Oswestry 2XV 10 – 37 Lymm Eagles
Eagles Team Match Report | Saturday January 29 2022
LYMM EAGLES BOUNCE BACK WITH STRONG TEAM PERFORMANCE
On a bright and very breezy day, Lymm completed the 4th consecutive away trip to start 2022 with a 100 mile round trip to face Oswestry 2s. After last week’s sub-par performance against Whitchurch, the vets were determined to make amends with a more positive attitude. As happens most weeks, there were several changes to the squad, but this time with the luxury of 4 replacements.
Captain Ollie Brown returned from his exploits with the 2s, Juan Chang had his first run out for the 3s in the front row and Rob “Call me Jonah Lomu” Griffiths and Stu Norman returned to the wings for their first games in several weeks. Due credit and thanks must go to Ollie Brown, who has consistently got strong squads out over these challenging last few weeks. As the vets arrived at Oswestry in dribs and drabs, they were greeted with the sight of the opposition warming up and practicing lineouts. When will teams learn that on-pitch warmups are no substitute for chatting in a warm changing room and a tube of deep heat!!
Playing against Oswestry was in some respects, like looking into a mirror. Their team included a good number of older, well experienced players from a background of higher-level rugby but now possibly a yard or two down on pace and a few more inches up in waistline, together with younger players getting a first taste for senior rugby and some lads just looking for an excuse to get away from the wife!!
The first half started at a cracking pace but with neither side seeming to be able to hang onto ball for very long. However, quick ball from an Oswestry knock on, was shipped safely wide to Griffiths who drew the last defender to leave full back Liam Kirkham to scamper over to score in the corner within the first 3 minutes (0-5). The strong gusty wind prevented the conversion and limited the effectiveness of positional kicking all afternoon. More knock-ons from both teams led to several scrums, which Oswestry initially exploited well with their heavier pack. The set pieces provided a solid platform for Oswestry to launch several attacking phases and gain much ground. However, good tackling from the Lymm backs, with centre Reddicliff putting in some shuddering blocks, kept Oswestry scoreless. On 12mins, quicker ball and accurate passing from the Lymm backs found Griffiths wide on the wing with enough space and momentum to barge his way through the last defenders and score under the posts but with the wind again denying the conversion. (0-10).
Play continued at a fast pace with strong runs by Rogers and Brown driving the team forward. Good linking play from lock Chesworth and prop Coon provided a platform for Grellier to go close to scoring, but the try was eventually finished by a darting run from scrum half Kinsey (0-15). The Lymm forwards now seemed to have the measure of Oswestry which allowed them to move the ball with pace and purpose. From a scrum won against the head by hooker Chang on 24 minutes, the ball was shipped wide for Griffiths or a well worked second try (0-20). Unfortunately, Lymm then switched off and spent the rest of the half defending their line against a fierce onslaught from the big Oswestry forwards. Despite Lymm’s best efforts, Oswestry eventually crossed for an unconverted try to end the scoring for the half. (5-20).
HT 5 – 20
The 2nd half was a lot more competitive, with Oswestry changing several positions and bringing on some strong running forwards who proceeded to make inroads into the Lymm defence. Whilst Oswestry tried to force the play, a dropped ball in midfield allowed Lymm to score a try through a great co-ordinated forward drive a few minutes after the restart. Due to the pileup of bodies and inattention of the linesman/scribe/spectator (self), the identity of the scorer could not be confirmed but possibly was Matt Hill (apologies if not). Accurate kicking from Norman provided the only conversion either side managed during the afternoon in the windy conditions (27-5). Oswestry refused to give up and spent a good proportion of the second half inside the Lymm 22. They were eventually rewarded with a try on 53 mins (27-10) and left Lymm nervous as the score line was closer than they liked. However, the calming influence of fly half Roberts allowed control of the game to be regained and drove Lymm forward. This produced two more converted tries by Hill on 68 mins and Grellier on the stroke of full time, with a great show of strength having broken through 5 to 6 tackles to score.
Full Time 10 – 37
This was a great team performance, with everyone having a good game and any number of players self-anointing themselves as undoubted man of the match and demanding interviews with the press. Rob Griffiths ended the game with two tries and two assists and with repeated reminders to this scribe that “there are two FFs in Griffiths”. Ollie Chesworth as the only line out option as jumper, was a constant nuisance on the opposition ball and great interference play. Captain Brown was colossal in the amount of tackles and carries he got through and Liam Kirkham at full back covered well all day in windy conditions. The man of the match was eventually awarded by Oswestry to the Lymm No. 8, who was either Matt Hill or Matt Grellier, for their all-action display.
A tradition at Oswestry is for the man of the match and Captain’s from all 4 teams playing on the day to take part in a drinking race, with the added pressure of also having to consume a Mars bar immediately afterwards. As both Matts had already left and most of the remaining lads were driving, it was left to 3rd team and Club stalwart Dave Coon to take up the challenge. Whilst David will freely admit he probably wouldn’t win many races on the pitch, not many will beat him in devouring a pint and a Mars bar!! He managed a creditable 3rd out of 8.
Thanks to Oswestry for a great match and post-match atmosphere, a very welcoming club. The vets now have two Saturdays off and will be back on the 19th Feb away at Heaton Moor 2s.
Team: 1) Ollie Brown (C) 2) Juan Chang 3) David Coon 4) Jez Ure 5) Ollie Chesworth 6) Matt Grellier 7) Joe Rogers 8) Matt Hill 9) Chris Kinsey 10) Andy Roberts 11) Rob Griffiths 12) Alan Reddicliff 13) Simon Beards 14) Stu Norman 15) Liam Kirkham 16) Aldin Zillic 17) Paul Jones 18) Josh McKean 19) Jim France
Match Report: Peter & David Coon