08/09/23 | General
Once again, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome you to Beechwood for our 2nd league fixture of the season. I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to our visitors today, Huddersfield RUFC. The town of Huddersfield has a long and proud rugby tradition. Indeed, it was in August 1895, at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, that the famous ‘split’ in rugby took place and senior teams from Yorkshire and Lancashire resigned their membership of RFU and formed the ‘Northern Rugby Football Union’, the forerunner of the modern professional Rugby League. Huddersfield were also early pioneers of mini-rugby in 1969 and you need only look at today’s Lymm squad (replete with products of our M&J system) to see the effect of that on our game.
To misquote Lou Reed, last Saturday was almost ‘such a perfect day’. Our first fixture in National League 2 North was blessed with glorious sunshine. The Clubhouse looked immaculate and the pitches pristine. Speaking to players and spectators before the game, the word I heard most was excitement’, a sentiment which was reflected not only by the 300 supporters who came to watch the game but also in the turnout for the season’s inaugural pre-match lunch, as 70 guests enjoyed a delicious three course meal. I must express my thanks to Alan our Club Manager, Alan and the catering team for ensuring that the afternoon got off to the best start possible.
Our visitors last Saturday were Wharfedale RUFC, who have played at Level 4 since 2016 so we knew that the game would be reasonable indicator of the season to come. The match also saw our Club Captain James Yates make his 100th 1st team appearance – well done James. The initial exchanges saw Lymm take an early lead and went in at half time 18-15 ahead. Expectation levels increased and we dreamed of our ‘perfect day’. In the 2nd half, Lymm scored again (it has to be said against the run of play) making it 21-15 after 28 mins. But with a few minutes remaining, Wharfedale managed to score a converted try and closed the game out to win 21 – 22. So it was that we almost had ‘such a perfect day’.
As ever, life is about taking positives from whatever the outcome and our Director of Rugby, Adam Fletcher was optimistic following such a tight battle, saying post-match that there were some really good learning points and that the team will take great confidence from the performance. Last week, our visitors produced an eleven try thriller in their opening game at Lockwood Park and scored 5 tries in their 31-39 defeat to Hull Ionians. It is, therefore, a reasonable assumption that, given the style of rugby Lymm play, we could be in for a hugely entertaining game this afternoon.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the Rugby World Cup which, at the time we go to press, has yet to start but by the time you read this, France would have played their opening match against New Zealand. With the Final not due to take place until Saturday 28th October, we have plenty of time to discuss forthcoming fixtures and results. The consensus is that the eventual winner will come from one of the ‘big 4’ – Ireland, France, South Africa and New Zealand and, in truth, it is hard to not to see one of those teams lifting the Webb Ellis Cup. You can, of course, watch the games at Beechwood. All the matches will be shown on our big screen and (to assist with your nerves) there will be a 10% off all drinks for the England games. There will be particular interest this evening with our old boy, Alex Mitchell, in England’s starting XV!! Well done Alex.
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