1st Team Match Report | Saturday December 14 2019
Lymm close in local Cheshire Derby
On a dry, cloudless day, Lymm visited close rivals Macclesfield for a local derby, in the first time for more than a decade.
Fourth placed Macclesfield have been a high flier in recent years, and were known to be a force in this league. The club has suffered financially in the past few years and were newly relegated this term. However, as the pre-match Christmas lunch proved, the club is moving back to its roots and rediscovered a community spirit that will take them far.
On that basis it was to be a fascinating encounter between the big Macc pack and the fast-limbed visitors. Showing an intent to dominate up front from the start, the home team declined a kickable goal after receiving a penalty after 2 minutes. The subsequent attacking 5m line out ended with a knock-on and Lymm, as they did throughout the afternoon, defended doggedly.
Much of the half was played in the visitors’ territory and the scrum was clearly an issue as Lymm were pushed off their own ball on at least 4 occasions. This is a very unusual sight these days and the small contingent of support was shocked and concerned.
When Lymm had possession they kept it, going through multi-phases, but the concern was to get enough as the game wore on. However on 15 minutes, after being held up over the line, the Macc No 8 picked up from the 5m attacking scrum and powered over. 5-0 after 15 minutes.
The dubious match announcer was dressed as Father Christmas and was making his presence felt with some biased comments at the ref which did not go down well with both sides of the crowd.
Notwithstanding, Lymm continued to defend well, holding up the ball on the line three times until the dam broke and the ball was moved to the right wing for a well-worked try. 10-0 after 28mins.
Macclesfield looked workmanlike if not blessed with a huge amount of flair. This pragmatic approach was serving them well, stifling Lymm’s back division that was itching to get into the action. A high tackle deep in the home sides’ 22 gave Lymm a kickable penalty which scrum half Cormac Nolan dutifully slotted. 10-3 on 34mins.
A clever, deep kick from Lymm’s full back James Rooney, returning after a long-term leg injury, gave speedster left winger Joe Senior a real chance to score but was thwarted with inches to spare. Lymm then had two attacking line-outs and confidence was building. Fly half Scott Redfern was held up over the line as Lymm continued to press but to no avail.
This seemed like the opportunity to score was slipping from their grasp until Nolan put up a steeple-high cross-field kick to the opposite corner and second row Aaron Rasheed won the touchdown wide out on the right. 10-8 as the half time whistle went and an exciting second half was in prospect.
Nolan continued to kick well out of hand and Lymm started the second half brightly. As Macc attacked, a loose pass in Lymm’s 22 allowed the visitors to break out, kick upfield and the foot-race, with Senior to the fore, created great anticipation. Macc eventually fielded the ball but the turnover, 10m out from the home sides’ line, allowed the ball to be passed wide out to the right where flanker Josh Hadland walked in, well converted by Nolan. 10-15 after 50 mins and Father Christmas suddenly became even less generous!
Macc, clearly miffed at this about-turn, turned the screw and eventually went wide to the left and scored. 15-15 on 62 mins after the conversion was missed. Lymm, very much in it at this point, went determinedly for the next, and potentially match-winning score but the ball was knocked on 10m out and the opportunity lost.
Macc, taking a leaf out of Lymm’s attacking book, then also put up a high kick to the opposite corner which bobbled but was well grounded and the score went to 20-15 after 70 mins. A fourth try bonus point no less as the conversion was missed.
Macc followed up with another converted try on 76mins giving a final score of 27-15. This was not an unfair scoreline, as the Macc domination at the line out and in particular at scrum time, denied Lymm any real platform. DoR Adam Fletcher has work to do at the set-piece if he is going to get his young, flair-ridden side back to winning ways.
“Macc deserved the win” reflected DoR Fletcher. “They were dominate in the set piece and this obviously made it difficult for us to get into the game.
“We defended heroically throughout, the defence and attitude put us in a position after 60 minutes to win the game. Unfortunately the lack of possession in the last 20 minutes really hurt us.
“It was great to end the game with 5 of last year’s senior colts on the pitch. The Lymm Academy production line is very healthy.
“One of them, Joe Senior, is off to New Zealand for 6 months in January. I would like to thank him and wish him well for his trip. Joe has been outstanding for us this season, scoring some excellent tries and has developed into a top quality winger, his presence on the First Team will be missed”.
The next 1st XV match will be on January 4th at home versus Alnwick, KO 3pm
1) Gavin Woods (C) 2) Cashel Chilvers, 3) Jordan Widdrington, 4) Aaron Rasheed, 5) Will Baldwin, 6) Jake Ashall, 7) Josh Hadland, 8) Joe Watson, 9) Cormac Nolan, 10) Scott Redfern, 11) Joe Senior, 12) James Kimber, 13). Steve Pilkington, 14). Nathan Beesley, 15) James Rooney, 16) Harry Ratcliffe, 17) Campbell Thomson, 18) George Norman.
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