Old Halesonians 14 Lymm 32

Report by Malcolm Pritchard 

LYMM started this game needing one point to secure National League rugby next season.

As it turned out, with a large group of travelling supporters behind them, they produced another excellent team performance to take five points and topple high-flying Halesonians, who themselves were in with a chance of a play off place.

Andy Rowley and James Yates were unavailable for Lymm but they welcomed back Giles Dugdale from injury at centre, with Dave Williams moving to full back.

Tom Darbyshire started at lock and John Millington came onto the bench.

The conditions were dry but there was a strong wind across the pitch as Lymm kicked off.

They dominated the first ten minutes, not allowing Halesonians to settle by keeping the ball alive and playing with pace.

The first try came from an interception 50 metres out by Richie McEvoy, who finished superbly rounding the full back in classical wingman style with Cormac Nolan adding the extras (0-7).

It was all Lymm at this stage and with Joe Knowles pulling the strings at stand-off, they went close to increasing their lead only for resolute defence to keep them out.

However eventually the pressure told and a break from Adam Bray took play to within yards of the home try line and quick recycled ball allowed Oli Higginson to provide a good pass for Richie McEvoy to scoot over for an unconverted try (0-12).

At this stage it looked as Lymm would run away with the game, as the opposition had not been in Lymm's half but Halesonians aren't third in the league for nothing.

They gradually fought their way back into the game through their combative back row and scored a try from a kick and chase, which was converted to leave Lymm with a narrow half-time lead.

Half time 7-12.

The first minutes of the second half belonged to Halesonians, who aided by some indiscipline from Lymm, maximised territory and possession and they pounded the Lymm line mainly through their forwards.

However, as has proved over the last few weeks, the Lymm defence was well organised and committed and managed to keep them out.

Then from a turnover by Jordan Widdrington close to his own line, they counter attacked and good support play ended up with Dave Williamson unselfishly putting Richie McEvoy in for his third try, which Cormac Nolan converted (7-19).

This try was against the run of play and to their credit Halesonians came back at Lymm and after concerted pressure on the Lymm line they eventually squeezed in for a converted try which made it 14-19 with 20 minutes to go.

It was at this stage that Lymm stepped up the pace and began to regain territory and possession and Cormac Nolan converted two penalties to increase Lymm's lead ((14-25).

The pressure was beginning to tell on the hosts as the Lymm back row started to dominate. Lymm went close to scoring when a fine break by Joe Knowles ended with only last ditch defending keeping them out.

Eventually the pressure told and from a break up the middle of the pitch from Oli Higginson, he toyed with the defence before putting in the supporting Sam Mullarkey for a try which was converted.

This proved to be the final score with Lymm eventually proving worthy winners against a well-drilled committed side.

It has been very much a season of two halves with Lymm finally finding their form when they had a full complement of players to select from.

Coach Chris Kinsey, who is retiring from the position, deserves praise for the way he has managed the side this year in difficult circumstances but eventually getting the best from the team when it mattered.

He said afterwards: "I was proud of the players today and over the last few months, with the hard work on the training ground paying dividends on the pitch.

“We can look forward to next season with optimism under the guidance of new coach Adam Fletcher."

Fifteen of this 18-man squad came up through the club’s mini and junior section and with good senior and junior colts teams ready for next season, the future continuity is looking good at Lymm.

Overall this was a good team performance with everyone contributing but special mention must be made for Jordan Widdrington who has played in every game and in the last few has produced his best performances of the season.

Team: Nick Ashton, Adam Bray, Jordan Widdrington, Sion Williams (C), Tom Darbyshire, Tim Oakes, Sam Mullarkey, Ollie Higginson, Tom Baker, Joe Knowles, Cormac Nolan, Tom Bray, Giles Dugdale, Steve McEvoy, Dave Williamson.

Subs: Keiron Williams, John Millachip, Matthew Barnes-Smith.

Raging Bull North West Leagues Lymm 2nd 5 Rochdale 2nd 19 THIS young Lymm second team have another chance to beat this experienced Rochdale team when they meet them in the Raging Bull Cup semi-final at Lymm next Saturday, kick off 3pm.