Lymm 81 – 5 Northwich

1st Team Match Report | Saturday March 11 2023


Lymm ambitious for promotion

On a wet, windy and overcast day table-toppers Lymm, in front of the biggest crowd of the season, took on ninth placed local rivals Northwich in a game that will define whether they are promoted or not. Prior to the game, Neil Kelly hosted his final League pre match lunch as Honorary Club President, before standing down at the forthcoming AGM. 98 members and visitors were in attendance.

In addition the M&J’s section provided a Guard of Honour for both teams as they ran out onto the pitch.

A day for the whole club

Needing a four-try bonus point win and a healthy margin of positive points versus second-placed Blackburn, Lymm knew they had a big task to get as many points on the scoreboard as possible, to make Blackburn’s job next week even more difficult away at Manchester, as they have a game in hand.

So, with a crowd of around 400+ braving the weather, Lymm started the scoring promptly. Within three minutes Rob Makin, the Lymm hooker and try machine, crossed the whitewash following an attacking line-out, 5m out. 5 – 0 as the conversion was missed but Lymm’s intent was clear.

Rob Makin opens the Scoring

A dropped ball in the backs by Northwich was kicked on by right wing Beesley who went on to score after 10 mins. Full back Cormac Nolan converted making it 12 -0.

Nathan Beesley scores his 1st Try

Scrum half Cal Morris and fly half Tom Shard then combined well and Shard’s clever kick was caught by left winger Paddy Jennings, returning after injury, and he scored wide out. 19 – 0 after 13 mins, following Nolan’s excellent conversion.

Paddy Jennings scores his 1st Try

Lymm continued with their attacking intentions but an interception by Northwich, which would have resulted in a certain try, was stopped by the referee for an earlier infringement. Meanwhile Nolan made a spectacular, off-field save on the touchline from a Northwich kick to keep the ball in play. It was subsequently thumped up-field to commence another attack. Makin, who tends not to score single tries in a match, continued his spree with his second, a bonus point try, after 22 mins making it 24 – 0.

Bob Makin scores his 2nd Try

Following another sniping break by Morris, back row Harry Martin was set free to score after 24 min, making it 31 – 0 with Nolan’s conversion.

Harry Martin en route to score

A yellow card for Northwich then followed making life even more difficult. Makin went over for his hat trick on 29 mins taking the score to 36 – 0.

Makin score 3rd Try

Following an attacking line-out in Northwich ‘s 22 Rhys Lilley at No 8, went over wide out on the left making it 43 – 0 after 32 mins with Nolan’s conversion.

Rhys Lilley about to crash over

However, Lymm, and that hooker again, were not finished yet in this half as Makin pounced once more to score following a slick handling move in the backs, for winger Beesley to pass back inside for the hooker, who else, to score his fourth. 50 – 0 as Nolan’s conversion went over and the half time whistle went.

Makin scoring his 4th try

Half Time:Lymm 50 – 0 Northwich

Discussion in the massing throng at half time centred on whether there had ever been a half of rugby played at Lymm where a hooker has scored four tries. It appears to be unprecedented and former first team hooker and current President Neil Kelly was struggling to understand what he had just witnessed.

Lymm were now in a ruthless mood and determined to exploit the situation even further. Speedster Beesley, who has been a constant threat all season with ball-in-hand, scored a well taken try which Nolan converted – 57 – 0 after 47 mins.

Beesley scores his 2nd Try

Northwich took some compensation from a charged down kick by fly half Nick Baldwin who went on to score – 57 – 5 after 50 mins.

Ben Simpson who, at half time, had replaced Morris at scrum half was removed from play due to illness and Morris resumed his duties. A little more magic from Nolan, as he weaved his way through the visitor’s defence, resulted in a well taken try for him, on the hour taking the score to 64 – 5 with his own conversion.

Cormac Nolan scoring

Winger Beesley continued his scintillating form, following clever handling in the backs, and by beating the last man on the outside, scoring his hat trick try wide out on the right. Nolan converted well taking the score to 71 – 5 after 64 mins.

Beesley scores his 3rd Try

Paddy Jennings on the other wing then scored his second try wide out on the left on 70 mins making it 76-5.

As the time ticked away Lymm, desperate to maximise the points difference at the top of the table, made one more effort and the ball was kicked through and chased by Beesley who got there first to dot the ball down, for his fourth try. The conversion was missed, taking the final score to 81 – 5.

Full Time: Lymm 81 – 5 Northwich

Northwich have had a difficult season both on and off the pitch and Lymm, as near neighbours, wish them well, to not only survive but also thrive in due course. They played pluckily on this day but were simply outclassed by an ambitious Lymm team.

Lymm must now wait for Blackburn’s final result next week before they know if they have succeeded in the season’s objective of promotion to National League 2 North. If Lymm are promoted, they could be the only truly amateur club to play at Level 4 in the RFU National Leagues. Blackburn must win by a margin of over 94 points to topple Lymm.

Director of Rugby Adam Fletcher who Played 150 1stXV games before taking up coaching, celebrated 200 matches in charge, commented:

“It was a fantastic performance. The boys showed such a high level of skill in appalling weather conditions. We had a “plan to stick to our processes and concentrate on our performance. I thought the boys did that really well and the points followed.

“What an amazing season and what an amazing day. The guard of honour from the M&Js and packed clubhouse post game is what we are all about.

“We now wait to see what Blackburn can do next week. Regardless of that result I am so proud of what the boys have achieved this season.”

The League season may be finished for Lymm but we now await the draw for the Regional Cup competition. There will be 4 games for Lymm, with at least one being at home.

Finally, a big thank you to Joe Watson, who has now retired from rugby after 102 1st XV league appearances. A rock solid, reliable clubman and member of our 1st XV squad since he arrived at Lymm from Harrogate. We will also be losing the photographic services of his dad Stuart, who lives in Yorkshire. Stuart has followed Joe and the team over many seasons providing excellent match photos. Thank you Stuart.

Team: 1. Gavin Woods (105) 2. Rob Makin* (47) 3. Samir Tahroui (9) 4. James Yates* {Capt} (97) Sam Dickenson* (16) 6. Joe Watson (102) 7. Harry Saxton-Martin (30) 8. Rhys Lilly* (29) Cal Morris (13) 10. Tom Shard* (108) 11. Paddy Jennings* (25) 12. Scott Redfern (108) James Kimber* (86) 14. Nathan Beesley* (50) 15. Cormac Nolan* (210) 16. Ed Morris (29) 17. Ben Thompson (9) 18. Ben Simpson* (17)

( ) = number of Lymm First XV League appearances.

* Former Lymm Colt’s Academy/M&J player. 11 in the 18 man squad.

A big thank you to our Referee, Mr Andrew Shaw, Cumbria & North RFU North Group and his Northern Panel Coach, Mr Fred Howard. We hope that you enjoyed your visit to Lymm RFC.

As always a big thank you to Stuart Watson & Tim Martin for the Photographs.

Match Report: Simon Plumb













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