Lymm 43 – 10 Manchester

1st Team Match Report | Saturday November 26 2022

Manchester Blown Away by Lymm

Lymm welcomed Manchester to Crouchley Lane for this Northern Division Regional 1 – North West Division encounter, the first encounter between the two teams at this league level. The weatherman had forecast rain and a strong breeze to arrive during the afternoon and on queue at 3pm the rain came and the breeze started to fill. Both elements would favour the team playing towards the clubhouse end. And it was Lymm who were to have the breeze at their backs for the first 40minutes. Question was, how many points would the breeze be worth?

There were some changes to the side that travelled to Macclesfield 2 weeks ago. Ali Sutherland started at lock in place of Joe Murphy who is moving to London to work; James Pitcher replaced injured Joe Watson in the back row; Scot Redfern started at 12. On the bench, flanker Harry Martin came up from university and was joined by Cal Morris and prop Nick Aston, who was starting his 100th 1stXV game for Lymm. A special mention must be given to Cormac Nolan who was starting his 200th 1stXV game.

Well the advantage came early, when within two minutes of the kick-off Lymm were awarded a penalty about 30m out, which was duly kicked by Cormac NOLAN. Lymm 3 – 0 Manchester. The next ten minutes were filled with Lymm having the bulk of the possession within the Manchester half, only for attacking advantage to be lost due to some poor handling and misguided kicks. Thirteen minutes gone and after a successful kick to the corner, the Lymm forwards were able to steal the ball at the resulting Manchester lineout, a maul ensued and from this Ali SUTHERLAND was able to cross the try-line. The conversion was added by NOLAN, 10 – 0.

But it was not all one-way traffic, as Manchester were now starting to get some of their own good possession, and following an excellent run by their winger Tom Travis, they won a penalty which was taken quickly and the ball came to their centre Joe WILLIAMS who duly scored. The conversion attempt, against the breeze failed, 10 – 5 after fifteen minutes of play. From the restart Lymm were able to keep Manchester pinned within their 22m zone, any relieving kicks to touch barely went as far as the halfway line. Following more Lymm possession, Manchester were penalised at a tackle, the location was only just in the Manchester half, but with the aid the breeze, NOLAN slotted the kick over, 13 – 5.

By now the rain had stopped, but the breeze continued to blow. Twenty five minutes in, and following a Lymm clearance kick that carried beyond the home dead ball line, it was scrum back for Manchester on the Lymm 22m, where they won some clean possession and after a clever chip ahead it was their winger Tom TRAVIS who scored in the corner. The conversion, alas, was missed, 13 – 10. However, Manchester had shown how lethal they could be with some decent possession.

From the subsequent restart, the ball was knocked-on by Manchester – scrum to Lymm, which they won and some swift handling gave Beesley a run but another Infringement by the visitors resulted in a penalty to Lymm. Up stepped NOLAN to kick the penalty, 16 – 10. This quickly became 19 – 10 after NOLAN kicked another penalty from inside his own half on 36 minutes. Just before the interval, the Manchester No. 7 was yellow carded. Then following a turn-over at a scrum, the ball came to James PITCHER who was to score wide out. This time the conversion was missed, 24-10. A very competitive half of rugby, Lymm marginally had more possession, both teams scored two tries but with the breeze in his favour, Nolan’s accurate boot slotted 4 penalties and a conversion. So how would or could the breeze benefit Manchester in the second half?

HT Lymm 24 – 10 Manchester

From the restart the pattern of play was established, with Manchester keeping Lymm pinned in their own half with some astute kicking to the corners. However, Lymm still managed to get a fair share of possession, and following a break by Sam Dickenson, the ball was passed to Nathan BEESLEY who duly scored, the conversion was added by NOLAN, 31 – 10.

The following thirty minutes saw most of the game being played within the Lymm half. With Manchester now benefitting from the increasingly strengthening wind, they were able to maintain a constant barrage of attack after attack against the Lymm defence, which at one point saw Lymm reduced to fourteen players, with Ed Morris being yellow-carded. However, through some resolute defensive work and the ability to retain what possession they had, the Lymm defence held. Then with some thirty five minutes of the second half gone, a promising Lymm handling move was thwarted by a deliberate knock-on. The penalty was successfully kicked to the corner where the line-out was cleanly won and from a driving maul Sam DICKENSON was able to score. No conversion this time, but the bonus point achieved, 36 – 10.

And then from the ensuing restart, the ball was cleanly gathered and resulted in a rampaging and charging 80m run by Cal MORRIS to score. From a similar position to his missed conversion attempt a minute earlier, NOLAN then demonstrated his skill and kicking repertoire. He obliged with low level bullet kick to avoid the strong wind with an excellent conversion. Referee, Mr Adam Tweddle then blew the whistle to end another excellent 5 point win for LYMM who remain in 2nd place in the league.

FT Lymm 43 – 10 Manchester

The second half display by Lymm was magnificent. To keep a team of Manchester’s calibre to zero, whilst playing against the wind was superb, and achieved by some firm defence, good ball retention and excellent handling.

A delighted DoR Adam Fletcher commented after the game “I thought we were a little rusty in the first half, probably down to having no game the previous week but we built up our score with well taken penalties and kept them at arms’ length.

In the second half against the wind, I was really happy with how we played. We kept the ball really well and scored three excellent tries. On a sad note we lost Steve Pilkington who was kept in hospital overnight with what looks to be a broken arm”.

Next week, Lymm travel to 3rd Placed Rossendale, KO 2.15pm.

Squad: 1. Gave Woods (96), 2, Rob Makin*(36), 3. Matty Hand*(76), 4. Ali Sutherland (69), 5. Sam Dickenson*(5), 6. James Pitcher*(39), 7. Ed Morris (26), 8. Rhys Lilly*(21), 9. Ben Simpson*(9), 10. Tom Shard*(98), 11. Paddy Jennings*(16), 12. Scott Redfern (97). 13. Steve Pilkington*(42), 14. Nathan Beesley*[C] (41), 15. Cormac Nolan*(200). 16. Harry Martin *(21), 17. Cal Morris* (3), 18. Nick Ashton (100).

*Product of Lymm M&Js/Colts Academy

() Career 1st XV appearances for Lymm

Thank you to our Referee, Mr Adam Tweddle, RFU North Group, who travelled down from Durham and his coach Mr Fred Howard, we hope that you enjoyed your visit to Lymm RFC

Match Report: Rob Sparkes


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