Lymm 33 – 26 Tynedale

1st Team Match Report | Saturday September 23 2023

Lymm Achieve Historic First

Lymm welcomed Tynedale RFC to Crouchley Lane for this Northern National 2 North encounter, the first encounter between the two teams at this league level. Indeed the pre- match briefing notes made mention of the last encounter between the two teams, their meeting occurring at Corbridge a mere 38 years ago on the 28th September 1985, the occasion being the first round of John Player Special Cup, at the time England’s premier rugby union cup competition – Lymm having qualified as Cheshire Cup Winners!

The result that day being a win for the home team. In fact there were five members of the Lymm side from that day in 1985, in attendance at the club today. Their collective memories still ruminating about the game, and salivating over the chance for the rematch.

The readers will know that this is Lymm’s first excursion into this level of league rugby – the fourth flight of rugby in England. Tynedale on the other hand are ‘old-hands’ at playing rugby at this, and in fact at the higher National 1, level. The league table, albeit only after three games being played, showed that both teams were languishing at the wrong end of the table, though with only the one point separating the two sides. Both looking for their first win of the season.

So, much to play for.

The weather was, for a change, quite pleasing, with dry conditions, overcast with sunny spells and a slight breeze. The pitch was in immaculate condition. The newly refurbished Halfway House looking to provide much sustenance for the crowd.

Kick off for the first half went to Tynedale, playing towards the clubhouse end. The initial quarter of the match was as expected with both teams enjoying periods of possession, both in their half and in their opponent’s. However, some good defence and occasional poor handling denying any try scoring opportunities.

Following a break by Ali Sutherland, Lymm were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. The kick at goal was declined in favour of a kick to touch, alas the crooked throw at the ensuing lineout ended that attacking chance.

Then soon after 8 minutes of play, the first of two injuries to Lymm backs. First, right wing Joe Senior was forced to leave with what looked like a hamstring issue, and within another 7 minutes, fullback Cormac Nolan also had to leave the pitch, also with a leg injury.

The extent of their injuries is unknown at present, so Lymm will be hoping for quick recoveries for both players. The replacements for these two were a contrasting pair, one being the much experienced Andy Rowley, the other the exciting Andy Williams. Both would fit well into the Lymm style of play.

Just after 20 minutes Lymm had a fluent movement down the right wing, a score looked certain, only to be denied by a late touch-judge call of foot in touch. Denied on this occasion Lymm kept on pressing. Another penalty kick to the corner, this time though it was followed by a successful lineout, then the forwards rumbled forward, and over the goal line.

The person at the bottom being the robust prop, Matty HAND. The conversion was good from fly half Tom SHARD. The scoreboard could now be used: Lymm 7 – 0 Tynedale.

What followed was a golden period for Lymm with two further tries being added. With constant possession, and with handling improved, breakthroughs started to come. First an outstanding break and a 20m torpedo pass from that turbo-propelled prop Hand, to left wing gave Paddy JENNINGS the space to score wide out.

The conversion was again successful by SHARD. Lymm 14 – 0 Tynedale. And within two minutes, Jack REYNOLDS scored, though the conversion this time was missed. Lymm 19 – 0 Tynedale.

Now three tries to the good, Lymm looked to establish control over the game. However, like with the first twenty minutes, the possession was shared. Tynedale had some opportunities of their own within the Lymm 22, but more often than not possession was surrendered.

Then with half time soon to be blown, some ill-discipline by a Lymm player gave Tynedale a penalty about 30m out from the Lymm line. The penalty was taken quickly, the Lymm defence possibly contemplating their halftime orange, nevertheless a slick passing move and from about 15m out the Tynedale hooker Jacob OLIVER burst through to score under the posts. Conversion by Jake RODGERS. Halftime whistle blown.

Half time Score: Lymm 19 – 7 Tynedale.

The second half started with, some much welcome bright sunshine, Lymm now kicking to the clubhouse end. Early possession for Lymm ensued and within 2 of the kick-off were awarded a penalty. Up stepped SHARD to kick the goal. Lymm 22 – 7 Tynedale.

Possession was as before being shared between the teams, though Tynedale were seemingly unable to create much attacking material. Often their chances being loss due to conceding penalties. After one such penalty on 14 minutes, and a kick to the corner, and some excellent interplay between both forwards and backs, and after several rucks and mauls, the ball was eventually to appear out wide on the right wing, where replacement back row Harry MARTIN scored. No conversion made. Lymm 27 – 7 Tynedale.

Lymm’s fourth try, and the bonus point secured. Now, with a ‘three score lead’ and just about 25 minutes of the game remaining, this was when the spectators were expecting Lymm to effectively ‘close out’ the game, by establishing a tight control of the game.

But Tynedale is an experienced team and full of good players, and with their own desire to secure a first win of the season. Again, not long after Lymm had scored, Tynedale pressed hard, their good break into the Lymm 22, the ball through some pairs of hands, and there was the hooker OLIVER to score his second try. The conversion was good, this time by Josh LESLIE. Lymm 27 – 14 Tynedale.

As opposed to the tight game required to complete the win, the game remained open. Lymm kept Tynedale within their own 22m. Their clearance kick made it to their own 10m, where Lymm secured the lineout, then possession in midfield, before another penalty was in Lymm’s favour. Again SHARD was successful and the score went to Lymm 30 – 14 Tynedale.

OK, so now the Lymm control will come…..No! Tynedale were themselves able to exert some control with continuous possession and several incursions into the Lymm 22. After 31 minutes, a break and replacement Micky REWCASTLE scored. Conversion again was from LESLIE. Lymm 30 – 21 Tynedale.

Gulp. 36 minutes and it occurred again. Possession to Tynedale, a break and move movement, and there was OLIVER to score his hat-trick try. And Tynedale’s own 4th try of the afternoon. The tricky conversion was narrowly missed. Lymm 30 – 26 Tynedale.

Three minutes to go and Tynedale were buzzing. Any possession they get they would surely attack the Lymm line again. They retained the ball at the restart, they escaped their 22, as far as the 10m line, still with continued possession, until a dropped pass.

Was that it all over? The clock was fast approaching full time. The Lymm scrum was good, possession was retained and then Tynedale infringed. Just time for the kick at goal [from near on 40ms out], SHARD slotted it, and the final whistle blew.

Final Score: Lymm 33 – 26 Tynedale.

And, yet again, this Lymm team have made history, with their first win at Level 4 Rugby. A massive achievement, and one that will surely be repeated.
5 league points to Lymm [win plus 4 try bonus]
2 league points to Tynedale [losing within 7 bonus, plus 4 try bonus]

A reflective DOR Adam Fletcher commented later, ‘What a great day for the club. The 2nd team and Eagles with big wins and the 1st team getting their first win at level 4.

‘I thought at times during the game we were excellent. We caused Tyndale problems throughout and scored some great tries.  We need to learn how to put teams away at this level, we are still a bit naive and made hard work of it.

‘After last-play losses against Wharfedale and Huddersfield it was so important we got the win. I feel that the squad now believe they belong at this level and the win should boost our confidence going forward.

‘On a negative note, we did pick up a few injuries. I hope Cormac Nolan and Joe Senior aren’t as bad as first feared,’ he concluded.

Next week, Lymm travel to 3rd Placed Fylde.

Team:  1.Gavin Woods, 2.James Pitcher, 3.Matty Hand, 4.James Yates [c], 5.Ali Sutherland, 6.Sean Callender, 7.Josh Hadland, 8.Rhys Lilly, 9.Cal Morris, 10.Tom Shard, 11.Paddy Jennings, 12.Jack Reynolds, 13.Ste Pilkington, 14.Joe Senior, 15.Cormac Nolan

Replacements: 16.Ben Thomson, 17.Ralph McEachran, 18.Harry Martin, 19.Andy Williams, 20.Andy Rowley

Referee: Mr Henry Pearson

Assistant referees: Dr James Gray and Don Helme

4th official: Malcolm Kimber

Match Report: Robert Sparkes

Left wing Paddy Jennings dives over for his try in the corner

Replacement Andy Williams bursts up his wing

Second row Ali Sutherland makes a break

Prop Matty Hand scores from a rolling maul

Back row Harry Martin scores

Fly half Tom Shard convert from wide out


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