Lymm Eagles 31 – 26 Winnington Park 2nds
Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday September 17 2022
LYMM 3XV BATTLE TO FIRST VICTORY
Lymm 3s achieved their first victory of the season with a hard fought and well earnt result against Winnington Park 2s.
Lymm had played Winnington in the last game of the previous season, with nothing separating the sides in a high scoring 41-41 draw, so it would be interesting to see what the result was in this match. As seems to happen most weekends recently, the vets arrived at the club to be greeted to an opposition completing a full warm up, with every player in matching training gear and a coach barking out instructions. An ominous sign that a long afternoon was in store. Once again, Lymm had to deal with more rotation in the team but were pleased to welcome back current 3XV player of the year Matt Grellier to the side and Rhys Jones at fly half after a year out following knee surgery. A minute’s silence was once again observed in memory of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II before the game was commenced. This was the first match that this reporter has ever seen that was refereed by a female referee. A very modern, welcome, and refreshing change, as this sport that we love continues to evolve.
The first 10 minutes of the half was all Lymm in attack, with the forwards making good yards with the ball, allowing Chris Kinsey and Rhys Jones to dictate play with some clever kicks. It was off the back of better forward play after 10 minutes that allowed for quick ball to centre Alan Reddecliff, who sidestepped the fullback to gracefully score a try, converted by Jones (7-0). This seemed to wake Winnington up, with the game becoming a lot more competitive. Everything started to go through the Winnington fly half, who had caused so much grief in last season’s fixture. A long pass out wide found an unmarked winger who scored an unconverted try on 20 minutes (7-5).
Back came Lymm, who made good use of the soaring Ollie Chesworth to turn over several lineouts and move play up to the Winnington line. After several attempts, No. 8 Matt Grellier showed great strength to drive over for a try, converted by Jones (14-5) on 25minutes. Lymm then let their discipline drop and Winnington scored two quick converted tries on 28 (14-12) and 30 minutes (14-19), to swing momentum back in their favour. Lymm were clinging on at this point and signs were not good. However, the Lymm scrum was starting to function and managed to turnover a ball on 35 minutes. The ball was shipped to fullback Oli Larkin, who fended off his opposite number to score, converted by Jones (21-19). Lymm saw out the rest of the half with good defence.
HALF TIME LYMM 21 -19 WINNINGTON PARK
As with the previous two matches this season, it was pointed out that the game was Lymm’s to lose, and it would be the effort levels that would win the day. Also avoid the now customary switch off in defence seen too often this season, especially in the 2nd halves of matches.
The first score of the half came just 3 minutes into the half from a penalty awarded to Lymm just outside the Winnington 22 for an off the ball tackle. As Lymm opted for the 3 points from a kick, it could not be clearer from the look of disgust on touch judge Pete Coon’s face that his thoughts at kicking for goal at this level hold true for both Lymm and opposition. “Kicking is an act of cowardice!!.” He almost struggled to put his flag up for Jones’ successful kick (24-19). With Lymm still less than a converted try ahead, the next score would be crucial and duly came 2 minutes later. After several phases, a wonderfully floated ball from Reddecliff found Tom Grellier, brother of back row Matt, free on the wing. Tom showed a turn of pace that saw him sprint past the Winnington defence to glide in from 70 metres out, converted by Jones (31-19). I’m sure the discussions of whose try was best went long into the night at the Grellier family party!! Winnington did not lie down and continued to work hard in defence and attack. On 62 minutes, a show and go from the fly half freed the Winnington centre to run in from 30 metres out to cut the score back to 5 points (31-26).
The game then descended into a scrappy affair, with plenty of knock-ons and individual errors creeping in as both sides tired. Lymm lost centre Williams, 2nd row Hill and fly half Jones to injury, and it was a testament to the replacements that continuity was not lost. The last 10 minutes of the game was played exclusively in the Lymm 22, with wave after wave of Winnington attack stopped in its tracks by enthusiastic Lymm defence. However, whenever Lymm were given opportunities to relieve pressure on themselves, they contrived to shoot themselves in the foot with knock-ons and forward passes, handing possession back to Winnington. Lymm finished the game with 14 men, when centre Reddecliff was yellow carded for a high tackle. A harsh call some thought, with the tackled player rubbing his chin, stomach and nipples upon regaining his feet to leave spectators unsure about where the initial contact was. All we do know was it was a cracking tackle. Lymm managed to see out the last few minutes and a knock-on from Winnington brought the game to an end.
FULL TIME LYMM 31 -26 WINNINGTON PARK
A game where everyone gave their all and we saw a real team effort to ensure Lymm came away with the points. You could tell that this result hurt Winnington, who remained on the pitch for a full debrief, that most Lymm players were on their second pint before Park players made it back to the changing room. Man of the match went to Olly Brown…. mainly as he asked for it!! A captain’s performance!!
Next week, Lymm 3s travel to South Manchester to take on Heaton Moor 2s. All very welcome.
Team: 1) Aldin Zilic 2) Olly Brown (C) 3) David Coon 4) Matt Hill 5) Ollie Chesworth 6) Joe Rogers 7) James Mawdsley 8) Matt Grellier 9) Chris Kinsey 10) Rhys Jones 11) Josh Keefe 12) Alan Reddecliff 13) Kieran Williams 14) Nat Johnstone 15) Oli Larkin 16) Martin Henderson 17) Tom Grellier 18) James “NotGrellier” 19) Dan Seed 20)
Match Report – Peter & David Coon