 5. B Rees 4. J Porteus, 3. N Ashton, 2 D Horton, 1. K O’Callaghan. Reps: A Hickman, J Sherlock, J Lewis