Lymm 46 – 10 Wirral
1st Team Match Report | Saturday September 18 2021
Coach Adam Fletcher had a few changes to make to his match day roster and gave a home league debut to young prop James Sherlock. Scott Redfern was at fullback for unavailable Cormac Nolan; Matty Connolly at Lock for unavailable Aaron Rasheed.
From the kick off Wirral put Lymm under pressure, twice being tackled into touch just feet from the try line. Lymm eventually found front foot with Adam Bray making good yards down the middle of the pitch but his pass was knocked on 15 metres out. This was to be the pattern for much of the game.
A penalty to Lymm came next allowing them to set up a line out inside Wirral’s 22 metre line. Olly Higginson made the first of his many line breaks before slipping a well timed pass to Hooker Rob Makin who crossed the try line but was held up. Next Scott Redfern attacked, creating space for himself with a dummy. Again his pass was knocked on in the tackle. Finally Lymm got a reward for their crisp off loading and strong support play with Redfern kicking a penalty from in front of the posts. 3 v 0.
Higginson and centre Steve Pilkington both initiated further Lymm attacks, both running out of space as the scrambling Wirral defence hauled them down and Lymm were dominating possession. The visitors though capitalised on the opportunity that came their way after Lymm were penalised in Wirral territory. They kicked for a line out in Lymm’s 22, and after some deft handling were able to score from close range. The conversion was missed, 3 v 5.
Lymm’s response was immediate. With a counter attack they found space on the right wing and Pilkington fed winger Sam Wadsworth who finished well, 8 v 5. Conversion missed.
From the restart Wirral worked their way back into Lymm’s red zone, and Lymm were soon down to 14 men with James Sherlock yellow carded for a high tackle. Lymm defended bravely and Wirral were unable to gain from the penalty and trouble the scoreboard. Half time 8 v 5.
After the interval Wirral twice came close. A dangerous break was interrupted by Tom Bray’s covering tackle, but the second attack saw Lymm penalised for the umpteenth time and Wirral patiently take advantage to score a try very similar to their first one and take the lead 8 v 10. Again the conversion was missed. Their lead was to be short lasting however. Prop Kurt Riley bludgeoned his way through the middle of the Wirral defensive line to give the home side a good position to attack from. More off loads and crisp passing ensued and finally Tom Bray was able to twist his way to score, and with Redfern’s conversion Lymm lead 15 v 10.
Further Lymm breaks from Ben Stansfield and Tom Bray were again brought to a halt the final passes being knocked-on with the try li e beckoning. A clash of heads between two Wirral players brought things to a halt for some time, thankfully those involved were able to walk away in the end. When play resumed so did the pattern of Lymm not capitalising on the opportunities they created.
Wirral were still in the game and the Lymm support were expressing their nervousness, ruminating on whether the chances dropped might prove decisive in the end.
The arrival on the pitch of veteran prop Gav Woods seemed to bring some composure to Lymm’s attack and the onslaught began.
Scintillating attacks saw first Gregor Watson and then Paddy Jennings cross the line, with Redfern converting both, taking Lymm’s lead to 29 v 10, and securing the try bonus point. Watson got a second try soon after, with Wadsworth’s break and miss pass putting him in plenty of space. Redfern again converted, 36 v 10.
Wirral now looked tired and unable to cope with Lymm’s pace and ball movement, and now the passes were sticking for Lymm. The irrepressible Oli Higginson tore through the Merseysider’s failing defence and Watson finished for his hatrick.
With seconds left on the clock Redfern kicked a simple penalty and took the final score to 46 v 10.
This was a hugely impressive performance by Adam Fletcher’s boys. For much of the game their adventurous approach was not bearing fruit but they stuck with it and were rewarded in spades. In fact it seems clear that this engaging style of rugby is in the DNA of every member of the largely home grown squad.
SQUAD: Kurt Riley, Rob Makin, James Sherlock, James Yates, Matt Connolly, Adam Bray, Harry Martin, Oli Higginson, Gregor Watson, Tom Bray, Sam Wadsworth, Liam Connolly, Ste Pilkington, Ben Stansfield, Scott Redfern, Gav Woods, Ally Sutherland, Paddy Jennings.
Referee: Mr Kristian Garland – RFU North Panel
Next week Lymm make the long trip to Alnwick in Northumberland