by Simon Plumb
LYMM, with 13 of their 18 man squad having come through their Mini’s, Juniors and Colts, came away from Morley with a 15-37 win.
The home side, by contrast had signed 11 new players in the close season, six of who were on show, and drew first blood with a penalty after eight minutes to take a 3-0 lead.
From some good ball retention and yardage gained, the impressive second row, Joe McGrail, crashed over after 15 mins following a 5m Lineout. Cormac Nolan added the extras to make it 3-7. From the kick off Lymm were off again, releasing right winger, Richard McEvoy, who fed second row, Matty Connelly to run in from 20m after 17mins, Nolan converting, to make it 3-14.
Morley, determined to get back in the game, looked more powerful in the scrums, especially early on, but this power waned as the match progressed. Ali Sutherland got a yellow card for interfering with play after a quick tap from Morley. However, a quick tap eventually led to Morley’s No 8 going over after 30mins, 8-14.
Then a speculative Morley kick through was chased by their determined left winger who touched down a split second before Lymm’s defenders. The conversion put Morley in the lead at 15-14 after 36mins. Nolan re-took the lead with a penalty two minutes later 15-17. A Morley centre also received a yellow card, setting up an interesting second half.
A Nolan penalty, soon after the kick off, extended the lead to 15-20. Ollie Higginson, came on as a rolling replacement at No 8. His role of impact player was instant as he picked up from the back of the scrum on half way and fed second row Adam Bray, who ran powerfully deep into the 22. But a poor pass was dropped just when the score seemed likely. Then after several phases, McEvoy got the ball in little space and that was all he needed to score wide out. Nolan converting to make it 15-27.
Although impatient at times, Lymm were now notching up a gear, with an impressive display of running, passing and support play. Lymm kept up the momentum, as Adam Bray and Higginson once again combined to go close and a defending infringement in front of the posts allowed Nolan to add 3 points, 15-30 after 77mins. A fourth try bonus point came following excellent inter-passing between Davies, Kimber and McEvoy, for Ali Sutherland to dive over near the posts, Nolan converting. Final score 15-37.
New backs coach Andy Davies was optimistic after the game. ‘It was our first league game and it was a bit scratchy at times. But with five points away from home we can’t complain.”
Pragmatic as ever head coach Adam Fletcher said: ‘We forced it a few times when we should have just gone through another couple of phases, but it will come.”Team: Gavin Woods, Ross White, Kieran O’Callaghan, Joe McGrail, Matty Connelly, Joe Watson, Ali Sutherland, Adam Bray, Andy Davies, Scott Redfern, Richard McEvoy, Tom Bray, James Kimber, Lucas Titherington, Cormac Nolan. Reserves: Ollie Higginson, Will Titherington, Matty Hand.
Next Saturday Lymm are at home to Billingham KO 3pm. They are holding a pre match luncheon in a marquee for 100-plus members and guests, with Warrington South MP, Faisal Rashid, as honorary guest.
LYMM 2nd hit 43 in front of large crowd
by Malcolm Pritchard
Conditions were perfect at Crouchley Lane, for the first match of the season. Lymm entertained Stockport, who, after a poor season, have regrouped and looked a far better and fitter side than last year. A large crowd were there to support a young Lymm side.
Stockport kicked off and immediately took the game to Lymm, recycling possession and using their forwards to make ground. Lymm had little possession at this stage but from a scrum 50 metres out they showed what they can do by moving the ball quickly from a scrum and Rhys Jones made an excellent break to release the dangerous Joe Denman for the first try, Tom Shard converting, 7-0. Five minutes later, Lymm moved the ball from their own 22 and Joe Denman broke the line to beat a number of players on a 60 metre run, only to be brought down 5 metres from the line. However the ball was recycled quickly and Tom Shard put the unstoppable Richard Halford in for an unconverted try 12-0. At this stage it looked like it could be a large score, as Lymm’s backs were opening up Stockport at will. However ill-discipline resulted in a team yellow card for Jack Harper. After a string of penalties Stockport won a line out and drove over rom 5 metres for a converted try.
Half time score was 12-7
A half time team talk from coach Millachip, resulted in Lymm being more patient and almost immediately it paid dividends, as the ball was recycled and good hands released Luke Critchley for an unconverted try in the corner, 17-7. Lymm continued to dominate and after a sustained period of pressure Rhys Jones saw a gap and glided in for a converted try, 24-7. Further tries followed from Aaron Rashid, Toby Phillips and Tom Baker, two of which were converted by Tom Shard, 43-7.
Overall Lymm can be happy with the result but left a few tries on the pitch with poor decisions and bad handling. Lymm have a talented young squad and this side have great potential. In the forwards, the graft and experience of Mike Auden and Jack Harper stood out, supported by Henry Baldwin, as they did the hard yards taking the game to Stockport. In the backs Rhys Jones pulled the strings with the running ability of Richard Halford and Joe Denman to the fore.
Stockport never gave in and kept going to the end. They tired in the second half and rarely came into Lymm’s half but to their credit in the last few minutes were still playing rugby, running the ball from their own line and making good ground. Final score was 43-7.Squad: 15) T Phillips, 14) A Hickman, 13) R Halford, 12) T Baker, 11) J Denman, 10) R Jones, 9) T Shard, 8) A Rashid, 7) J Harper, 6) B Sherlock 5) H Baldwin, 4) M Auden, 3) O Askew, 2) A Stewart, 1) S Bytheway. Rep L Critchley
Junior colts’ big win at Chester
LYMM went to Chester for their first junior colt’s league fixture with a couple of key players missing but still able to field a pretty decent team and able to claim a 5-50 victory.
From the initial kick off Lymm went on the attack and had the better of the opening exchanges although they were struggling in the scrum. After 5 minutes of pressure Joe Senior burst through to give Lymm an opening score and a 5-0 lead.
From restart the Chester kick didn’t make the obligatory 10 metres and from the scrum option Lymm went blind and Senior found himself in space, he sprinted through a gap in the defence and breezed in under the posts. Alfie Simpson hit the extras for a 12-0 lead. Again the Lymm lads went on the attack and from a quickly taken penalty, the ball was sent down the line for George Norman to crash over giving Simpson a simple conversion to move 19-0 ahead. On 25 minutes and some good work in midfield, Taylor Hopkinson stepped out of a tackle and scored in the corner to move Lymm into a comfortable 24-0 lead at the break.
There was a big cheer from the Lymm faithful when Oli Brown came off the bench after missing most of last season with a broken leg. With only 2 minutes gone Josh Hadland put in a little kick which caused chaos in the defence allowing him to score, He hit the extras for a 31-0 lead.
Minutes later, a delightful chip through from George Inman gave the backline time and space to create another try out wide with Alfie Simpson finishing it off 36-0. With 12mins to go, Senior burst down the wing and offloaded to Rhys Price who finished off under the sticks giving Brown an easy conversion bringing the score to 43-0
There was still time for Hadland to add his second try which Brown converted taking the gap up to 50-0. The final points of the match went to the home side when they intercepted a pass to score
Credit to Chester for never giving up and huge credit to the Lymm pack that, despite struggling at scrum time, were simply outstanding.
Squad – George Inman, George Norman, Josh Hadland, Alfie Simpson, Joe Johnson, Joe Senior, Taylor Hopkinson, Jack Wadsworth, Rhys Price, Ollie Brown, Adam Bushell, Sam Dickenson, Matthew Leach, Lewis Walsh, Quinn Peers, Harry Aird, Harry Ratcliffe, Archie McCawley, Mason Beardsworth.