Lymm take giant step towards title

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LYMM Rugby Union took a giant step to securing the North 1 West championship with a 69-8 annihilation of Leigh. With head coach, and scrum half, Chris Kinsey unavailable Patrick Roberts was handed a debut at 9, alongside brother Andy at 10. Recent signing Oakes moved from hooker to prop to allow the influential Harrison back to his preferred role.
A reshuffle in the pack moved Miksys to second row and Higginson to 8, with veteran Sutton at 6.
Pivotal to the game was how new boy Roberts would cope against a strong Leigh back row and, possibly, one of the best 9’s in the league, Ian Wood. Lymm found this out within the first 60 seconds. Leigh fluffed the kick off, Roberts had the ball at the base of the ruck. An inch perfect box kick led to another error from Leigh. The resulting scrum led to a three phase Lymm attack that secured space for Dave Williamson to exploit for the opening score. It was a perfect, confident start from the young scrum half.
Williamson went over again on 21 mins after Cullinane’s break created an overlap. Outrageous skill from the Irishman as he seemed to mess up an overlap led to an inch perfect pass from Knowles sending the paceman over for his 14th try of the season. Lymm then fell into bad habits. A string of pointless penalties kept Leigh with possession and when the visitors went over with a pushover on 28 mins the game was on,12-5 to the league leaders. More poor discipline on 31 made it 12-8 and Leigh sniffed an upset.
A lovely, pacey move on 33 from Knowles and Johnstone resulted in the next points going to Lymm. It felt an important score at the time and it was to be. On the stroke of half time an impressive turnover from Miksys and Oakes led to quick ball from Roberts and a lovely line from Tom Hughes. With the conversion Lymm led 24-5 at half time
With the downhill advantage and hard ground it remained to be seen whether Lymm could release their backs. With Pat and Andy Roberts pulling the strings the backs ripped into the visiting defence. A well worked miss ball on 45 mins, after a beautiful ball from Pat Roberts, allowed brother Andy over for a try was soon followed by a 30 metre dash from Jack Johnstone. At 38-8 the game was well won. It was purely a matter of the number of points. When warhorse Sutton was sinbinned on 53 the flow of points was temporarily stopped. As soon as both teams had parity Johnstone flew over again for his 13th try of the campaign.
Jake Ashall was brought on to replace the tiring Miksys and immediately scored after a lovely offload from Pickles and the big man was influential on 66 mins following a break from Hughes and passing to Dave Williamson for another hat trick. 55-8.
Dave was not the only hat track hero this game as Joe Knowles notched 2 on 74 and 80 mins. Both tries orchestrated by substitute Swetman who picked out first Hughes at full pelt and then Johnstone as the home team sliced through at will. Interestingly with Knowles struggling with a 50% success rate with the conversions Pat Roberts was asked to take the last 2 and he got both.
Lymm now need only one win from the remaining three games to win the Championship. Even one point will probably suffice with the massive points difference and, of course, none of the chasing teams can slip up at all.
Captain Fletcher, improving week by week on the field, was ecstatic. “It was a great way to bounce back from the disappointment of losing to Burnage. We are really looking forward to the massive game with Northwich next Saturday.” Man of the match debutant Roberts praised the forwards saying:” It was an excellent team performance with some superb team tries. The forwards supplied quality clean ball and it allowed us to execute some fast flowing and exciting rugby”.
Lymm entertain 4th placed Northwich next at home. A win will secure promotion and the title and they have the opportunity to avenge the controversial defeat by Northwich earlier in the season.
Team: 1. Tim Oakes 2 Scott Harrison 3 Danny Bates 4. Darius Miksys (Jake Ashall), 5. Lee Pickles 6 Mark Sutton 7 Ian Cullinane 8. Ollie Higginson 9 Pat Roberts 10. Andy Roberts 11 Dave Williamson 12 Adam Fletcher C (Mike Swetman) 13 Tom Hughes 14 Jack Johnstone 15. Joe Knowles

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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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