Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday September 3 2022

Lymm 3rdXV lose close fought encouter

Lymm 3s kicked off their 22/23 season with a home encounter against local rivals Northwich 2s. With some members of the team being another year older and others being a notch or two higher on their belts after a relaxed pre-season, it was difficult to predict what sort of performance the Eagle 3s would produce. In a league with mostly 1st and 2nd teams, Lymm 3s will generally be competing against higher level teams and players. Northwich 1st team play at Level 5, in the same league as Lymm 1st team, and it was clear from their extremely enthusiastic warm up (wassat?) that several of the Northwich players were recognised as having played last season for their 1st team.

With Captain Olly Brown once again leading the team this season, Lymm managed to get good numbers on to the field, but with only 8 out of the 19 available players being recognised forwards, it meant a long grinding afternoon for the pack. Back row Matt Hill stepped up to the 2nd row to partner with regular lock Ollie Chesworth, to provide a formidable and very stable platform.

The first half was even, with Northwich playing a more structured game compared to Lymm’s more open “off the cuff” style. However, both sides were guilty of forcing unnecessary passes, or trying to offload in the tackle when retaining possession might have been the better option. This led to a lot of scrums, where fortunately, Lymm had the slight ascendancy, due in part to the experience of props Ollie Brown and Dave Coon. However, any advantage gained was almost immediately snuffed out by Northwich, who were very good in the breakdown area and starved Lymm of possession, allowing them to feed their dangerous attacking players. However it was Lymm who managed to score first after only 12 mins. A centre field scrum was followed by several rolling drives to within 5mof the try line. A penalty for Lymm for hands in the ruck led to a quick tap by centre McAvoy, who powered over with the conversion from Anderson (7-0).

Northwich were stung into action and a wayward clearing kick from Lymm was pounced on by the fast Northwich full back, who broke through and fed their centre resulting in a converted try (7-7) after 18 minutes. Lymm responded quickly with several good forward drives allowing scrum half Kinsey and fly half Reddicliff to feed McAvoy again to sidestep the full back for another try on 30 mins. The conversion by Anderson brought the score to (14-7). Again, Northwich responded strongly and despite several unforced Lymm penalties, strong defence and excellent tackling from centre Ollie Roberts and No.8 Kieran Williams kept Northwich at bay and denied them any further score up to half time.

HT 14 – 7

The message to Lymm at the interval was to keep up the enthusiasm in defence and to keep working hard. Unfortunately, Northwich came out all guns blazing though and despite Lymm’s best efforts the visitors ran in an easy try after only a few minutes play which with the conversion, levelled the score (14-14). The game then entered a period of hard slog and dogged determination for the forwards with both teams tiring and relying on last ditch defences. It was testament to the strength of Lymm’s defences that Northwich opted to kick a penalty on 60 mins from near the halfway line, rather than try to break through Lymm’s brick wall. Despite suggestions from the side-lines that the kicker should be shot for cowardice, the kick was successful (14-17).

Not to be outdone, on 68 mins Lymm’s pack managed to shunt a Northwich scrum backwards on their 5m line, which caused confusion and allowed the ball to pop out for No 8 Williams to dive on to score. Unfortunately the kick was missed (19-17). The score stayed this way until the 75th minute when several phases of relentless Northwich pressure saw them camped on the Lymm 5m line. The ball carrying Northwich player was tackled and following the Referee’s call, the Lymm tackler released the Northwich player, who continued to crawl forward and dot the ball down and be awarded with a converted try (19-24).

It was a disappointing call from the Referee especially having had an excellent game up to that point. The try took the wind out of Lymm’s sails and sapped what remaining energy they had left. From the kick off in the last minute of the game, Northwich broke through a disheartened Lymm team and scored another converted try to give a slightly unfair looking final scoreline.

FT 19 – 31

Northwich celebrated like they had won the World Cup and when questioned about the exuberance, some of their players commented that they had not been involved in a Northwich win for over a year and having lost to Lymm 3s twice last season. Put like that, it was hard to begrudge their celebrations and a well-earned, and just about deserved win. Good luck to them for the rest of the season. For Lymm, this was a decent start to the season, regardless of the result. If they can keep the squad of players together and work hard for the full 80mins, they will be a match for most of the teams in their league. Man of the match went to Matt Hill for splendid work in both defence and attack. Special mention goes to Alfie Kinsey, who made his debut alongside his Dad and scrum half Chris, a proud moment for the whole family watching on, Well Done Alfie.

Next week, Lymm travel to South Manchester to take on Burnage 3s. Let’s hope for some rain to soften up the pitches!!

Team: 1) Olly Brown, 2) Will Higgins, 3) David Coon, 4) Ollie Chesworth, 5) Matt Hill, 6) Joe Rogers, 7) Jim France, 8) Kieran Williams, 9) Chris Kinsey, 10) Alan Reddicliff, (C) 11) Tom Coghill, 12) Simon Beards, 13) Oli Roberts, 14) Reece Forest, 15) James Anderson, 16) Martin Henderson, 17) Josh Keefe, 18) Rick McAvoy, 19) Alfie Kinsey.

Match Report – Peter & David Coon


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