Lymm 22 – 36 Rotherham Titans

1st Team Match Report | Saturday January 13 2024

Defiant loss to promotion contenders

Following a top class, packed, pre-match lunch in which the Lymm elders clearly beat their Rotherham counterparts in the ‘Crazy Blazers’ competition, and after the traditional winter break, it was time for Rotherham Titans, lying second in the league, to play Lymm for what turned out to be an entertaining, if somewhat forward-led, win for the Yorkshiremen.

Rotherham have only lost one game all season with 14 wins under their belts so a stern test was expected for 8th placed Lymm who have been showing good form in the last three matches having won two and drawn one.

The game kicked off with a fickle, light breeze blowing into Lymm’s faces on a cloudy and chilly day at Beechwood but a large crowd of both Cheshire and Yorkshire supporters were bravely lining the pitch ready for the action.

Early and robust pressure was applied by the burly Titans who looked well drilled and powerful in these initial exchanges. However, progress was repelled and they were well met by Lymm’s stern defensive patterns.

That was until the classy centre Hayes broke through and fed his right winger Taylor who scored sufficiently close to the posts for an easy conversion – 0 – 7 after 8 mins.

But Lymm were having none of it and immediately riposted as scrum half Cal Morris athletically caught the re-start and the ball was worked left along the sparky back division. Full back Jack Reynolds, joining the line and showing his continued outstanding form, cut through and fed Paddy Jennings on the left wing who scored near the posts which fly half Tom Shard converted – 7 – 7 after 10 mins.

A ‘ding-dong’ battle was on or so the spectators thought! There then followed a 20 min delay when the Titans veteran second row Matt Challinor went down with a suspected broken leg, and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Play resumed with an attacking line out for the Yorkshiremen, resulting in a rolling maul and a try from hooker Bergmanas after 13 mins. Once again Lymm responded and, following an attacking line-out of their own, they threatened the opposition’s line with Ben Thomson getting the ball over the whitewash. However, referee Jack Moorhouse and his assistant were unsighted sufficiently not to award the try.

However, a penalty was awarded which Shard converted taking the score to 10 – 14 after 17 mins.

Smelling blood, Rotherham kicked for the corner from a penalty once again, and went for the rolling maul which Bergmanas successfully scored from again. 10 – 19 after 20 mins.

The visitors extended their lead with another rolling maul try from flanker Newborn on 29 mins making it 10 – 26. It was beginning to get boring! This was followed by a penalty as the first half came to a close.

Half Time: Lymm 10 – 29 Rotherham Titans

Starting the second half with the intention of killing the game off, Rotherham extended their lead with a well worked try from Bustin, making it 10 – 34, as the rain started to get heavier.

Home spectators were buoyed to see No 8 talisman Ollie Higginson take the field for his first game of the season following a long term shoulder injury. The line out became heavily contested as Higginson competed successfully on the opposition’s throw, negating this threat.

The drizzle became a wetting rain which made match reporting difficult but I won’t bore you with my problems. Neither side dominated this period and the battle continued in no-man’s-land, between the 22’s.

Despite the previously mentioned fickle breeze literally changing ends, Lymm’s now traditional response of winning the second half against top of the leaguers kicked in, as it had against Leeds.

A cheeky dink of a chip over the on-rushing defensive line by Shard allowed centre James Kimber, making his 100th league appearance for Lymm, to collect, make a break and expertly feed replacement right winger Andy Williams who out-paced the cover to score wideout. Shard, despite the wide angle, converted well making it 15 – 36 after 64mins.

Under growing pressure, the Titans then had two yellow cards in quick succession, reducing the team to 13 men as Lymm, with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, upped their game in search of the bonus point fourth try.

The third try came when the ball was moved speedily from left to right and the final pass inside found centre Ste Pilkington who scored near the posts, for Shard to convert – 22 – 36 after 75 mins.

A final foray, in search of the double bonus try, came from Lymm’s last attacking line-out but returning hooker Rob Makin, despite a training ground move, could not quite make the line.

Full Time: Lymm 22 – 36 Rotherham Titans

The general opinion in the clubhouse was that this was an honourable loss against a big, well-drilled opposition who stuck to their dominant forward platform. Other words were used but they are not for printing. It was clearly an effective game-plan against a free-flowing home side.

Director of Rugby, Adam Fletcher, commented, ‘I thought the guys showed some great attacking flair and scored three really good tries. The weather halted us a little but I thought the boys still tried to move the ball.

‘Rotherham have an extremely powerful set piece and we felt the full force of it. They used their driving maul to great effect. It was great to have Ollie Higginson back on the pitch and proud to see James Kimber reach 100 games.

‘I hope Matt Challinor is doing well, we all wish him a speedy recovery,’ concluded Adam

Many thanks also to Jack Moorhouse, the referee and his assistants Tudor Griffiths and Jonathan Keeton.

Team: 1.Gav Woods (121) 2. James Pitcher (57)* 3. Matty Hand (96)* 4. James Yates C(111)* 5. Ben Thompson (21) 6. Harry Martin (44) 7. Joe Johnson (13)* 8. Rhys Lilley (45)* 9. Cal Morris (28) 10 Tom Shard (125)* 11. Paddy Jennings (41)* 12. James Kimber (100)* 13. Ste Pilkington (56)* 14. Nathan Beesley (59)* 15. Jack Reynolds (14)
Replacements: 16. Joe Higgins (11) 17 Rob Makin (53)* 18. Jordan Widdrington (235)* 19. Ollie Higginson (253)* 20. Andy Williams (14)*

Match Report: Simon Plumb

Match Photos: Tim Martin

Andy Williams on the way to scoring his try

Captain James Yates makes a break

Disallowed try by Ben Thompson


The form was submitted successfully.

You will now be redirected to our payment page.