WILMSLOW 31 – 59 LYMM – Click here for report & Match photos link
Saturday 29th September 2018
North Premier League
WILMSLOW 31 – 59 LYMM
Report by Andy Leach
Lymm feast on the Wolves
Lymm made the short hop to play at Wilmslow Wolves on Saturday for the first time in 10 seasons, following Wilmslow’s promotion last season. Whilst there were undoubtedly some overdue reunions between past Wilmslow and Lymm players on the sidelines, on the pitch it was clearly a case of two teams facing each other with little knowledge of each other’s personnel and playing styles.
The weather and pitch conditions were perfect for rugby – intermittent sunshine and a dry pitch suggested that an entertaining, try-laden afternoon was in prospect. Both teams did not disappoint with Lymm running out winners scoring 9 tries to their opponents’ tally of 5.
Ravaged by injuries, illness and unavailability, Coach Fletcher was forced to shuffle his deck once again. Perhaps most surprising to the gathering Lymm contingent was the appearance in the squad of “evergreen” centre Dave Williamson, who had announced his retirement a couple of seasons ago. The mistakes Dave had apparently made were (i) playing a match for the 2nd XV the previous week to “help out”; (ii) not having thrown his boots away; and (iii) going for a Friday night beer in the pub frequented by Adam Fletcher. Other changes included the return of Dan Horton, Joe Watson, Tom Shard and James Kimber to cover for some notable absentees.
Lymm got the proceedings underway and a Wilmslow mistake from the kick-off gave Lymm an encouraging attacking position with a line-out 30m from the Wilmslow line. Unfortunately, the early season problems Lymm have encountered with their usually solid line-out immediately surfaced with an over-throw which gave the ball straight back to Wilmslow. In these early encounters the strong direct running of Wilmslow’s centres, Kennedy and Harding, and full back Rowe was evident and, on 3 minutes, a strong run by Rowe found a gap from which his left winger crossed in the corner for an unconverted try. 5-0
Another Wilmslow error from the restart gave Lymm an attacking scrum, from which they spread the ball both ways probing the Wilmslow defence until Number 8 Higginson found enough room on the right flank to beat the last defender and score 15m in from the right touchline, which Nolan duly converted. 5-7.
Unfortunately in the lead-up to the try, centre Kimber sustained a hamstring injury forcing him out of the contest. More changes saw Higginson sent to partner Tom Bray in the centre and Lythgoe moving into the pack. Lythgoe had an almost immediate impact making a strong burst through the Wilmslow defence into their 22, where the recycled ball ended up with right wing McEvoy who scored 5m in from touch for an unconverted try on 12 minutes. 5-12.
Lymm now had the wind in their sails and from the restart the ball found its way to full back Nolan who burst through the centre, outpacing the Wilmslow cover defence and on being confronted by the last defender he put in a clever kick which bounced up nicely for the supporting McEvoy to gather and score under the posts. 5-19.
On 30 minutes Lymm scored their bonus point try through prop Matty Hand who went over from close quarters following a break by Tom Bray. Nolan added the extras. 5 -26. Lymm’s next try on 35 minutes, was almost the “stuff of fairytales” as, following some crisp lead up work, Williamson found himself in space 22m out with the line beckoning, a certain try in his Halcyon days. However, it was not to be as, on this occasion, his legs failed to outpace the cover defence. Inevitably though, Joe Watson was in support to secure the ball and dot down for an unconverted try. 5-31.
The scoring for the half was completed a minute later when, Man of the Match, Higginson scored the try of the match when he was on the end of a movement which started with a strong Tom Bray 50m break from defence, found the rampaging Lythgoe in support who timed a cultured pass to the flying Higginson, who scored under the posts. 5-38
Nolan almost added another on the stroke of “oranges”, but was agonisingly short following a 70m run, losing control of the ball as he reached for the line. So, a great clinical half from Lymm although, the scoreline was probably unfair on Wilmslow who had shown periods of strong running by their outside backs and provided clear evidence that their pack would make inroads if they could retain the ball for longer periods.
Half Time: WILMSLOW 5 – 38 LYMM.
The second half started in a remarkably similar vein to the first when a Lymm attacking line-out gifted the ball to Wilmslow who took play to the other end of the pitch where they duly scored. This time their try was converted. 12-38
On 47 minutes a Lymm attacking scrum give a platform which Higginson exploited with a run down the blindside, feeding the supporting Rasheed to score, Nolan converting. 12-45. 5 minutes later Lymm scored their 8th try, through Tom Bray, finishing off a move in which his brother Adam was heavily involved. Nolan’s conversion was successful. 12-52
Cormac Nolan kicks a conversion
Wilmslow then found some momentum and were able to retain the ball for sufficiently long to make inroads into Lymm’s 22, scoring tries from close quarters on 55 and 70 minutes. 24-52. Lymm finished their own scoring on 72 minutes when Matty Connolly crossed following a fine break down the right-hand touchline by Scott Redfearn. 24-59.
It was Wilmslow though who put the last points on the scoreboard with a converted try, again from close range, with the final play of the match. 31-59. Lymm now move up to 10th in the league.
Full Time: WILMSLOW 31 – 59 LYMM
After the match Coach Fletched was in a balanced frame of mind:
“It was good to get our first away win and 5 points of the season. Some of our play in the first half, which took us to 38-5 was outstanding. We were creative, powerful and clinical. The difference between this 1st half and previous weeks was our ability to control the ball. We know that if we keep hold of the ball we will create chances.
“The 2nd half though was a different story. We took our foot off the gas and let a lively Wilmslow side come back into the game. We have to work harder in defence to protect our line. Injuries are creeping up on us, so the break next week is much needed”
Lymm will now have a week’s rest before entertaining Kendal at Crouchley Lane on 13th October, KO 3:00.
Squad: 1) Matty Hand, 2) Cash Chilvers, 3) Dan Horton, 4) Matty Connolly, 5) Aaron Rasheed, 6) Joe Watson, 7) Adam Bray (c), 8) Oli Higginson, 9) Tom Shard, 10) Scott Redfern, 11), Rich McEvoy, 12) James Kimber, 13) Tom Bray, 14) Dave Williamson, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Jordan Widdrington, 17) Zak Lythgoe, 18) Jake Ashall.
Referee: Adam Morrison – Durham County RURS
Link to more Photos courtesy of John Hopkinson – To view, copy and Paste onto your browser bar
OTHER TEAM RESULTS
Saturday 29th September 2018
Sale Sharks Division 3 South
LYMM KESTRELS 77 – 10 GLOSSOP 3rd XV
KNUTSFORD 22 – 45 LYMM EAGLES
Fixtures for Saturday 6th October
HALBRO North West Cup Games
Robinsons Brewery Cup 1st Round – Lymm 2nd XV v Rochdale 2nd XV KO 3pm
Robinson Brewery Bowl 2nd Round – Leyland Warriors Men’s 1st XV v Lymm Kestrels
Lymm Eagles v Old Bedians 2nd XV KO 3pm
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