Eccles 3rd 5 Lymm 3rd 19
ON a Saturday when all four seasons of weather occurred, Lymm produced a solid victory that was built on a great forward performance against a young Eccles side.
With the season coming to a close, Lymm’s thirds came into this game with the threat of relegation still hanging over them.
This match against equally troubled Eccles would go a long way to deciding both teams’ fate for next year.
Upon arrival, it was found that Eccles were also playing host to a touring side from Livingston, Scotland.
Captain Gunner showed faith with the players that had served him well over the season.
The first half was played at a fast pace, despite the weather conditions.
Lymm as so often throughout this season were guilty of forcing passes that weren’t there and choosing the wrong options at crucial moments.
Eccles were strong and physical in the tackle and ran the ball hard into contact.
However, Lymm matched this powerful style with fantastic defence and stole several key turnovers.
Lymm’s experience began to show as the half wore on.
This became more apparent at scrum time.
Every scrum saw Lymm travel forward five metres, driving the young Eccles pack off every ball.
The sight of front rowers Bates, Coon and Grant bulldozing their way forward became a common sight.
Lymm used this platform to good effect as scrum half James darted over from the base of a scrum for a try, converted by Lythgoe.
Eccles came back strongly and were rewarded with a try of their own after a defensive mix up.
Lymm continued to work hard and quick hands from the backs put Lythgoe in for a try out wide which he expertly converted, just before half time.
Lymm realised that they should have been further ahead and would have to work harder against a younger team whose fitness would probably be superior.
In open play, the game was very finely balanced, with Lymm rarely looking too troubled and snuffing out any danger.
The scrums were now becoming a bit of a procession with Lymm choosing this option at every penalty.
Lymm trundled up the pitch and nothing Eccles did could stop this.
It was to their great credit that Eccles fought valiantly to stay in the game and spent five minutes camped on the Lymm line.
Against other less determined sides, they would have got more tries.
However, Lymm’s defence could not be broken.
On 60 minutes, the referee awarded a penalty on the Eccles 22.
From this, the Lymm scrum showed its full power by driving the Eccles pack over their line.
Unfortunately, Lymm number eight Gillespie suffered white line fever and allowed the ball to escape him.
His blushes were spared as the ref awarded another penalty against Eccles and at the second attempt, Gillespie touched the ball down for a try on 61 minutes.
It was at this point that the Eccles manager asked for the game to end, fearing injury to his young pack.
Lymm agreed and in true touring side spirit, Lymm allowed an unused Eccles player to come on and take the conversion, which was missed, much to the amusement of his team mates.
A good win for Lymm, with every player giving a good account of themselves.
After the game, it was revealed Eccles alone did not have enough players to complete this fixture and received some help from the travelling Scottish tourists, giving the thirds a chance to celebrate a first international victory.
This win, along with other losses, ensures Lymm will be playing in Division Three again next year.
Stand-in hooker Dave Coon was awarded man of the match for a good all round game, although it was noted that a few more throwing in sessions wouldn’t go amiss before he takes the job full time.
Next week, Lymm face Aldwinian thirds in their final home game of the season.
Team: John Grant, David Coon, Danny Bates, Ollie Chesworth, Danny Taylor, Johnney Cartwright, John Long, Sean Gillespie, James (the colt), Paul Rathbone, Ollie Mallett, Sam Lythgoe, Steve Wills, Aiden Gunner, Dave Roberts. Subs: Reece Forrest, Tom Lord, John Lawson.