Lymm topple league leaders

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FOR the second time on the trot Lymm Rugby Union Club did the double over their high flying opposition and though Rochdale, only needing one win from their last two games, will deservedly win the league they were stunned by a second half performance of immense confidence and stature from the visitors.
Lymm now climb into 3rd place with a mathematical chance of the play offs. In fact victory in their last league game against rivals Rossendale could capture the coveted second spot but all sorts of things have to happen in other games.
The Cheshire team found themselves without Mark Sutton or Glen George so chose Higginson at 8. Jake Ashall started at 6 and Andy Williamson at 7. Significantly inspirational skipper Fletcher was on the bench for his first outing since early February and 17-year-old Sam Mullarkey had his first taste of league rugby.
Rochdale play a brand of pacy, attacking rugby, marshalled by their talented 10 Steve Collins. Good hands, from Collins gave Flitcroft a try on 13 mins. Collins doesn’t miss in front of the posts. 7-0 to the hosts.
Lymm’s defence held firm time and time again as the Rochdale pack exploited the gaps around the ruck but were unable to get through. When the ball went wide they also found the Lymm midfield up to the defensive job with sound tackling performances from Jordan Howson and Dave Williamson, especially.
A marauding rampage from Jack Warrington blasted a hole and Tim Hughes capitalised finding David Williamson in space. Swetman converted to level the scores.
With slight advantage with the strong wind Lymm then upped their game to a level not seen since the last Rochdale away game. Howson’s fine hands found Hughes who timed a perfect pass to Dave Williamson who attacked the line with great pace. He then offloaded to the ever eager Hughes who went over for his 13th try in 15 games.
Swetman slotted over to make it 14-7.
Johnstone flew over from 35 metres only to be adjudged as running into the dead zone. Four minutes later he shot over again from 25 metres after intelligent play from veteran, old timer Kinsey, impressive once again against Rochdale. Swetman missed making it 19-7.
Lymm then used man of the match Miksys to great effect. A 5 metre scrum led to Miksys, playing at 8, attacking the line to offload, outrageously, to Swetman who took three defenders with him. Swetman converted making it 26-7.
Rochdale were simply blown away. Lymm were able to apply defensive pressure and the home team kept losing possession either through turnovers, or knock ons.
They did build some attacking pressure onto to be turned over by Miksys, Kinsey set free Johnstone who shot 75 metres to score. His pace and exploitive confidence
suggests that next season he can become the total winger. Swetman missed the kick making it 31-7 Déjà vu on 78 mins when Lymm had another 5 metre scrum. Miksys went again and Swetman took the chance well. Swetman failed again in blustery conditions making it 36-7.
On the stroke of full time Rochdale went over, through 13, and Collins drop kicked the conversion.
Lymm have a week off and will have an eye on games elsewhere to see if they can, somehow, make it to the play off. Whether they do or not is largely academic.
They are finishing the season superbly and will surely take the chance to move up next year.
Man of the match contender Swetman said: “The team has under performed in the last 2 games and we knew we could do better as a team. We did that in the second half. I was also pleased with the ruthlessness we showed, something we have lacked all year.”
Player coach Kinsey was in reflective mood saying: “ An injury ravaged start to the season has massively hindered our promotion chances but all we can do is win the last game and be proud of our amateur achievements this year.”

Team: 1.Ollie Brown 2 Scott Harrison 3 Jack Warrington 4. Darius Miksys, 5. Rob Calderbank 6 Jake Ashall (Sam Mullarkey 60) 7 Andy Williamson 8. Ollie Higginson 9 Chris Kinsey (C) 10. Jordan Howson 11 Richard Butler 12.Tom Hughes 13 Mike Swetman 14 Jack Johnstone 15. Dave Williamson.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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