Rossendale 36 – 14 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday December 3 2022

Lymm Come Out Second Best in Top of the Table Clash

Lymm travelled to Rossendale for a second versus third clash, knowing that victory would strengthen their second placed position in the league. As the most regularly played fixture in the Northern Premier, tradition decreed that the spoils were generally shared over a season between these two evenly matched teams. With Lymm having won the corresponding fixture at Beechwood it was Rossendale’s turn to emerge victorious and so the game played out pretty much to script.

With long term injuries James Yates and Oli Higginson still unavailable Samir Tahraoui was drafted onto the bench for a first appearance of the season. With regular No 13, Steve Pilkington, out for the rest of the season following a dislocated Ulna and James Kimber unavailable,  Paddy Jennnings came into the centre from the wing alongside Scott Redfern, allowing Alfie Simpson to start in what will be his last game for the club before setting off travelling, we wish him well.

Rossendale got proceedings underway at a crisp and picturesque Marl Pitts kicking downhill and with the benefit of a good breeze at their backs. It was evident from early on that Rossendale were very much up for the fight whilst Lymm appeared strangely subdued, this was to be the pattern throughout the game.

Rossendale were rewarded after 5 minutes for their endeavour with a penalty, which Lewis Allen expertly dispatched. The Rossendale number ten was to have a great day from the tee. After 10 minutes Rossendale got further reward for their start with a well worked try to take the score to 8-0. At this stage Lymm still had not got going and faced with a resolute defence most of what they tried ended in them dropping or turning over the ball. After 20 minutes Lymm began to string some phases together and a good move from a scrum saw Scott Redfern take the ball on the loop, a pass to Nathan Beesley saw him scoot round the defence and kick through for Alfie Simpson to win the footrace and touch down under the posts. Cormac Nolan added the extras to take the score to 8-7 and put Lymm firmly in the hunt.

The next passage of play was fairly even with Lymm perhaps having the upper hand. Then in a flash everything changed, from an attacking play in the Rossendale 22 Lymm were looking to press home the advantage when an errant pass was intercepted by the Rossendale wing who ran virtually the full length of the pitch to touchdown. With the conversion added Rossendale were 15-7 up. From the kick-off Lymm compounded the intercept error by not kicking the ball 10 yards, a scrum penalty followed and suddenly Lymm were defending a 5-yard line-out, which they couldn’t, 22-7. Worse was to follow, from the kick-off Rossendale emerged with the ball and won their own foot race dotting down after a fly hack through, 29-7 and Lymm had been blown away in the space of 5 minutes at the end of the first half.

Half-time Rossendale 29 – 7 Lymm

Optimistic Lymm supporters pointed to the wind, which would favour Lymm in the second half, as a reason to remain upbeat but the reality is that Lymm had not played well in the first half and Rossendale were very much on the front foot.

Whilst the second-period was largely played in the Rossendale half, Lymm didn’t really lay a glove on Rossendale and rarely threatened the opposition line as most of what they tried ended in the ball being spilled. The back-line failed to click for the first time this season with the makeshift centre partnership looking hesitant, too many balls were kicked and an absence of a clear plan seemed to compound things. With the line-out malfunctioning Lymm continued to kick for touch, which brought the inevitable turnover and Rossendale clearance.

Ben and Alfie Simpson, Lymm try scorers

With 10 minutes to go Ben Simpson took a quick tapped penalty to cross the line for Lymm, Nolan converting, making it a try apiece for the young Simpson boys. A well-deserved try for the scrum-half who had tried to get some momentum in Lymm’s play but it was all too little too late. Rossendale easily soaked up any further Lymm pressure and in a rare foray into the Lymm half ended the game with another intercept try, which summed up the day for Lymm, a fitting end and 36-14 final score-line with Rossendale running out worthy and easy winners.

It was a poor error strewn performance from Lymm, one to forget, the first one from what has been an excellent season so far for Lymm. The absence of key players told and the only positive the Lymm faithful could takeaway was the fact that we remain in second place in the league.

“It was a tough day at Marl Pits” commented DoR Adam Fletcher. “We started slowly and never really recovered. At 8-7 the game was in the balance, the intercept try was crucial.

We’re disappointed as we feel like we gifted them 3 tries rather than them playing particularly well. Set piece didn’t function well and our error count was too high.

“The boys have already started to reflect on the game and are keen to work hard this week to put things right”.

Next week’s fixture will be no less challenging, with local rivals Sandbach travelling to Beechwood, seeking revenge for the loss earlier in the season. Lymm will need to be a whole lot better to get anything out of the game.

Team: 1. Gavin Woods (97), 2. Rob Makin* (37), 3. Matty Hand* (77), 4. Joe Watson (93), 5. Sam Dickenson* (6), 6. Ali Sutherland (71), 7. Ed Morris (27), 8. Rhys Lilly* (22), 9. Ben Simpson* (10), 10. Tom Shard* (99), 11. Alfie Simpson* (22), 12. Scott Redfern (98), 13. Paddy Jennings* (17), 14. Nathan Beesley* (42), 15. Cormac Nolan* (201), 16. Nick Ashton (109), 17. James Pitcher* (40), 18. Samir Tahraoui (1).

*Product of Lymm M&Js/Colts Academy

() Career 1st XV appearances for Lymm

Thank you to our Referee, Mr Henry Pearson, RFU North Group.

Match Report: Neil Allen



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