Linley & Kidsgrove 1XV 8 – 33 Lymm Eagles

Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday April 23 2022


Lymm 3s completed their last away game and penultimate game of the season with a well-earned victory over Linley and Kidsgrove 1sts. Lymm had already played Linley in their first game of the season, but although they won the match, they were denied the points due to Lymm 2’s being unable to field a team to play at Kirby Lonsdale. This return game gave them a chance to set the record straight, although marshalling a team willing to make the 70 mile round trip proved a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, the 3s embarked on their journey with a potential on paper contingent of 18 stalwarts, although for some reason only 17 of them arrived. The situation was not helped when Jim France and Matt Hill turned up at Lymm to collect the kit only to find the club closed and no-one around. A few hasty phone calls and welcome assistance from Paul (Maggie) Maguire eventually sorted things out.

With Captain Ollie Brown on holiday, prop David Coon rallied the troops on to the pitch along with captain and fly half Andy Roberts leading the team out. The game was played on a local park pitch some distance from the Linley clubhouse as their own changing rooms had unfortunately been rendered unusable by vandals in an arson attack. Being in a local park, the condition of the playing surface was “interesting” with exceedingly long grass, plentiful decorative weeds, and divots in abundance. Allegedly, a passing farmer offered the use of his nearby cow field as an alternative, as this was a little less undulating.

The first half started with Lymm playing into a strong wind blowing straight down the pitch providing Linley with the opportunity to gain ground from some very long down field kicks. The first 20 minutes was a balanced affair, with Lymm having several good breaks to only be undone by a knock on or ill-discipline. Linley kept themselves in the game with some strong running from their forwards and the clearing kicks from their fly half. Defence was key at this point and strong tackles from hooker Higgins and the 2nd row father and son duo of Max and Jez Ure kept the Linley attack at bay. It was testament to this defensive effort that after 25 mins, Linley opted to kick a penalty rather than risk an attack (3-0). Lymm came back strongly and picked up the pace of the game. Strong runs from back row Tom Coon and Matt Grellier set a good platform for the No.9 – No.10 combo of James Anderson and Andy Roberts who kept the ball moving at speed. On 30 minutes quick recycled ball invited centre Matt Hill to crash over for the opening try, converted by Anderson (3-7). This was followed 2 minutes later by another try for Hill, when the quick thinking Roberts chipped over the on rushing defence and Hill regathered to touch down with the conversion again by Anderson (3-14).

Lymm were now starting to cut loose and a quick pick up and break from Grellier was offloaded to hooker Higgins, who bounced several tackles and sprinted in slow motion from 40m out to score under the posts with a nice converted try to end the half. (3-21).

Whether it was Lymm’s overconfidence or something in the half time water, but Linley came out all guns blazing for the 2nd half and despite a few forays into the opposition half from Lymm, Linley had most of the possession. On 55 minutes, Linley spread the ball wide, which seemed to catch the Lymm side admiring the weeds and allowed them to go over almost unopposed in the corner (8-21). This seemed to wake Lymm up from their half time siesta and the attack started functioning again, with the back three of Reece Forest, Tom Coghill and Stu Norman making ground with every carry. Centres Kieran Williams and Matt Hill were constant wrecking balls in the defensive lines which provided plenty of gaps to exploit. After 60 minutes, following several well-constructed phases, No. 8 Grellier managed to shrug off several tackles to touch down next to the posts for a converted try (8-28).

This gave Lymm enough breathing space to bring on fresh legs from wing replacement Josh Keefe and enough bravery to introduce veteran prop Keith “Tucker” Broadbent onto the pitch. Tucker had already made a significant vocal contribution to the match so far, primarily concerning the parentage of most of the opposition and officials. Fears of an immediate red card were quickly dispelled as Tucker felled Linley’s dangerous forward runners with ease and sorted out a creaking scrum with the combined efforts of Ollie Chesworth and D. Coon. With the last few seconds ticking away, a final attack instigated by scrum half Anderson saw wing Reece Forest crash over in the corner for the try he had (repeatedly) told his teammates, he desperately wanted. Unfortunately, Reece was high tackled as he went over the line and despite the pleas from the Lymm players to the Referee to award only a penalty to avoid Reece’s smugness, the try was awarded to him. Anderson failed with the difficult final conversion (FT 8-33), his only miss in an otherwise sterling performance all afternoon.

A well-deserved win for Lymm but Linley made the 3s work hard for their victory and were very gracious hosts after the game. Chats with several of their players after the game over a pint showed how hard they are working to keep the team going and we wish them well in their final game against Newcastle.

Man of the match from this reporter went to stalwart back row Jim France, who carried, tackled, and pilfered so much ball all game. Well done to all the lads and thanks for some enjoyable journeys this season. The 3s can now enjoy a final home game against Winnington Park 2s, to be followed by what I am assured will be some horrendous fancy dress outfits.

Team: 1)  Ollie Chesworth 2) Will Higgins 3) David Coon 4) Max Ure 5) Jez Ure 6) Jim France 7) Tom Coon 8) Matt Grellier 9) James Anderson 10) Andy Roberts (C) 11) Tom Coghill 12) Matt Hill 13) Kieran Williams 14) Reece Forest 15) Stu Norman. Rep: 16) Keith “Tucker” Broadbent 17) Josh Keefe

Match Report: Peter & David Coon


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