Saturday 2nd December 2017
Cotton Traders – Championship League
PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS 3rd XV 15 – 55 LYMM 2nd XV
Report by Peter Coon
Lymm 2s Continue Winning Ways
Lymm 2s kept the pressure on at the top of the Cotton Traders Championship with a good away win at Preston Grasshoppers 3s. Although the scoreline indicates a one sided encounter, this result was far from comfortable.
In the absence of Pete Millachip or Mal Pritchard to manage the team, it was left to scrum half and Captain Baker to lead the preparations and get the team together. With a large number of players unavailable and a few late cry offs, the normally youthful 2s had a few additional grey hairs with the late addition of club stalwarts Tom and David Coon stepping up from the 3s. Just before 12pm, Tom was asked to come to Preston to sit on the bench as a replacement back, only to then find out that he would actually be playing 80 minutes at Loose Head Prop instead. Not bad for a flanker. Flanker Johnstone also moved up from the 3s and utility back Jake Davies made up the bench.
The game did not start well for Lymm. Despite pre match discussions to keep the penalty count low, 2 penalties and 3 knock-ons in the first 5 minutes gave Preston a foothold in the Lymm half and the confidence that they could make this a contest. An early penalty gave Preston the lead. This was followed by another Preston penalty attempt that fortunately hit the post. Lymm finally woke up and 2 quick converted tries from 2nd row Thornton steadied the side. However, Preston refused to back down and a quick break from the scrum half saw them over for a converted try. On 29minutes, good work from number 8 Ben Rees released Johnstone who went in at the corner for an unconverted try. This was followed 5 minutes later with Baker throwing dummies left and right to scoot over under the posts for the final score of the half. Half time 10-24.
Lymm came out for the 2nd half determined and with the objective to score 5 tries and to not concede again. The first two of these came very quickly as Lymm started to use their quick backs to go over first through winger Hamer and quickly followed by centre Robinson. On 62 minutes, a mix up in the Preston scrum saw the ball roll out straight into the hands of Baker who strolled over for his 2nd converted try. With Preston beginning to tire, on 68 mins, flanker Lewis was able to exploit the holes that started to appear to score near the posts. Preston again showed great resilience and got the converted try that their 2nd half performance deserved. However Lymm had the final word on 75 mins when flanker Johnstone ran in for his 2nd try from 40 metres out. Mention should be made of the accurate place kicking from Tom Shard who added 10 very useful points to the score at Full Time of 15-55.
It was agreed that although it was a good win, it was not a totally co-ordinated performance but perhaps not surprising in view of the changes in line up and new players coming in. Nevertheless, this result will help cement the 2s position in the league as the season progresses. Man of the match was shared by Ben Rees and Tom Baker, with both keeping the team moving forward all game. Special thanks were given to the Coon brothers in the front row and Johnstone for stepping up. Lymm 2s are at home to Rossendale 2s next week.
Squad: 1) Tom Coon, 2) James Pitcher, 3) David Coon, 4) Ollie Thornton. 5) Henry Baldwin, 6) Nat Johnstone, 7) James Lewis, 8) Ben Rees, 9) Tom Baker (C), 10) Rhys Jones, 11) Josh Hamer, 12) Josh Davies, 13) James Robinson, 14) Jorge Reynolds, 15) Tom Shard, 16) Jake Davies