Lymm 28 – 50 Fylde
1st Team Match Report | Saturday January 27 2024
Lymm blown away by second half blitz
Lymm welcomed Fylde to Beechwood, who were looking for revenge following the last minute defeat, courtesy of a Tom Shard drop goal, in the early season encounter. As it turned out there were no such last minute wobbles for the away side who had put the game well and truly to bed long before the final whistle.
The Lymm team sheet saw various changes from the previous week. Josh Hadland and Rhys Lilly returned to the back row. Callum Morris was restored at scrum-half, following illness and Nathan Beesley continued to deputise at full-back.
Fylde started with the strong breeze in their favour and were immediately on the attack, going through a series of phases almost unopposed, ending with a simple score under the posts. One minute gone and Lymm were 7-0 behind. Lymm responded and started to get into their work, asking questions of Fylde, who in return always looked dangerous with the ball in hand.
On 7 minutes Callum Morris took advantage of a quick tap penalty to cross the line, with Tom Shard adding the extras Lymm were level at 7-7.
Fylde responded and with Lymm struggling to get out of their own half, the away side were awarded a penalty, which was duly converted to take the score to 10-7 with 20 minutes gone. The next 10-minutes saw Lymm start to get some ascendancy, strong carrying from Ben Thompson and Steve Pilkington, asking questions of the Fylde defence.
Just as it looked like the home side must cross the line, Fylde broke out and with Lymm running out of defensive numbers, crossed the line under the posts, making the score 17-7 to the visitors with 10-minutes of the half remaining.
The rest of the half was nip and tuck, with both teams enjoying periods of possession, testing each other’s defences. This time Lymm were rewarded for their attacking efforts, with a great score by Harry Martin, the flanker collecting a lovely delayed pass from Morris to scythe through the Fylde defence, touching down to give Shard the conversion opportunity and take the half-time score to 14-17 to the visitors. With the breeze in favour of Lymm in the second half, there was plenty of optimism in the stands for the next period.
Half-time: Lymm 14 – Fylde 17
The first 10-minutes of the second-half could not have gone more to plan, kicking long and pinning Fylde down, the away side were finding it hard to get out, at this stage the half-time optimism seemed well placed. On 45 minutes Nathan Beesley benefitted from Fylde trying to play out, intercepting a pass from just inside the Fylde half to go under the post unopposed, Shard adding the extras to put Lymm in the lead for the first time in the game at 21-17.
Lymm continued to play in the Fylde half and following a continued period of pressure Matty Hand burrowed over, Shard landing a great conversion to take the score to 28-17 and a bonus point in the bag for Lymm. Lymm were dominant at this stage and a victory looked in sight.
Fylde clearly had other ideas and for the next 30-minutes it was all Fylde, who clicked into another gear, emptying the bench they played some powerful and skillful rugby, which Lymm had no answer for. Any optimism dissipated and thoughts of victory turned to damage limitation as the Fylde backs and forwards combined to blow Lymm away. 33 unanswered points later and having barely touched the ball in all that time Lymm players and spectators were left shell shocked.
The referee’s final whistle put Lymm out of their misery and Fylde’s revenge was well and truly served. Whilst the Lymm line-out struggled and the first up tackling wasn’t great during the period, the credit must really go to Fylde who for 30-minutes proved just too good.
Final score: Lymm 28 – Fylde 50
Looking for the positives, Lymm gained their first bonus point of the year, but 2024 has been a stuttering start, with the honeymoon over, the reality of Level 4 rugby is well and truly beginning to bite. Next week sees Lymm with a blank weekend to lick their wounds and re-group.
Adam Fletcher, Director of Rugby commented, ‘Feels a bit like Groundhog Day. For 50 minutes we were brilliant getting ourselves 28-17 in front. Fylde brought some heavy artillery off the bench that helped them kick on, they got momentum and we couldn’t wrestle it back.
‘Fylde showed some real class in the last period, their offloading game and speed of ball was brilliant.
‘I’m proud of our boys but we have to be able to match teams for the full 80 minutes if we are to come away with all the points,’ concluded Adam.
Next up in two- weeks’ time is Sheffield away, which will be no easy place to go, to attempt to avert the recent slide.
Team: Gav Woods (123), Rob Makin* (55), Matty Hand* (98), Ben Thompson (23), James Yates* (113), Harry Martin (46), Rhys Lilly* (46), Josh Hadland* (31), Cal Morris (29), Tom Shard* (127), Paddy Jennings* (43), James Kimber* (102), Steve Pilkington* (58), Andy Williams* (16) Nathan Beesley* (61).
Replacements: Joe Higgins (13), Nick Ashton (117), Joe Johnson (14), Oli Higginson* (255), Jack Stride 7.
() First team appearances
Referee: James O’Brien
Assistant Referees: Kieron Henry and Andy Irvine
Match Report: Neil Allen