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Last gasp victory for Lymm !


LYMM saved their worst performance of the season for the first few minutes of the game at Penrith as they trailed 24-0 and then dominated the game thereafter to secure a thrilling last gasp 24-28 victory.
Fifteen minutes gone, three converted tries and a penalty conceded, saw Lymm 24 – nil down and the match apparently over.
Very few, if any of the away supporters could have envisaged what they saw next. They should have had more faith. It is clear that the team has an inner belief that they can win any match, irrespective of the lead they grant to the opposition at the start and once again they showed this to be true. Maybe it was their deliberate ploy to mis-field the ball, fail to cover down the blind-side and miss tackles just to lull Penrith into a false sense of security? Whatever mind-games were going on, Penrith could not complain at the final result. Indeed it would have been a travesty of justice if Lymm had not come away with the five points, which have nudged them up to joint fourth in the table.
Penrith started brightly. Playing with a strong wind behind their backs and with their good play being orchestrated by their talented stand-off they appeared to be able to score at will. Their belief that they could win this match would have been strengthened on 2, 3, 10 and 15 minutes by which time they had put all of their 24 points on the board. Promising runs by scrum half Tom Baker, full-back Joe Knowles and winger Matthew Barnes-Smith gave the home crowd a glimpse of what was to come, but in their desperation to score, the ball just did not go into the right hands at the right time for a Lymm player to go over the line. The next score was going to be crucial and fortunately this went Lymm’s way. On 27 minutes, prop Jordan Widdrington, who had a particularly good game in the loose, scored a push-over try, converted by Luke Emmitt making it 24-7.
Lymm started to play. Four minutes later, a break by elusive winger Jack Johnstone saw the ball flicked out to Barnes-Smith, before being flicked back inside to lock, Sean Williams, who dived over the line to score a typical Lymm try, one that really put a marker down to the Penrith team. Emmitt converted from in front of the posts. With more composure and more orthodox passing, Lymm would surely have scored at least two more tries before the second quarter was up. The half-time score was: Penrith 24 – Lymm 14. The Penrith team and its supporters knew they were in for a much tougher match in the second half than that which they would have envisaged after 15 minutes !
Now playing with the wind behind their backs and with their tails up, it was Lymm’s turn to put pressure on Penrith. The second half was almost entirely dominated by the Lymm pack. Individually and collectively they performed well. Alex Bennett led by example, marshalling and directing his forwards, whilst posing a constant threat to the opposition himself. No. 8, Adam Bray and flanker Jake Ashall made a series of line-breaking runs, ably linking with feisty scrum-half Tom Baker, who is playing with more self-confidence each week.
It was centre Dave Williamson’s turn, on 60 minutes, to link up with Tom Baker to create Lymm’s third try. He hit the line at pace and broke clean through the Penrith defence before off-loading to Tom, who fed the ball inside to Jake Ashall, who ran an equally impressive line, to score under the posts. Emmitt converted to make it: Penrith 24 – Lymm 21.
Penrith had little answer to the more controlled onslaught on their line. Once or twice they were given opportunities to threaten Lymm’s line, but it seemed inevitable that Lymm would score their fourth try to win the match and earn themselves a much-prized try-scoring bonus point. They did score a fourth try, when Alex Bennett touched down. Penrith players were making their way under the posts, only to be called back for a 5 metre-scrum. Unfortunately the referee was unsighted and felt unable to award the try. Two minutes earlier Dave Williamson was lining himself up to score the winning try by cleverly chipping over his opposing winger, only to be brought down off the ball. This time it was Pete Millachip’s young son who explained the referee’s decision not to issue a yellow or red card. “Maybe he left his cards at home today ” said Isaac !
In the 80th minute the referee did award a penalty to Lymm, but quick thinking by Sean Williams, a final, sniping run by Tom Baker and a great off-load to hooker Pete Allen saw him sprint in for a thoroughly deserved, if somewhat incredulous win. Emmitt converted, the referee blew his whistle, the Lymm team and their supporters celebrated, the Penrith team and their supporters shook their heads and graciously accepted defeat. It had been another tense, nail-biting match for Lymm, but one which was ultimately worth the long trip and entrance fee.
Team: 15: Knowles 14: Barnes-Smith 13:Williamson 12; Emmitt 11: Johnstone 10: Roberts 9: Baker 8 Bray (A) 7: Ashall 6: Connelly 5: Williams 4: Bennett 3: Widdrington 2: Allen 1: Harrison Replacements: Ashton, Fletcher, Millachip.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six 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. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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