04/02/23 | General

Presidents Welcome – Saturday 4th February 2023

Author: Neil Kelly

Welcome back to Beechwood for what is a crucial game in the race for promotion as we welcome our friends and Cheshire neighbours, Sandbach, for what I am sure will be a very close fought game.

The pace at the top of the table is warming up, with Blackburn just 2 points in front of Lymm. However, today they have no game which creates the opportunity for us (temporarily at least) to go top and continue to pile pressure on them. I am sure that today’s visitors will be doing their best to  return to winning ways and dash our aspirations in the process.  Despite last week’s defeat at Wirral, Sandbach remain in 3rd place.

At the time of writing, I am far from certain how strong a side we shall be fielding today as several players have taken advantage of what was originally a free Saturday in the fixture list, to pursue other activities. Whoever turns out we know will be fully committed to the cause and ensuring that we stick to the patterns of play drilled by Fletch and Andy to avoid a potential banana skin.

The last few weeks have seen Lymm on a significant run of point scoring with some spectacular tries and thrilling rugby. The 7- 95 win at Kirkby Lonsdale, saw Moose score yet another hat-trick of tries and I have written to the RFU to seek a rule change to prevent this outrageous behaviour from a hooker!!!  Wing man Paddy was also a legitimate hat-trick scorer last week whilst the ‘old man’, Oli, making his 250th appearance, also grabbed a brace and showed all the magic that has graced his long and fantastic service to the club,. Well done Oli, a truly remarkable achievement.

I am sure most of you will have read the RFU’s proposed rule changes and the subsequent apology over the way the information was delivered. This has evoked much discussion and controversy, particularly amongst the community game, and I am certain there is more discussion to be had. However, the central theme of the message is that player safety and wellbeing must be the highest priority which is at least one point we can all agree on, but let’s hope the game we enjoy is not changed beyond all recognition and remains one that provides a physical battle for all sizes.

Today’s game also sees us welcome back one of our ‘Old boys’ Graham Bird, as a guest off the pitch, whilst observing the work of his sons, Andrew as Sandbach’s Director of Rugby and Mark who continues to play. Graham’s exploits on the pitch were a pleasure to watch (as a teammate who never received an inside pass from him!) as he was blessed with raw pace and aggression (not to mention his many appearances in the panto!), which he used in equal measure much to the appreciation of the Lymm crowd! Rugby is truly a fantastic game when friends from the opposition are still greeted as members of our own ‘family’.

As this was supposed to be a free Saturday, me and several of the Lymm Ali’s have booked our annual visit to the slopes and so regrettably we shall not be with you physically but shall join you on the piste and hope to be raising a glass to new league leaders!

Neil Kelly, President


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