Macclesfield 15 – 38 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday November 12 2022


Lymm win derby in style

In what promised to be a robust and testing Cheshire derby, Lymm came out on top in some style. On a clear, dry day with a pristine, well cut pitch, which was to suit Lymm’s spring-healed team, the afternoon was set for an excellent game of running rugby, and so it proved.

Macclesfield had started this campaign with four consecutive losses but, after a change in coaching staff, have revived their fortunes, to become a threat once more, beating league-leaders Blackburn in recent weeks. There were two changes to the previous week’s line up. Rob Makin came in at hooker and Nick Ashton came onto the bench for the unavailable Ben Thompson. Club Captain, James Yates is still side-lined following a head injury at Blackburn, so Vice Captain, Nathan Beesley continues to deputise.

Lymm starting XV pay respects for Remembrance Day

The early defensive exchanges negated any fast starts that have been a feature of Lymm in recent weeks, but Cormac Nolan at full back converted a penalty 35m out after 4 mins, 0 – 3. Both sides were tackling and defending well and Lymm’s probing down the right, working a perceived overlap, did not quite come off. At scrum time again there was equality, however, a dummy move in the middle of the back line, created space for Steve Pilkington to break through and he fed right winger, and leading league try scorer Nathan Beesley, to score under the posts after 20 mins, duly converted by Nolan, 0 – 10.

Captain Nathan Beesley Scores Lymm’s 1st Try

Rhys Lilly, at openside, was beginning to make his presence felt with a number of surging runs. One opportunity, as he broke through, to give a try-scoring pass was not taken but the threat remained whenever he was given a yard of space.

Rhys Lilly on the attack

An attacking line-out 15m out presented Lymm with a platform for a well-executed rolling maul and for the sparky prop Matty Hand to explode of the back of the maul and score from 5m out after 25 mins. Nolan added the extras – 0 – 17 and Lymm were looking comfortable.

Matty Hand scores Try No 2

Macclesfield, as they proved all afternoon, were not taking this lying down and, from their own attacking line-out, went over the try line but the ball was deemed held up. Matty Connelly replaced Lilly as a blood replacement after 30 minutes. Eventually Macclesfield got the try they had been looking for from their own flying prop from 3m out. 5 – 17 after 32 mins.

Patched up Lilly returned to the fray to continue his rampaging. Joe Murphy, Lymm’s lively and tough tackling second row, was harshly deemed to have made a high tackle and yellow carded after 36 mins. Macclesfield began to come back into the game and despite being thwarted for the try, won a penalty which was duly converted, – 8 – 17 on the stroke of half time.

HT 8 – 17

The next score was going to be vital and Macc came out of the blocks with intent. A break down the left was stopped 5m short of the line but the attack was sustained, eventually with them being held up over the line once more.

Lymm, aware that Macc had come out with steely determination, then came up with the match-turning moment. Breaking out from his own 22, No8 Joe Watson passed to flying left wing Paddy Jennings who made good ground. As the cover came across, he then passed inside to supporting full back Nolan who jinked past the last defender to score near the posts. Macc, at this point, lost their influential second row, Rhys Davies to a yellow card, for a late tackle on Rob Makin in the build up to the try. This was the try of the game, making it 8 – 24 after 49 minutes and, psychologically, a turning point.

Cormac Nolan touches down for try No 3

Lymm’s tails were well and truly up now as Lymm’s Beesley, looking dangerous all afternoon with ball in hand, passed to flanker Ed Morris who drew the cover and fed his winger Jennings to score the bonus try, under the posts, 8 – 31 after 52mins.

Paddy Jennings about to score Try No 4

Scott Redfern then replaced James Kimber in the centre and a slim line Nick Ashton made a welcome return at prop as Watson went off and the versatile Matty Hand went to No 8. At this point in the game Lymm began to go through their repertoire as Ben Simpson, the youngest player on the pitch, kept up the team’s momentum with his sharp delivery and sniping half breaks. Full back Cormac Nolan, who converted all five of Lymm’s tries and one penalty, was then robbed of a 2nd try under the sticks. He made an electric jinking break from the halfway. With only the full back to beat he made a perfect chip over his opponents head but was then fouled with a late tackle but unfortunately the referee never saw it.

Tom Shard at fly half had kicked sensibly all afternoon and pinned Macc back in their own 22 time and again. Jennings made another 30m break, carrying three players on his back but was held up on the line. The 5m scrum, holding firm all afternoon, allowed Simpson to take the ball from the base and scoot round the blind side for a much-deserved score near the posts, 8 – 38 after 65 mins, following Nolan’s conversion.

Scrum Half, Ben Simpson scoring Lymm’s 5th and final Try

On 69 mins Macclesfield, to their credit, kept the ball alive and scored a late converted try making it 15 – 38. Joe Murphy, on his final appearance for the club before moving to work in London, had a try disallowed for crossing as the game reached its conclusion but Lymm maintained their attacking intent as the final whistle blew.

FT 15 – 38

This was perhaps one of the most comprehensive displays from Lymm to date, in terms of skill set and defensive ability. The offensive defence system was very well executed, their attacking creativity is a treat for spectators and Lymm are becoming the team to beat in this league.

The Lymm Coaching team and travelling spectators were thrilled to bits with an outstanding display of rugby. “Really pleased with the performance,” commented DoR Adam Fletcher. “We knew that Macc were on good form and would pose a huge a test. I was really impressed with how we managed the 1st 25 minutes; we kept hold of the ball really well, played territory when needed and built a score. Everyone involved contributed to the win, the boys are in good form and are relishing each game”.

There is no 1st XV game next Saturday 19th November. The next and concluding game of the first half of the season is on Saturday 26th November, when Lymm are at home to Manchester, KO 3pm.

Team: 1. Gave Woods (95), 2, Rob Makin*(35), 3. Matty Hand*(75), 4. Joe Murphy*(11), 5. Sam Dickenson*(4), 6. Ed Morris (25), 7. Rhys Lilly*(20), 8. Joe Watson (92), 9. Ben Simpson*(8), 10. Tom Shard*(97), 11. Paddy Jennings*(15), 12. James Kimber*(76), 13. Steve Pilkington*(41), 14. Nathan Beesley*[C] (40), 15. Cormac Nolan*(198). 16. Matty Connelly*(106), 17. Scott Redfern (96). 18. Nick Ashton (107).

*Product of Lymm M&Js/Colts Academy

() Career 1st XV appearances for Lymm

Match Report: Simon Plumb











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