Rossendale 39 – 22 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday September 11 2021

Lymm beaten by seasoned campaigners

The name Marl Pits, home of the Rossendale ground, sounds uninviting enough and has seen many tough encounters between these two old rivals, especially when the pitch was in its traditional boggy state. However, a new, well-tended surface, courtesy of a local major drains company sponsor, and 18 months of lying fallow, resulted in an open and exciting running game.

Early pressure from Lymm on a dry, sunny but breezy day, who clearly wanted to continue the form of the previous week, saw no reward. Rossendale took the lead with a penalty after 6 minutes – 3 – 0. An offside gave Lymm full back Cormac Nolan, the opportunity to level the scores after 9 minutes, as he cleverly kept the ball low into the wind – 3 – 3. The re-start gave the hosts another penalty making it 6 – 3 after 10 minutes.

Lymm’s former Waterloo prop, Kurt Riley was involved significantly, breaking through then passing, in the build-up to Lymm’s first try as the game started to open up. A miss-pass followed, from fly half Tom Bray to left winger Ben Stansfield, normally a centre, who squeezed over in the corner. 6 – 8 with the missed conversion after 17 minutes.

Lymm had a much-changed side from the previous week and Scott Redfern, normally a fly half, started on the wing and made two outstanding catches early on from re-starts. His team mates however made a couple of knock-ons which passed Rossendale the initiative and they also started to move the ball effectively with positive results. A try wide out on the right made it 13 – 8 after 21 minutes, against the early run of play.

A missed tackle 20m out  gave the Rossendale centre the chance of extending this lead with a well-taken try making it 18 – 8 after 25 minutes. In response, Lymm needed the next score and began to look threatening but the home side were stubborn in defence. An attacking line-out in Lymm’s 22 resulted in another try for the hosts – 25-8 after 35 minutes with the conversion going over. A final foray by Lymm gave Nolan a two-on-one chance in what looked like a certain try, but Stansfield was bundled into touch, as the half came to a frustrating close for the visitors.

HT 25 – 8

Lymm continued to make mistakes as the second half got under way, and confidence seemed to drain away. In one effort they tried to run the ball left, out of their own 22, when a kick to the right touch with the assisting wind would have given them far more territory. Ross were then unlucky not to be awarded a try when the ball was held up over the line, and Lymm were lucky to survive the resulting drop-out kick from behind their own line, a new rugby league initiative brought in by the World Rugby Executive.

However, having weathered the storm, James Pitcher, the Lymm hooker made good ground breaking through the line and the ball was moved to Rhys Lilley on the left wing, replacing Stansfield, to score wide out, which Nolan converted – 25 – 15 after 55 minutes. Yet another break from Riley the prop, who is looking great value, allowed him to feed Aaron Rashid, the second row, who scored his second try in two matches under the posts – 25 – 22 with Nolan’s easy conversion, after 60 minutes.

At this point a snatched away win was on the cards but Rossendale, who had dominated most of the game, were not to be beaten. Despite a resurgent Lymm, Rossendale took back the initiative and scored a fourth bonus try which was converted making it 32 – 22 with 8 minutes remaining.

The referee Mr Kristian Garland from West Yorkshire Society, who was even-handed throughout the game, penalised a high tackle and yellow carded the Rossendale scrum half. This gave Nolan a simple penalty in front of the posts which, for some unfathomable reason, he missed. From the drop-out re-start Lymm were penalised and Ross took advantage territorially with a final, pushover try which was converted, giving a final score of 39 – 22.

There was a naivety to Lymm’s play at times and this young, exuberant side, against seasoned campaigners like Rossendale, will need to think hard about combatting experienced teams, as the season progresses.

‘I thought we started well and played some exciting rugby, but then mistakes started to creep in which gave Rossendale easy field position and they took full advantage of that,’ commented Andy Davies, backs coach.. We were then left chasing the game which played right into their hands.’

‘It was a young team we had out and their effort was brilliant, so hopefully they will learn a lot from that game,’ he concluded.

Next Saturday, 18/9/21, Lymm play Wirral at home, kick off 3pm.

Squad: Cormac Nolan, Ben Stansfield, Ste Pilkington, Liam Connolly, Scott Redfern, Tom Bray, Gregor Watson, Kurt Ruley, James Picher, James Sherlock, Fin Murphy, James Yates, Aaron Rasheed, Harry Martin, Joe Watson, Gav Woods, Rhys Lilly, Kieran Hughes.


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