Sheffield 28 – 24 Lymm

1st Team Match Report | Saturday February 10 2024

Leafy Lymm impress against Steely Sheffield

The October home game saw Sheffield defeat Lymm with a strong 2nd half performance 26 – 41. They are a good team, which features a number of Sheffield University students and are having a good season so far, lying 3rd in the league. Having lost their 3 previous games, Lymm faced a tough challenge and the hosts must have been confident of gaining maximum points, to maintain their challenge on the league leaders.

Lymm welcomed back Ralph McEachran and Jack Reynolds to the starting fifteen and Alfie Simpson and Jordan Widdrington on the bench. An early morning pitch inspection confirmed that the game would go ahead following doubts due to excessive rain over last week. There was a light breeze but no rain as the game commenced.

Lymm started well with good ball retention and pressurised the hosts into their 22. But errors and a scrum penalty kick into the Lymm half, allowed the hosts to set up a 25m rolling maul. Lymm defended it very well taking them into touch. From the lineout throw, Lymm backs showed their pace and skill. Quick hands took the ball to winger Nathan Beesley, who broke through the home line making 40 metres. Centre Steve Pilkington was in support to take the pass before offloading to scrum half Callum Morris to dive over for the opening try, with 10mins on the clock. Tom Shard adding the extras. (0 – 7).

The hosts had a physical set piece advantage, particularly in the line-out. Tactical kicking from penalties against Lymm, brought them into the Lymm 22 and after three line-outs on the left, their hooker, Rhodri Campbell, was bundled over from a rolling maul, after 17mins, No9, Elliot Fisher converting, (7 – 7).

Lymm, open side flanker, Harry Martin was putting in some crunching tackles, gaining a Lymm scrum from a dislodged ball. The Lymm scrum was holding its own against the bigger Sheffield pack and they were awarded a scrum penalty. Shard’s kick gained them a lineout just inside the home 22, which they won and gained a 2nd penalty for offside in front of the posts. They turned down an easy 3 points and opted for a kick to touch again.  A clean lineout take from skipper, James Yates, was popped down to prop, Ralph McEachran. The ball was recycled speedily from the breakdown and swiftly moved to Shard who linked with Full Back, Jack Reynolds, to spin out of a defenders tackle and touch down after 25mins. Shard converting, (7 – 14).

Sheffield now upped their game and eventually scored a converted try with 33 mins on the clock. From a scrum in the Lymm 22, Elliot Fisher gave a quick ball to William Smith who crossed, with Fisher’s conversion making it 14 -14. This was the score as Mr Pearson blew for Half-Time.

Half Time: Sheffield 14 – 14 Lymm

Lymm changed their props with Matty Hand and Ralph McEachran being replaced by Gav Woods and Jordan Widdrington. From the restart, Lymm were back on the attack with a great break by the outstanding Harry Martin. The play continued through multiple phases with eventually Martin being held up just short of the line, and Lymm being awarded a penalty, which Shard converted, (14 – 17) after 45 mins.

Lymm’s lineout was under pressure throughout the game with Sheffield having height advantage at the front and middle of the line. Eventually after 60 mins, the hosts took the lead from a red zone lineout, when Ryan Burrows powered over on the blindside with Fisher converting. (21 – 17). Lymm again reverted to their starting props of Hand and McEachran and James Pitcher came on as hooker for Rob Makin. Then on 70 mins Campbell scored a bonus point try for Sheffield with Fisher converting, (28 – 17). But Lymm were still very much in the game and looking to come home with some bonus points. James Kimber went off to be replaced by Alfie Simpson, who went to Full Back and Reynolds to centre. Andy Williams replaces Paddy Jennings on the left wing.

Then with 4 minutes left on the clock, Lymm got their deserved losing bonus point. Cal Morris broke from a Lymm scrum and linked with Josh Hadland who scored, Shard converting, (28 – 24). Mr Pearson blew for full time.

So, Sheffield did get their 5 points but Lymm belied their league position and battled to the very end, earning a deserved losing bonus point in a game they could have won. Sheffield are a very good team and could very well be in the promotion hunt towards the end of the season. Their coach, Anthony Posa commented. “Lymm took the game to us and it was a hell of a match, we had to pull something out of the bag”

This performance should give us confidence going in to our next three games. We finished the game with no serious injuries, so should be in a position to select a strong squad, starting with Otley at home next Saturday 17th Feb.

Lymm DoR Adam Fletcher commented. “It was a really good performance that I believe deserved more than one bonus point. Our attack looked really sharp and we scored some good tries. I loved the way we went about defending, we had great line speed and stopped them well at source.

“The effort and commitment to our cause was pleasing and what you expect. But we let Sheffield off the hook several times with a few basic skill errors and that’s the key difference at this level. I’m looking forward to next week”

Many thanks to Sheffield for their hospitality and best wishes for the rest of the season.

Full Time: Sheffield 28 – 24 Lymm

Squad: 1.Ralph McEachran (9); 2. Rob Makin* (56); 3. Matty Hand* (99); 4. Ben Thompson (24); 5. James Yates (C)* (114); 6. Josh Hadland* (32); 7. Harry Martin (47); 8. Rhys Lilly* (47); 9. Callum Morris (30); 10. Tom Shard* (128); 11. Paddy Jennings* (44); 12. James Kimber* (103); 13. Steve Pilkington* (59); 14. Nathan Beasley (VC)* (62); 15. Jack Reynolds (15). 16. Gav Woods (124); 17. Jordan Widdrington* (236); 18. James Pitcher* (59); 19. Alfie Simpson* (23); 20. Andy Williams* (17).

( ) = number of Lymm First XV League appearances

* Former Lymm Academy/M&J player. 14 out of 20 in this squad

A big thank you to our Referee: Henry Pearson, and Assistant Referees, Matt Daubney and Simon O’Neil.

Match Report: Peter Cornelia and David Simpson



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