Burnage 3rds 20 – 14 Lymm Eagles
Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday September 10 2022
EAGLES CONTINUE STUTTERING START TO SEASON
Lymm 3s continued their stuttering start to the season with a disappointing away defeat to Burnage 3s. This was the culmination of another difficult week for the Lymm Eagles, pulling together a 3rd team. Burnage 2nd XV match against Blackburn, had been postponed until a later date. This this arrangement had been OK’d by the League Management, which allowed them to field a competitive 3s team for their home fixture against Lymm.
To mark the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, one minutes silence was impeccably observed by all 4 teams and supporters in attendance. Unfortunately, the 3s game could not kick off immediately afterwards, as the referee for the game was delayed by over 20 minutes in traffic due to the closure of the M56. Two Lymm players were also missing from the starting line-up for the same reasons leaving Lymm with only 13 players. Thankfully, spectators Tom Coon and Rick McAvoy kindly agreed to put some borrowed kit on to get Lymm up to the required numbers. Despite being slightly makeshift Lymm started with a squad of 16 players but with several backs forced to play out of position, the team was nevertheless keen and motivated to compete as best they could. Burnage were able to field a full complement of players and substitutes.
The first half was dictated by how many errors Lymm made in possession. With the ball in hand, the Lymm forwards were making metres with every carry, led ably by returning Jake Ashall and Max Ure. However, Lymm were, once again, guilty of trying to force passes or choosing the wrong option when simple passing rugby would have sufficed. Burnage were very good at the breakdown and also introduced a good tactical kicking game that quickly turned defence into attack. Around 20 minutes in, Burnage marched up the field on the back of successive Lymm penalties and a good break from their fly half allowed them to score a converted try against the run of play (7-0).
Despite Lymm having the majority of possession, an equalizing score did not come quickly. One aspect of Lymm’s game that was functioning well was the scrum. Lymm started to turn the screw and despite rearranging their front row several times, Burnage could not halt the drive. At one point, the referee asked the Lymm scrum to ease off or risk uncontested scrums, which seemed an unusual request as it is not often that a team is penalised for being too dominant! After camping on the try line for the final 10mins of the half and a yellow card to a Burnage player, a quick ball from a scrum was collected by McAvoy, who powered over for a try, converted by Larkin (7-7) to bring up the half time.
Half Time Score: Burnage 7 – 7 Eagles
The message at half time was simple. Keep hold of the ball, support the ball carrier and more energy in defence, and fewer mistakes with ball handling. Unfortunately, before the kick off, Lymm were deprived of their most powerful weapon with the news that Burnage had requested uncontested scrums due to injuries, although all their players were fit to continue playing. An unbiased and impartial external observer, with an experienced, but perhaps somewhat old school view of the modern game, (Pete Coon – who’s he?), offered the unsolicited comment from the side-line, “that’s utter bol**cks”. In any event, Burnage were now free to rotate their forwards and keep energy levels high against a tiring Lymm pack. It was interesting to observe that at the first uncontested scrum following the restart, Burnage forwards, being obviously unused to winning the ball, managed to kick it straight through the Lymm scrum to be gratefully collected by veteran scrum half Martin Henderson. Even the Burnage supporters appeared bemused at how you can lose an uncontested scrum!
The second half became a lot more competitive, with Lymm clinging on at times and being penalised several times for infringements. Burnage successfully kicked two of the resulting penalties on the 57th and 65th minute (13-7). Lymm then seemed to completely switch off and possession was squandered, and tackles missed at regular intervals. The cause was not helped by injuries to flanker Jim France and fly-half McAvoy, which left Lymm with only 14 men. On 70 minutes, Burnage broke through with ease to score a converted try (20-7) and leave Lymm facing a one sided scoreline.
Finally, for the last 10 minutes, Lymm went back to what they did best in the first half and several strong carries led to 2nd row Max Ure powering over for a well-deserved try, converted in good style by Larkin (20-14). With little time remaining, Lymm powered back into the Burnage 22 and a comeback try definitely seemed on. However, some well-timed infringements and injuries to Burnage players slowed this progress, including a comical “football style” injury where a Burnage player who was injured off the field of play, rolled back onto the pitch to stop any quick taps on safety grounds. Lymm’s final attack was summed up by Max Ure running into a retreating Lymm player and being penalised for accidental offside to bring the full time whistle.
Full Time Score: Burnage 20 – 14 Eagle
A disappointing end to a disappointing match. Burnage celebrated profusely with a win in their first game at this level following promotion, showing that a win over a Lymm side at any level is still a big scalp. For Lymm, this game should have been out of sight by half time, and this is a lesson in taking chances and remaining disciplined for the whole match. Man of the match went to Max Ure for an all action display. It was good to see Jake Ashall pulling his boots on again. It was against Burnage 1st XV that he came off the bench to make his debut for Lymm 1st XV a good few years ago.
Next week, Lymm 3s are at home to Winnington Park 2s.
Team: 1) Aldin Zilic 2) Olly Brown (C) 3) David Coon 4) Jez Ure 5) Max Ure 6) Tom Coon 7) Jim France 8) Jake Ashall 9) Martin Henderson 10) Rick McAvoy 11) Josh Keefe 12) Simon Beards 13) Oli Larkin 14) Ben Stroud 15) Reece Forrest. REP 16) Ollie Chesworth
Match Report – David & Peter Coon