Lymm Eagles 35 – 23 Macclesfield 3rds

Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday November 5 2022


On a cold, wet and grey November Saturday, Lymm 3s made it 6 wins on the bounce with a win over Macclesfield 3s. The game was a mixture of fireworks, rockets, bangs, and whistles as Lymm avoided a damp squib of a result (too many bonfire night puns already!!)

Lymm arrived for the game on the back of 5 straight wins and with a good degree of confidence of keeping that run going against Macc. However, in all the years of watching the various Lymm teams, this scribe has never seen what could be described as an “easy” game against a Macc side. As the Vets of Lymm trudged down to the pitch, they were greeted with a distinctly youthful Macc team sprinkled with a few older players to make up a squad of 18. Rather unusually, this week Lymm had plenty of players available to select their squad from, despite losing stalwart 2nd row Adam Halford to the 2s against Wirral.  Many thanks must go to those Eagles players who were stood down this week to avoid having too big a squad, but remember, you will all definitely be needed as the season progresses!

Lymm kicked off the game with instructions from Captain Olly Brown to let Macc know they were in for a tough game, ringing in their ears. The first 5 minutes produced some fierce tackling and strong defence, with flanker and centre Kieran Williams and Rick McEvoy leading from the front. However, this enthusiasm did bubble over into several infringements, culminating in a yellow card on 6 mins to flanker Craig Capewell for a high tackle. The rain was now falling quite heavily, and the ball was behaving like a bar of soap leading to knock ons, stumbles and fumbles all round. Not exactly what could be described as champagne rugby. However, the heavy going suited Lymm, and their powerful scrum once again rumbled into life, with props Aldin Zillic and Dave Coon causing havoc at every scrum. It was from this platform that Lymm moved into the Macc 22 on 10mins and strong drives from the forwards got Lymm close to the line. Quick ball was fed to fly half Reddecliff, who tried his trademark cross field kick. The ball was in the air for so long that Alan Reddecliff and the Lymm forwards managed to have a full argument about employing the wrong tactics in bad weather, before the ball was safely fielded by winger Tom Coghill’s hands, who then sprinted round 3 Macc players to score a great try, converted by Rhys Jones (7-0).  The smug grin on Alan’s face was almost unbearable.

Macc were stung into action and spent the next 10 minutes piggy backing up the pitch on the back of Lymm’s too frequent penalty infringements. A penalty was awarded for not clearing the ruck in the Lymm 22 and despite boos from impartial line judge Pete Coon, Macc kicked for 3 points on 18 mins (7-3). Lymm continued to use the elements and their forward power to great advantage and powered up the pitch. The ball was given out wide to the backs and centre McEvoy drove over for another try converted by Jones on 21mins (14-3). The game then turned into an arm wrestle for the next 10 minutes, until Lymm finally managed to break through chasing a long kick by full back Jones. Winger Reece Forrest speedily managed to beat the retreating Macc defence to touch down in the corner, with the try converted by Jones (21-3). Lymm gained confidence and were threatening to run riot, but Macc had other ideas. On 36 minutes a ball popped out the side of a ruck and rather than dive on the ball and make it safe, Lymm stared at it, allowing Macc to hack the ball on and regather for an opportunistic unconverted try (21-8). Buoyed up by the turn of events, Macc took advantage of a loose ball turnover to ship the ball wide to their fast centre, who somehow managed to find the extra turn of speed needed to outpace (?) prop Dave Coon in a footrace to the line. The conversion on the stroke of half time reduced Macc’s deficit and gave much more competitive score line (21-15).

HALF-TIME Lymm Eagles 21 – 15 Macclesfield 3rds

The game was closer than Lymm’s performance deserved but confirmed the importance of not switching off at any level of play. Lymm started the second half determined make amends. Whether it was a comment from the observing assessor or something in the Lymm water which affected the referees’ view of the game, but things seemed to change completely in the 2nd half. The match became littered with penalties, with most being awarded against Lymm. After 10 minutes, Macc kicked another penalty to bring the scoreline even closer (21-18). Lymm were then told that due to an injury to a Macc prop, the game would continue with uncontested scrums, robbing Lymm of this strong platform for the 7th time in 8 matches!!  With the ref not enjoying Lymm’s play and no scrums, Lymm had to work hard to wrestle momentum back and this came on 56 mins when the Lymm backs broke out from their own 22 and winger Forrest carried strongly up to the Macc 22 and passed inside to No 8 Max Ure who sprinted in for another Jones converted try (28-18).  By now, the ref was in no mood for any Lymm infringement and began handing out penalties like sweets at Halloween. Some of them defied belief, from Kinsey being penalised for standing in the wrong place at a line out by half an inch, Henders for dissent for silently shrugging and captain Brown for rolling too much after a tackle….or not rolling enough, it was very unclear. It was inevitable that Macc would score, and this came with an unconverted try on 61 mins (28-23). With their tails up and the benefit of a lenient Ref, Macc tried to find a score but were thwarted by the strong Lymm defence, with great individual efforts from Ben Stroud and Mike Clarke. Lymm slowly made their way up the pitch with repeated pick and go’s from the forwards and good ruck discipline which ran down the clock. Despite the backs screaming for the ball, the forwards kept hold and in the last play of the match, flanker Capewell powered over for a try, with McEvoy converting to bring the final whistle (35-23).

FULL TIME Lymm Eagles 35 – 23 Macclesfield 3rd

A tough match in horrible conditions, but a good win to keep the recent momentum going. Lymm were very lucky to escape with a win and notwithstanding this scribe’s humorous view of the refereeing, it was Lymm that almost shot themselves in the foot, not the Ref.  Captain Brown was quick to point out that more effort should have been put into playing and less into bickering with the Ref and opposition. Macc were tough opponents and will be looking to redress the situation later in the season. Lymm remain in 2nd place in the league. Man of the match went to flanker Kieran Williams, with hooker Olly Brown an extremely close 2nd.

Next week, Lymm are once again at home against fellow highflyers Liverpool St Helens (LSH) 2s, who will provide another hard match, please come on down to watch.

Team : 1) Aldin Zillic 2) Olly Brown (C) 3) David Coon 4) Ben Stroud 5) Mike Clarke 6) Kieran Williams 7) Craig Capewell 8) Max Ure 9) Chris Kinsey 10) Alan Reddecliff 11) Martin Henderson 12) Rick McEvoy 13) Niall Eagle 14) Tom Coghill 15) Rhys Jones. Reps: 16) Josh Keefe 17) Reece Forrest 18) Paul Jones 19) Jake Eagle

Match Reports: Peter & David Coon


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