Blackburn 27 – 7 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday October 1 2022

Burly Blackburn beat boisterous Beechwood boys

Lymm travelled to a cold, windy but sunny Blackburn for another top-of-the table clash in a hugely anticipated clash of styles and, as it turned out, size! Table toppers Blackburn won last season’s fixture at home and Lymm repaid the compliment at Beechwood later in the year, so this was going to be an interesting contest with league leadership the prize.

Blackburn kicked off and with the stiff breeze at their backs, Lymm had their now customary fast start, as returning captain and second row James Yates broke through in his own half, setting up an attacking position on half way. The ball, to the bewilderment of the large crowd, was then moved rapidly to the right wing, then brilliantly left through many pairs of hands wide out to the left wing where Yates was positioned to run 20 yards and score, after no more than 40 seconds of play. Full back Cormac Nolan, returning following concussion protocols, slotted the conversion from wide out, 0 – 7 after two minutes.

The wind played its part all afternoon and line-outs did not go to plan for both sides. However, it was obvious that Blackburn had done their homework on Lymm and had a game plan which they now stuck too. They had no intention of letting Lymm’s backs get hold of the ball again and starved Lymm of possession for most of the match. Blackburn, with their burly forwards, then set a pattern that remained for the whole game. Time and again they would drive in and set the ball up, making a yard or two at a time. Lymm’s defence held firm until a Burn centre broke through but lost the ball on the line and Lymm cleared their lines.

Talisman Number 8, Oli Higginson was then blood-binned for a nasty crack on his nose, replaced by Nonso Agina.  Lymm eventually started to put some moves together in the hosts’ half but passes were dropped and momentum lost. After 25 minutes Blackburn, after the now familiar forward surges, eventually scored near the posts but the conversion kick was blown wide of the sticks, 5 – 7.

Higginson returned but the starvation of ball was reaching epidemic proportions and Blackburn steadfastly refused to cough up possession. Pressure eventually was beginning to tell as Blackburn camped out on Lymm’s line, only to be bravely repelled time and again. This included holding one attempt up on the line but Lymm’s defence, stern and determined though it was, looked like it would break eventually. Meanwhile, skipper Yates went off with a head injury for Agina to replace him and Blackburn got their reward with a converted try on 40 minutes as the whistle went for half-time.

HT – 12 – 7.

Clearly seeing how their strategy of malnutrition was working, Blackburn continued with their stranglehold on the game, through constant possession. Effective if not pretty and another unconverted try resulted on 46 minutes – 17 – 7. This was followed by a penalty after 57 minutes – 20 – 7.

Lymm were also being penalised for various offences, as they tried to stem the tide of surges and spent 20 minutes of the 2nd half with only 14 men on the field. Back rows Ali Sutherland and Rhys Lilley, brave in their tackling throughout, were both yellow carded during this half.

Unforced errors crept into Lymm’s game and the line out continued to be dysfunctional with the wind in their faces, and with the huge Burn second row disrupting the throw-ins at the front. Were line-outs the best way forward for Lymm, it has to be asked?

After a short downpour the ball became greasy, further hampering passing movements from both sides. This might not have mattered if Lymm had had more than 20% possession during the match but trying to make things happen with so little ball was becoming impossible for the Cheshire team. Another converted try from the Burn forwards on 76 minutes earned them a try bonus point and concluded the scoring at 27 – 7. Lymm will need to learn how to counter teams that play such a conservative, but highly effective, game against them.

“A really tough day at the office” commented DoR Adam Fletcher. “Blackburn played very well and deserved the 5 points.

“We scored the try of the game but after that we coughed up far too much ball. The lads put a great defensive shift in, there will be some sore bodies today.

“Ideally we would like to be 5 from 5 going in to the week off but I’ll take 4 especially because we have now played the 3 teams above us in the league”.

Head Coach, Andy Davies added. “All credit to Blackburn, they gave us a lesson in how to keep hold of the ball and the value of doing so in windy conditions. After our first try, our basic skills were not good enough in attack and a top team like Blackburn are going to punish you for those errors.

“We enter the first break in a strong position and we’ll get ourselves ready to go again for the next block of games”.

FT – 27 – 7.

So after 5 games, Blackburn are now the only undefeated team in the league, Lymm are now in 4th place. There are no games next Saturday 8th October, Lymm next play Burnage at home on Saturday 15th October KO 3pm.

Team: 1. Gavin Woods (90), 2. James Pitcher* (35), 3. Matty Hand* (71), 4. Joe Murphy* (7), 5. James Yates* (90), (C), 6. Rhys Lilly* (16), 7. Ed Morris (21), 8. Oli Higginson* (244), 9. Ben Simpson* (5), 10. Tom Shard* (92), 11. Alfie Simpson* (19), 12. Scott Redfern (91), 13. Steven Pilkington* (35), 14. Nathan Beesley* (VC) (35), 15. Cormac Nolan* (194), 16. Kieron O’Callaghan* (14), 17. Nonso Agina* (3), 18. Ali Sutherland (66).

( ) = number of Lymm First XV League appearances

* = Former Lymm M&Js and Colts player

Referee – Mr Jack Moorhouse – RFU Federation North Group.

Match Report – Simon Plumb


The form was submitted successfully.

You will now be redirected to our payment page.