14/03/23 | Under 15's
On Sunday 12th March Birkenhead Park U15’s visited Crouchley Lane for our Cheshire Bowl Semi final game. After a week of snow, high winds and freezing temperatures – at KO the weather was perfect for an expansive game of rugby.
Our parents and the boys had a challenging build up to this game with the tragic loss of one of our parents only 2 days before. The boys were determined to produce a good performance for their team mate Sam and in memory of Damon. To mark the occasion both teams, parents and coaches observed a minutes applause.
Lymm won the toss and opted to play with the wind in the first half. Straight from the off, the boys went on the offensive and put Birkenhead Park under pressure forcing them into touch 8 metres out from their goal line. A line out move straight from the training ground playbook ensued and Lymm scored in the corner. The conversion was narrowly missed. 5-0.
The pattern continued with Lymm applying significant pressure and forcing errors. Two more converted tries followed with Lymm firmly in the driving seat. 19-0 with as many minutes gone.
Birkenhead Park clearly had a game plan which involved using the width of the pitch and kicking crossfield to advancing wingers. Park had a lot of pace and their kick chase was good however Lymms back three combined well to nullify the threat.
Lymm drove upfield and managed another two tries similar in nature by overpowering the stubborn Birkenhead Park defence from close up. The 4th try was converted and the 5th narrowly missed. 31-0.
All hopes of entering half time without conceding were dashed when an interception against the run of play allowed Birkenhead Park to grab a try under the posts which was duly converted. 31-7 at the break.
Both teams made substitutions at half time and Lymm started as they left off and began the second half well – patiently moving the ball from one side to the other before finishing on the opposing side of the pitch after an excellent passage of play. The conversion again narrowly missed in a swirling wind – 36-7.
Lymm then lost a bit of shape and some indiscipline crept in. Lymm lost 2 players to yellow cards for high tackles. During a sustained period Birkenhead Park piled on the pressure against Lymms 13 players. Lymm were determined not to give however and managed to repel Parks numerous waves of attack from their own line and eventually forced an error by the 22 which allowed Lymm to clear the decks. It was a brief let off however and Park managed to recover the ball and after another sustained period of pressure managed to get over to the left of the posts. With the swirling wind the conversion was missed. 36-12.
With one player returning to the field, a further yellow card was issued and Lymm were back to 14. During this period Lymm managed to get another score back which was some achievement given the player numbers. This was also converted. 43-12.
Another side may have given up at this point but Birkenhead Park were not done and they piled on the pressure once more through strong short drives off the back of rucks and mauls. Lymm held out well but eventually conceded one final try and the conversion was missed.
The final whistle came soon after – final score 43-17 and Lymm had made the final.
It was a bitter sweet moment for the team after a tough week and thoughts soon turned to their team mate who wasn’t there to celebrate with them.
The team now move on to the final which will be held at Wirral RFC on Sunday 30th April.