Newport Salop 45 – 33 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday August 19 2023

Stern test for young Lymm squad

This pre-season friendly match for Lymm took place in the heart of rural Shropshire in what has to be one of the most picturesque of rugby clubs. A  reasonable crowd of supporters travelled from Lymm and two former 1st XV players from the 1960s, John Grensinger and Eric Carter, who live in the area, joined the travelling contingent of supporters.

Surrounded by rolling hills and embraced by a warm, sunny but breezy day, Newport Salop, who will be playing at Level 4 in National League 2 West this coming season, provided a stern test for Head Coach Andy Davies’s young squad.

The match was played in three parts – an initial 30 mins then 2 x periods of 25 mins. With a strong wind at their backs Lymm absorbed some strong thrusts from Newport’s heavier forwards before the hosts crossed over for a 5 – 0 lead after 24 minutes. Lymm then took advantage of a line out 20m from the Newport line, resulting from a deep kick by scrum half Cal Morris.

Back row Josh Hadland, who was prominent all afternoon, then fed centre James Kimber who dinked past his opposite number, and passed back inside for back row Joe Johnson to score near the posts. After 28 minutes it was 5 – 7 with full back Cormac Nolan’s easy conversion.

Veteran prop Gavin Wood then made his trademark break up the middle and passed to the supporting Morris who sprinted in from 30m, under the posts, 5 – 14 after 32 minutes.

Newport completed the scoring in the first half with their own converted try, 12 – 14 as the half came to a close.

Lymm continued to look dangerous with Hadland making a good break and feeding young centre Andy Williams who scored wide out, with no conversion, 12 – 19. Much of the game was now being played in Newport’s half despite the strong wind but they did respond with a converted try, 19 – 19. A foot in touch prevented Lymm from another score in the right hand corner but the line out was overthrown and hooker Alex Stuart caught it and dived over, 19 – 26 with Nolan’s conversion.

Cal Morris then took a quick tap and released marauding second rower Ali Sutherland for another converted try, 19 – 33, but Newport refused to lie down.

As the Lymm coaches emptied the bench for the final 25 minutes of the game, giving a number of younger squad players and former colts a taste of first team rugby, Newport scored a further four tries giving a final score of 45 – 33.

‘We should take a lot from that run-out’ commented Lymm’s head coach Andy Davies. ‘In many ways it was a trial match which allowed us to try a few combinations and blood some youngsters. We are excited about this squad and can all look forward to the coming season with relish,’ he concluded.

Team: 1.Gavin Wood, 2.James Pitcher, 3.Ben Thompson, 4.Rhys Lily, 5.Alastair Sutherland, 6.Sean Callander, 7.Joseph Johnson, 8.Joshua Hadland, 9.Callum Morris, 10.Jack Reynolds, 11.Patrick Jennings, 12.James Kimber, 13.Stephen Pilkington, 14.Joseph Senior, 15.Cormac Nolan

Reserves: Andy Rowley, Daniel Senior, Jack Stride, James Anderson, Andrew Williams, Joseph Higgins, Alex Stuart, Quinn Peers, Ben Thompson, Ryan Vanden, Rory Scotland, Sohail Kakaie


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