Lymm 28 – 12 York
1st Team Match Report | Saturday December 11 2021
Lymm triumph with bonus point victory in the rain
Lymm welcomed York for a very rare visit to Beechwood, given it had been so long since the last time and with the opposition coach delayed on the M62, everyone was wondering if York had forgotten the way? When the game finally started the weather had set in and everyone was braced for another long afternoon squinting out from under brolly’s.
As has become the norm, the Lymm team showed several changes from the previous week, the most notable saw Nathan Beesley and Joe Senior return in tandem on the wings for the first time since those heady pre-covid days when the sun shone, penalty counts were in single figures and all was well with the world!
York started the game with the wind in their favour. The first action saw York penalized, which resulted in a Lymm breakout, led not for the last time during the afternoon, by the Lymm number 8 Oli Higginson, who after making a great break finally handed over to the supporting prop Kurt Riley to bundle over the line. With the extras added by Cormac Nolan, and York barely off the bus it was 7-0 to Lymm.
York however hit back immediately and an innocuous looking kick through failed to be dealt with by Lymm and York touched down, 7-5 and the pre-match chatter of two evenly matched sides appeared to be playing out. An exchange of penalties saw Nolan slot his but the York player miss to make it 10-5 to Lymm.
On 15-minutes Higginson was again on the charge and after going through various hands the ball finally found Nolan to go over to make it 15-5. At this point the York number 8 Williem Enslin, not to be outdone by his opposite number, started to take up the challenge and the Lymm defence were severely tested by Enslin and the snipping York scrum-half Toby Atkin. Anybody who has watched Lymm this season will know what comes next, a succession of penalties and penalty bingo being played by the crowd, to see if we could beat the previous weeks tally. With the game largely played around the centre of the field and the Lymm defence working overtime, Lymm hobbled to half-time with a double figure penalty count but no change in the scoreboard.
15-5 to Lymm at half-time and with the strong wind in their favour in the second half, the home crowd were hopeful of a much-needed victory.
Indeed, the second half started very much like the first with a Lymm breakout, this time led by Riley with Higginson in support, Higginson eventually found Steve Pilkington and the centre just managed to ground the ball before the York defence arrived. 20-5 to Lymm.
By now the rain was wet and heavy and the pattern of the first half returned, strong Lymm defence, in which James Yates and Ed Morris stood out, and the constant blast of the referee’s whistle penalizing Lymm. As happened with Macclesfield some weeks before, York opted at every turn to take the lineout option, which Lymm duly stole to clear any danger. By now the game was a penalty fest interspersed with the occasional passage of rugby. One such passage saw York benefit again from a kick-through try to take the score to 20-12. Lymm broke back immediately, with the highlight of the day. Nolan came into the Lymm attacking line on a perfect angled run, before offloading to Nathan Beesley, standing the York full-back up and leaving him for dead with blistering acceleration and pace, for a bonus point score, 25-12.
25-12 soon became 28-12 to Lymm, when a rare penalty award for the home side was kicked by Nolan. That was the end of the scoring and the last 15 minutes of the game were played out in sleeting rain with everybody hoping that each blast of the referee’s whistle would be the last. Eventually everyone was put out of their misery and could head to the warmth off the clubhouse.
This was an excellent bonus point win for Lymm against a York side who are acquitting themselves extremely well in their first season at this level. Lymm now lie 8th in the table at the halfway point of the season. However this particular reporter cannot help feeling totally exasperated by watching Lymm at present, with the same game happening on repeat week after week. It must be even worse for the players? Hopefully, the new-year will bring a change in the current pattern of things?
Before then Lymm entertain Rossendale at Beechwood next Saturday 18th December, KO 2.15, for the last game before Christmas.
Adam Fletcher commented. ‘Another game where the conditions played a huge part. I thought we managed them really well, especially in the 1st half. To go in at halftime with a 10pt lead after playing into the wind gave us a lot of confidence.
‘There was some huge efforts with Oli, Kurt, Yatesy and Ed Morris putting in outstanding performances.
‘It was great to have Joe Senior and Nathan Beesley back, it gave us a threat on the edges. Johnny Leota was influential again especially with some of the shots he put in.
‘Discipline is still work in progress but overall I’m very happy with the 5pts’
1) Gav Woods, 2) Adam Bray, 3) Kurt Riley, 4) Joe Watson, 5) James Yates, 6) Rhys Lilly, 7) Ed Morris, 8) Oli Higginson, 9) Gregor Watson, 10) Scott Redfern, 11) Nathan Beesley, 12) Johnny Leota, 13) Steve Pilkington, 13) Joe Senior, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Nick Ashton, 17) Rob Makin, 18) Liam Connolly.
Referee: Mr Patrick Wheeler – Yorkshire and RFU North Panel
Match Report: Neil Allen