Lymm Colts extend cup-winning streak
By Matt Rooney
Lymm Senior Colts 33 – 15 Macclesfield Senior Colts
The prospect of a competitive cup final day was made clear when our opponents Macclesfield decided to take Lymm’s changing room at Caldy prior to the game. Mark McCauley’s persuasive skills ensured victory in the first small battle of the day but many other battles on the pitch would have to be won before victory could be secured.
Macclesfield have always been fierce rivals of the Lymm squad since the boys were 6 years of age. This would be the final episode in a long running saga. Everyone was nervous but confident. Lymm had already been crowned Colts Champions but his was the second stage of the team’s quest to secure a treble of trophies with the League Cup Final to played on May 5th.
A large crowd applauded the teams on to the field of play. Lymm were to play in to the breeze first half. Alfie Simpson kicked off. The decisive battle had commenced!
It was obvious that the Lymm forwards were not going to take a backward step during the ensuing 70 minutes. The ball was turned over by Lymm in the 22. The Macc defensive line was tested with some Lymm moves but the line was actually breached with pace, aggression and determination. Joe Johnson continued his outstanding play for the Lymm 1st XV with a powerful try under the posts. Rhys Price converted and Lymm had a vital early 7 – 0 lead.
Macclesfield were in no mood to give in so early in the game. They had the Macc 1st XV fly half calling the shots with a powerful centre partnership including the England Counties 13 who had returned from the game v Ireland Counties in Dublin the previous day. A break was made in midfield with a neat flurry of passes resulting in an unconverted try in the corner for Macc. 7 – 5 to Lymm.
The inroads being made by some excellent running lines by the Macc centres were causing concern for Lymm. Lymm’s plan was to use the full width of the pitch in attack. Unfortunately the Lymm backs were following the same policy in defence. A second Macc try soon followed with a simple conversion. 7 – 12.
Lymm had to stick to their plan and trust in the skill and speed of their centres, George Norman and Joe Senior both of whom had played for the 1st XV recently. Norman duly delivered his customary gliding majestic run putting Joe Senior under the posts. Price converted, 14 – 12 to Lymm.
A strong referee is crucial during tight games such as this. The behaviour of both teams was impeccable throughout the game. Unfortunately the Macc coach was sent off the pitch for running on with the kicking tee when Macc were awarded a penalty. Despite the protestations the Macc fly half kept his nerve and made the score 15-14 to Macc at half time.
The Lymm players were very confident during their half time huddle. They knew that Macc liked to keep the ball close to their pack. Lymm were convinced that if they continued to attack with width, speed and skill they would prevail as their superior fitness kicked in.
Using the words of George Peppard – Lymm love it when a plan comes together! Lymm’s A-Team attacked wide at the start of the second half and scored in the corner through Joe Senior after a flowing move instigated by the fleet of foot fly half Alfie Simpson. Unfortunately a plan to score in the corners does create a problem for Rhys Price who missed his conversion. 19 – 15 to Lymm.
As expected Macclesfield started to become exhausted having to chase shadows as another Colts addition to the first team squad, Alfie Simpson pulled all the strings and set his eager green runners through mesmeric patterns of play. To the pleasure of David Simpson and his coaching team Joe Senior completed his hat-trick scoring in the opposite corner. Thankfully he was able to veer around to the posts allowing Simpson to convert and give Lymm an unassailable 26-15 lead.
The Lymm hooker Josh Hadland has outstanding skills without any weaknesses in his game. He found a gap through the blue ranks and charged for the line before cleverly and unselfishly punting though for Kiran Soni to show outstanding pace and score under the posts. Simpson converted and the victory was assured with a 33-15 victory.
Soni’s try was the perfect end to the game and was never more richly deserved after his man of the match performance. His technical skill and bravery at the breakdown were outstanding and have been a feature of Kiran’s season for Lymm High School, the colts and the 2nd XV.
Harry Ratcliffe the Lymm skipper collected the Cheshire Cup which was the 7th victory for Lymm in 9 seasons.
The Lymm 1st XV faithful should hope that Adam Fletcher convinces the likes of Hadland and other remaining members of the colts team to sign on the dotted line for next season. The future is certainly looking bright for Lymm RFC!
So on to Heaton Moor on May 5th for the League Cup Final at 2.45 v Heaton Moor. A perfect way for this squad to end their 12 year journey together against our old friend and Lymm RFC stalwart ‘Homesey’ Barratt who coaches the Heaton Moor Colts.