07/03/24 | Matchday Programme

Lymm RFC v Hull RFC – Saturday 9th March 2024

Author: John Case


Presidents Welcome

As ever, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome you to Beechwood for our 21st league fixture of the season.

I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to our visitors today, Hull RUFC.

For a change, our opposition today are a younger club than Lymm, having been formed in 1992. For those of you unfamiliar with Hull RUFC’s history, the starting point is a decision made in the spring of 1989 by the membership of Hull & East Riding RUFC to merge with Ionians RUFC to form Hull Ionians RUFC. The vote was not unanimous and effectively split the club. Those members of Hull & East Riding RUFC who voted against the merger reformed the club as Hull & East Riding RUFC (1989) which continued as an entity for three seasons before the merging with Old Hymerians RUFC in 1992 and the result of that merger was Hull RUFC.

Following their formation, Hull RUFC progressed up the rugby union pyramid, beginning life in the old North East 2, winning promotion to National League 2 North in 2009, where they stayed until 2015, when they were relegated to National Three North, which is where Lymm and Hull RUFC first crossed paths (as to which see below).

In 2018/19 Hull RUFC won the Northern Premier league and following promotion, finished top of National League 2 North 2021/22, which they regard as the finest season in the history of their club. They clinched promotion to National One with a 31-29 home win over (ironically) Hull Ionians. However, the huge difference in stepping up to the third tier of English rugby union proved to be a step too far for Hull RUFC and after just one season, the club were relegated back to National Two North, with a solitary home draw from their 26 games.

As mentioned above, Lymm and Hull RUFC spent three seasons together in 2015/16 (Hull won home and away), 2016/17 (Hull won home and away) and 2017/18 (when, although we lost at home, we actually managed to win away 19 – 28 !).

And so, to a sunny Saturday November morning earlier this season when we travelled to Hull RUFC in good spirits, having beaten the hosts’ local rivals Hull Ionians the previous week with a try in the last five minutes. Remarkably, Lymm were 0 – 5 up in the first 50 seconds of play after the Hull fly half tried to clear from the kick off but his kick was charged down by James Kimber, who fly-kicked the ball on and won the chase to touch down. More remarkable still was the following 17 minutes, with Lymm scoring 2 more tries and a conversion to give then a 0 – 17 lead.

But, as we have found this season, you can take nothing for granted at this level – Hull finally clicked into gear and responded with three tries and a conversion of their own. At half time, the teams were tied at 17-17.

Having been though the mill following 1 point victories against Wharfedale, Fylde and Hull Ionians earlier in the season and lost from winning positions in other games, I was discovering that watching Lymm this season, although hugely entertaining, is not for the faint hearted. The pattern of the 1st half continued into the 2nd half, with both scoring but neither being able to break the deadlock – 27 – 27 after 64 mins. In the event, 70 minutes into the game, Hull’s forwards trundled over the line to score the match winning try: 34 – 27. I really hope that today’s encounter is every bit as exciting as the game last November but with a slightly different outcome!

Congratulations must go to Rhys Lilly and Harry Martin who make their 50th 1st team appearances today. We’ll done both of you.

Finally, and sadly, I must report the death of David Meadowcroft, who died from a heart attack at his home in Brittany, France on February 14th, aged 79. David graced the 1st XV for a number of seasons in the early to mid ‘60s and was Honorary President from 1985 – 1987. David was a popular Club member, always available to help where help was needed. On behalf of all at Lymm RFC, we send our sincere condolences to David’s wife, Nicky, to his daughters, Joanne and Andrea and to their respective families.

All that leaves me to say, as usual, is that I wish both teams today the best of luck and look forward to meeting you pitch-side and afterwards in the bar for some warm Lymm hospitality.

Varun Maharaj, President


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