Report by Dave Fernyhough
WITH both clubs in the bottom 4 of the league before kick off Lymm recorded an important 36-19 victory over Kendal moving up to 10th in the table.
The 1st XV squad, injury and unavailable list, is still not improving and again had a knock on effect on teams down the club. However they did welcome prop Gavin Woods return from injury. In addition, Lymm were forced into some pre match changes with Tom Bray failing a late fitness test. Fly half Scott Redfern moved to 12, alongside debutant centre Ben Stansfield. Tom Shard started at 10, Andy Rowley returned for his season debut on the wing and Dan Horton came onto the bench.
Lymm kicked off with the hefty wind behind them but failed to put any phases together during the opening exchanges. Indeed possession was changing hands quite fluidly, largely a consequence of penalties and poor passing.
A Redfern interception looked to offer Lymm the chance to take an early lead, but he was called back for a penalty and Kendal scored instead. Having kept possession through a series of rucks, after 3 minutes their number 8, Downham broke and twisted and dummied his way over for a fine try that wrong footed the home defence. The conversion was good, 0 v 7.
Lymm rallied with some expansive play and looked threatening until a deliberate knock on stalled their attack. Shortly after Davis, Nolan and Rowley attacked down their right wing and earned a Lymm penalty ten metres from the line. From this opportunity Lymm pressured Kendal’s line with crisp tight play. Eventually the ball reached Olly Higginson who with Dan Horton in support, crashed over for Lymm’s opener, Cormac Nolan converted, 7 v 7.
Lymm fluffed the restart and gifted Kendal possession in their half. This possession was to prove enduring, as each time the Lymm pack won the ball back, the ensuing clearing kick was carried deep into touch in goal and brought right back to the same spot. Kendal were able to capitalise on this and broke left and their fleet footed full back, Noyo, was able to breach Lymm’s line and feed his winger for a score. The conversion missed, 7 v 12.
A period of sloppy play ended for Lymm when Cash Chilvers stole the ball and set up a fine 3 on 1 break by Ali Sutherland. Again a deliberate knock on by Kendal scuppered the attack and this time a yellow card was given. Despite howls from the crowd, the penalty try was not and Sutherland went off injured. Lymm scored anyway, with a Davies snipe following Higginson’s break. Davies was tackled on the line but Zak Lythgoe was good in support and collected Davies off load to score a try from literally no yards. Again Nolan converted, 14 v 12.
Lymm once more failed to manage the restart well, but the pugnacious defence of Connolly, Chilvers and Higginson ensured Kendal could not benefit.
As the half was ending Lymm won a line out 15 metres from Kendal’s line. Chilvers’ well-aimed throw was crisply taken and the maul made head way towards the try line. Chilvers then finished what he had started and took the ball from the back of the maul to take the score to 19 v 12. Again well converted by Nolan.21 v12.
Lymm managed to squeeze in their bonus point try just before the interval when they stole a line out. This set up a nice spell of pressure on the Kendal line, which eventually ended with Aaron Rasheed adding a characteristic short range try to the tally. Nolan maintained his 100% record for the game adding another conversion.
Half time 28 v 12
The second half began with both sides repeating the mistakes and sloppiness that had affected the opening stages of the first half. Breaks from Noyo of Kendal, and Matty Connolly of Lymm were the more eye catching moments but came to nought. Dan Horton was back on the park following an injury to Adam Bray.
Lymm once again steadied their ship and the play was mainly confined to Kendal’s half. A combination of intricate passes between Chilvers, Nolan and Davies was unlucky not to result in points, but did show how influential this trio were becoming.
It would though be fly half Shard and winger Luke Richards who would combine for the next score. Shard’s lovely miss pass finding Richards on the left wing. Richards still had a lot to do to score and bustled past some scrambling tacklers to take the score to 33 v 12. Kicking into the gale Nolan was unable to convert.
With Lymm now clearly on the front foot the next score came as a bit of a surprise but was a timely reminder of the quality within the Kendal squad. With Noyo always a threat every time he fielded a kick at full back, it was no surprise that he set up the foundations for a fine try. This saw 4 of the Cumbrians involved in a 70 metre break that tore past the Lymm outside defence. The conversion moved the score to 33 v 19.
Kendal continued to attack down Lymm’s right edge, usually with Noyo being the instigator. After some nervous moments full back Nolan showed that he could be just as dynamic as his Kendal opposite number and launched an attack that eventually gave Lymm possession in Kendal territory. Lymm were being rewarded with penalties as the visitors tired, and although Nolan missed an effort from 35m out he was soon able to convert another penalty from almost the same place, 36 v 19.
This brought the game to an end and Lymm were able to reflect on a well marshalled performance that showed the maturity they will need to start to climb the table again, they now move up to 10th place. Hooker, Cashel Chilvers was awarded the Lymm MoM award and No8 Chris Downham for Kendal, who will be disappointed not to have come away with any reward for their effort and grit.
“Head coach Adam Fletcher commented, “Great 5pts win. Really pleased with the improvement in the set piece and the way we managed possession and territory.
“Awesome to see Andy Rowley back in a Lymm shirt and a huge welcome to Ben Stansfield. Big week ahead with a tough away match at Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday.
“Also I must mention that on Sunday 21st, Lymm Senior Colts are at home to Huddersfield YMCA senior Colts, in the RFU U18’s National Cup 1st Round, KO 2pm.”
Squad. 1) Gavin Woods, 2) Cash Chilvers, 3) Matty Hand, 4) Matt Connolly, 5) Aaron Rasheed, 6) Ali Sutherland, 7) Adam Bray (C), 8) Oli Higginson, 9) Andy Davies, 10) Tom Shard, 11) Luke Richards, 12) Scott Redfern, 13) Ben Stansfield, 14) Andy Rowley, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Jordan Widdrington, 17) Zak Lythgoe, 18) Dan Horton