Lymm 79 – 21 Kendal
1st Team Match Report | Saturday January 21 2023
Mission Accomplished by Lymm
Kendal were the visitors to Beechwood on Saturday, with the simple mission for Lymm to secure a bonus point win to keep the pressure on Blackburn at the top of the table. With no other fixtures taking place in the league such a win would leave Lymm 2 points behind the league leaders.
Much of the chatter before the game was about the proposed RFU law change to reduce the tackle height to waist high from next season. Without getting into the debate, it is fair to say there was a wide spectrum of views aired, which I’m sure will be the case in clubhouses up and down the country. As if to remind everyone about the importance of tackling the issue Lymm welcomed back skipper James Yates to the fray, having had 3 months on the sidelines due to concussion. The only other change saw the return of Kieran O’Callaghan to the bench and a first start at prop for Samir Tahraoui. Special mention to Gavin Woods making his 100th appearance for Lymm today a great achievement for a player who it is reckoned has notched up over 500 senior appearances for various north-west clubs over his long and illustrious career. Also Scott Redfern on his 101st appearance.
Gav Woods 100th 1st XV appearance for the Club
In the pre-match preview on their website Kendal had dubbed the visit to Lymm as mission improbable and with bright fresh conditions and very little wind the stage was set for Lymm to deliver on their task.
Nathan Beesley en route for 1st Try
It didn’t take long for Lymm to cross the line with Nathan Beesley intercepting and crossing the whitewash with barely a minute gone, Cormac Nolan added the extras and 7-0 in the first minute did not bode well for the visitors. Lymm attacked with pace, spurred on by the quick start and Beesley soon added a second, again converted by Nolan to take the score to 14-0. Worse was to come for Kendal as another Lymm breakout ended with James Kimber going over under the posts to make it 21-0 after 10 minutes.
James Kimber crosses for try No 3
At this point Lymm became loose and over ambitious and gifted Kendal two quick tries. The first by Flanker Matt Houghton, the second an intercept by Winger Dan Sharrock, both converted by Glen Weightman, to make the score 21-14, with barely 15-minutes on the clock. Kendal where rightly buoyed by this and the game settled down into an even contest. On 25 minutes following a line-out and rolling maul hooker Rob Makin emerged with the ball over the line, to continue his try scoring streak and secure the important bonus point, 26-14. Kendal where however not about to lie down yet and put pressure on the Lymm line, which resulted in Olli Higginson receiving a yellow card in the desperate defensive effort. Kendal kept up the pressure for the rest of the half and deservedly went over for a converted try by No8, Steven Nelson. Down to 14 men and with Kendal tails up, somebody spotted Tom Cruise lurking in the nearby woods ready to pounce! Nerves were put more at ease on the stroke of half-time when Sam Dickenson went over for Lymm from a well worked lineout to take the half-time score to 31-21.
Bonus point try by Sam Dickenson
It had been a lacklustre first half from Lymm who had thought the game was won after the first 10 minutes, whilst the final score of the half settled the nerves there was still work to do to secure the win.
Half-time Lymm 31 – 21 Kendal
The first 10 minutes of the second half were even, with Lymm’s poor kicking encouraging Kendal to run back at them, which they did with great enthusiasm. The next score would be important and luckily it went to Lymm, with a slightly fortuitous interception finding its way eventually to Samir Tahraoui, who crashed over to take the score to 36-21. Lymm went over again soon after, with the trademark blind side line-out move seeing Higginson set up Makin to go over for his second. This try took the score to 41-21 and finally some breathing space between the two teams. Having competed well these two scores seemed to knock the stuffing out of Kendal and with 20 minutes to go the floodgates opened and the rest of the game became a one-way procession.
Callum Morris score from a quick tapped penalty
Rorio Zheng came off the bench and looked dangerous whenever he got the ball, setting up Ali Sutherland to go over, Nolan converting 48-21. Callum Morris started to dominate proceedings with both boot and ball in hand, going over himself via a quick tap penalty, with Nolan converting 55-21.
Harry Martin Scores Lymm’s 10th Try
Kendal’s resistance was broken and Lymm crossed the line at will, next up the industrious Harry Martin went over to make the score 60-21.
Paddy Jennings scoring one of his two tries
The last ten minutes of the match was the Paddy Jennings show with Kendal unable to cope with his bullocking runs, scoring twice himself, one converted by Nolan and setting up Morris to finish the match with a flourish dotting down under the posts for a simple Nolan conversion, to make the final score 79-21.
Lymm had scored nearly 50 unanswered points in the second half and ultimately the speed and skill of the athletic Lymm team had proved too much for Kendal. There will however be tougher tests to come and if Lymm are to maintain pressure on Blackburn.
DoR Adam Fletcher gives cautious praise to his team. “To score 79 points is very pleasing but the score line doesn’t show the true reflection of the game. We were brilliant in the first 15 and the last 15 but for the remainder of the match our basic skills and concentration were not on point.
“Kendal played well and put us under some real pressure. Our try on the stroke of half-time was needed and probably changed the momentum of the game.
“Another 5 points in the bag. Bring on next week”.
Mission accomplished however, 13 tries to 3, Tom Cruise banished and everyone retreated happily to the bar to get warm, celebrate the achievements of our newest 100 club members Gav Woods and Scott Redfern and contemplate next week’s trip to Kirby Lonsdale.
There will probably be a team bus to KL next week and there will be some spaces for supporters. Those wishing to travel should let Adam Fletcher no so he can monitor available seats.
Squad: 1. Gav Woods (100); 2. Rob Makin* (40); Samir Tahraoui (4); 4. Joe Watson (95); 5. Sam Dickenson* (9); 6. Harry Martin (24); 7. Ali Sutherland (74); 8. Oli Higginson* (249); 9. Cal Morris (7); 10. Tom Shard* (102); 11. Paddy Jennings* (20); 12. Scott Redfern (101); 13. James Kimber* (79); 14. Nathan Beesley* (C) (45); 15. Cormac Nolan* (204); Kieron O’Callaghan* (17); 17. James Yates* (91); 18. Rorio Zheng (4).
( ) = number of Lymm First XV League appearances
* Former Lymm Academy/M&J player
A big thank you to our Referee, Mr James Coubrough, North Federation Group and to Mr Fred Howard, his assessor/coach, we hope that you both enjoyed your visit to Lymm.
Match Report: Neil Allen
Photographs: Stuart Watson
Lymm’s 2nd & 3rd XV Away games were postponed due to frozen pitches.