Lymm 21 – 43 Leeds Tykes
1st Team Match Report | Saturday November 18 2023
Lymm left battered by league-leaders first half blitz
A cold and blustery Beechwood played host to league leaders Leeds Tykes as Lymm returned home after taking 2 points away from familiar foes Hull the previous week. The former Premiership club have fallen steadily down the league structure over recent seasons but are enjoying themselves this year and sit unbeaten at the top of the table. Whilst they boast none of the star names of yesteryear, they are a physical, imposing and well-coached team and this was evident from the outset.
Five minutes in and the Yorkshiremen opened the scoring. A heavy and direct carry from Tykes inside centre Williams off the top of a lineout was followed by yet more heavy and direct carries from the forward pack. 2nd row Friend barged his way over for an easy score. Lymm 0 Leeds 7 and the Leeds power game was on full display. A scrum on halfway was motored backwards rewarding Tykes with a penalty which was kicked deep into the Lymm 22. The inevitable maul followed and, despite Lymm’s pack’s best efforts, it rolled forwards and over the line. Conversion missed Lymm 0 Leeds 12.
The rest of the half followed a similar pattern: Leeds dominating possession and territory with Lymm falling increasingly foul of the referee’s whistle. Lymm’s defence bravely repelled several waves of attacks but frequent infringements kept them pinned in their own half. After 23 minutes, another 5m maul was stopped well but Leeds scrum half Hardwick broke blind, dummied and skipped over in the right hand corner. Lymm 0 Leeds 19. At this point, Lymm’s fluid attacking game had yet to be seen at all such was the dominance of the visitors. A quick tap penalty outside Lymm’s 22 resulted in another score; inside centre Williams battering his way over after a great offload. Lymm 0 Leeds 26.
The first half scoring blitz was completed minutes later as openside Nu’u blasted over from short range after decent Lymm scramble defence had prevented a try down the left edge. Conversion again made from wide – Lymm 0 Leeds 33 at half time and Lymm had barely fired a shot.
HT – Lymm 0 – 33 Leeds Tykes
Very little for the home faithful to enjoy and some trepidation for what was to come. Fortunately, whatever was said and done at half time prompted an immediate reaction. Stalwarts Widdrington, Ashton and a returning, slimline Jake Ashall joined the fray and contributed to the first Lymm score of the day. A beautiful Cal Morris 50-22 earned Lymm lineout ball in the Tykes red zone and, after a Leeds penalty, Lymm’s attacking maul was rewarded with a score from Matty Hand. Lymm 7 Leeds 33 and a much brighter start to the half.
Leeds, however, responded almost instantly – another try for scrum half Hardwick after a break by full back Bai down the right edge. Lymm 7 Leeds 38.
Lymm nonetheless were playing with much more intent and keeping the ball in hand. Good territory was rewarded with an excellent team try. Multiple phases of possession, with Kimber, Ashall and Jennings all carrying powerfully, took them deep into the opposition 22. A Leeds high tackle from a short range pick-and-go cannoned off the mighty head of Widdrington – the resulting penalty was tapped by Morris and he shot over from 5m out. Lymm 14 Leeds 38 and just reward for Lymm’s increased intensity.
They were also beginning to earn more from the referee as Leeds became increasingly erratic at the ruck. Unfortunately, two such opportunities were kicked dead squandering good attacking positions. Further changes for Lymm at this point saw Gav Woods return and Lymm field a rarely seen front 5 composed entirely of props!
At this point, roughly an hour in, the game fell into somewhat of a lull; scrappy play, errors and penalties from both sides prevented any flow or spectacle. Against the run of play and possession, Leeds would complete their scoring. A Lymm turnover deep in Leeds territory gave the Tykes back three all the time and space they needed against a disorganised defence and their breakout was eventually finished by fly half Lucock. Lymm 14 Leeds 43 with around ten to play. Lymm’s final score of the day would follow soon after – Woods scoring at the back of an excellent maul after a Morris box kick was touched in-flight and gifted the home team an attacking platform from which the pack did the rest. Lymm 21 Leeds 43 and the glimmer of a four try bonus point was there. Alas, it was not to be as further Lymm attacks were repelled by a combination of stout Tykes defence and skill errors.
Final Score: Lymm 21 – 43 Leeds Tykes
Director of Rugby Adam Fletcher commented, ‘A much improved second half display but a deserved win for the league leaders who roll on unbeaten in 11 games. Special praise for captain on the day James Kimber who was outstanding throughout and good to see the home return of try-machine Nathan Beesley who should add further threat to Lymm’s potent attack. Next week, Lymm travel to Dore Moor to take on Sheffield Tigers.
‘Leeds definitely showed why they had won their previous 10 games. We struggled to contain them in the first half, they ran some great lines and were extremely accurate with the ball. We did have a few chances but unfortunately we couldn’t convert any of them. We had a chat at halftime about not letting the scoreline get away from us. We definitely got a positive reaction chasing 4 tries for the bonus point and very nearly got there.
‘I was really proud of our attitude and desire in the 2nd half. All 20 contributed to the performance which was pleasing. Looking forward, we need some luck with injuries. If we can get some boys back in the next couple of weeks it will be very timely. The few games before Christmas are massive. Overall though, I’m really proud of the boys today.’
Thanks also to the officials, referee Henry Pearson and his assistant refs Matt Daubney and Liam Taylor.
Lymm RFC 1 st Team: 1. Ralph McCreachan (4) 2. James Pitcher (52)* 3. Matty Hand (91)* 4. Gav Woods (116) 5. Ben Thompson (17) 6. Sean Callender (10) 7. Joe Johnson (9)* 8. Rhys Lilly (41)* 9. Cal Morris (23) 10. Tom Shard (120)* 11. Paddy Jennings (36)* 12. James Kimber (95)* 13. Ste Pilkington (51)* 14. Andy Williams (9)* 15. Jack Reynolds (10) Subs 16. Jordan Widdrington (231)* 17. Nick Ashton (114) 18. Jake Ashall (131)* 19. Nathan Beesley (54) 20. Andy Rowley (69)*
* Product of Lymm M&J’s/Colts Academy
Match Report: Adam Bray