Stockport 20 – 17 Lymm (Cheshire Cup 2022/23 – 1st Round)

1st Team Match Report | Friday August 26 2022

With 10 minutes of the game remaining, Cormac Nolan converted a penalty to make the score 17 – 17. If that score line remained at FT, Lymm would go through to the next round.

Stockport were promoted at the end of last season, following an excellent, undefeated Level 6 league campaign and join Lymm at RFU Level 5 in the Regional 1, North West League for 2022/23. So for the home team would see this match as a useful indicator as to how they may compete in the higher league. This was a 7pm early evening KO and played on a small pitch, as the hosts claimed they had problems with the grass on their full size pitch and another larger floodlit pitch.

Pre-season training at Lymm has gone well with high numbers in attendance. The Bank Holiday weekend and evening KO however, had some impact on the squad availability but gave the opportunity to bring in some of our younger players, who had not had 1st team experience. Only 5 members of the starting 15 were regular 1st XV players from last season, two in the backs and 3 forwards and there was only 6 in the total 22 man squad. The club can also be proud that 17 of the squad were former Lymm Colts.

The first half was very much dominated by Stockport and the referee, as Lymm struggled to settle into the game. This wasn’t helped by the number of penalty decisions against them at the set scrum and at the breakdown. Lymm, with little possession, did have a couple of scoring chances with slick handling and pace but final critical passes went to ground. Stockport dominated territorially and were rewarded with three tries, all from rolling mauls and one conversion to go in to HT 17 – 0 in front. Lymm’s case wasn’t helped by picking up two yellow cards just before half-time.

HT 17 – 0

So with 13 men on the park at the restart, Lymm hit a purple patch in the opening 10 minutes and scored 2 converted tries as a result of handling errors from the hosts. Both came from sharp advantage play by their halfbacks Tom Shard and Toby Philips, Cormac Nolan converting both, 17 – 14. A few changes to the pack settled down their set piece and further tries went begging as skipper James Yates went close and a rolling maul was held up over the line.

So with 10 minutes to go, the Nolan penalty making it all square at 17 – 17, they just needed to hold on to go through to the next round. By now it was dark and the training lights barely made it possible to see from one end of the pitch to the other. With 2 minutes left, a penalty was awarded to the hosts, who took the game into the Lymm 22 and following the lineout the refs whistle went again as Lymm were penalised at the breakdown. This was a straightforward conversion and the whistle blew again, this time to take the hosts into the next round.

FT 20 – 17

Lymm start their league campaign away to Northwich on Saturday 3rd September, KO 3pm. Their first home game is against Rossendale on Saturday 10th September.

Squad: 1) Ben Thompson, 2) James Pitcher, 3) Matty Hand, 4) James Yates (C), 5) Sam Dickenson, 6) Rhys Lilly, 7) Ed Morris, 8) Joe Murphy, 9) Toby Philips, 10) Tom Shard, 11) Paddy Jennings, 12) Rorio Zheng, 13) Josh Bate, 14) Alfie Simpson, 15) Cormac Nolan, 16) Jordan Widdrington, 17) Kieron O’Callaghan, 18) Rob Makin, 19) Henry Baldwin, 20) Ed Reynolds, 21) Rory Riddell, 22) Alex Stewart.


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