17/11/23 | General

Presidents Welcome – Saturday 18th November 2023

Author: Varun Maharaj

Once again, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome you to Beechwood today for our 10th league fixture of the season. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to our visitors today, Leeds Tykes RUFC.

Compiling a potted history of our visitors is difficult because they have a lot of history!  Leeds RUFC was created in 1992 following the merger of Headingley FC (formed in 1878) with Roundhay RUFC (formed in 1924).  These were clubs with an enviable list of internationals including John Spencer, Phil Davies, Sir Ian McGeechan and Peter Winterbottom to name but a few.  In 1998, following another merger, Leeds RUFC became known as Leeds Tykes. In 2007, Leeds Metropolitan University bought a 51% stake in the club, which was re-named Leeds Carnegie. Then (and I hope that you are keeping up) in 2014 the club was restructured to form Yorkshire Carnegie under the watchful eye of a Leeds ‘old boy’. The last name change took place in 2020 when it reverted to being known as Leeds Tykes.  The Club has enjoyed significant success over the years, playing in the Aviva Premiership from 2001 – 2006.  With a playing record this season of Played 10, Won 10 it’s probably fair to say that Leeds Tykes will present us with our sternest test to date, but we have surprised some illustrious opposition this season so ‘never say never’!

Our last home game was against Hull Ionians which turned out to be another nail biter. With around 20 minutes left, Lymm were 10 points down but, as we have come to learn this season, anything can happen as the clock ticks towards full time and, so it was, that we scored in the last 3 minutes and held on for a 31-30 victory. I must confess that (by way of a gentle bit of leg pulling) I reminded our visitors that day that their pre-season review said that Lymm had joined National 2 North this season ‘at the expense of our good friends at Chester. I hope they are worthy!’ To their credit, Ionians said in their Match Report ‘The very hospitable home committee were happy but surprised that they had won. We were a little shocked that we had lost but I can confirm that on this performance Lymm are very worthy!‘

Last week, we had another high scoring, close encounter against the other team from Hull. On this occasion, we peaked too soon and having been 17-0 up after 18 minutes and 27 -20 after 57 minutes, conceded a try with 10 minutes to go and lost 34 – 27. In what is now one of my favourite lines from the Match Reports this season, Simon Plumb said Hull saw the game out ‘with typical Yorkshire and South Sea Island grit’.  Read into that what you will!

Today’s match ball has kindly been donated by Debbie Fletcher to commemorate what would have been the 70th birthday of her husband Gary who passed away in the first Covid lockdown after battling a long illness.  Gary, father of our Director of Rugby Adam, was associated with Lymm RFC for over 40 years and his passing left a huge hole in the lives of everyone that had the pleasure and privilege of calling him a friend.  The match ball will be presented by Gary’s grandchildren; Billy, Fletcher, Teddy, Sophie and Erin.

All that leaves me to say 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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