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Lymm's seconds book Best Jug final spot
10:37am Monday 21st April 2014 in Sport
LYMM’S second team booked a Raging Bull North West Leagues Best Jug final spot with victory over Rochdale.
But the semi final was closer than the scoreline reads, as Rochdale dominated the first half without putting the points on the board.
Lymm kicked off and from the start Rochdale controlled the ball and territory.
Only good Lymm defence kept them out but the pressure told as Lymm started to concede penalties at the breakdown but fortunately for Lymm the Rochdale kicker was off target.
Rochdale continued to press and after a number of drives to the Lymm line their stand-off dropped a goal from 30 metres to open the scoring (0-3).
It was all Rochdale at this stage but against the run of play a break out from Lymm ended with a try under the posts by Richard McEvoy, converted by Tom Shard (7-3).
Almost immediately Rochdale came back and after a poor Lymm clearance kick and chase their winger made ground and chipped ahead to win the race to score an unconverted try (7-8).
Up to this stage Lymm had struggled to retain possession, often forcing the pass and losing the ball.
The first time they went through the phases they made ground and eventually good handling and dazzling footwork by Ollie Mallet ended with him scoring an unconverted try (12-8).
McEvoy left the pitch injured to be replaced by Giles Dugdale, who almost immediately made a break from 50 metres and scored with Shard adding the extras.
The half time score, 19-8, was a true reflection of proceedings.
Rochdale had the lion’s share of the ball and field position but Lymm’s defence was solid and their confidence was growing.
At half time Lymm introduced Richard Halford at stand-off and Tim Young to the back row.
It was Halford who changed the course of the game getting Lymm on the front foot with his elusive running.
The game changed as Lymm started to go forward, retaining possession and it was Richard Halford who scored the first try of the half and it was not long afterwards that the evergreen Mark Sutton powered over for a another try with Tom Shard converting one (31-8).
It was all Lymm now with the forwards beginning to dominate and from a line out close to the Rochdale line that they drove Rochdale back for James Yates to touch down for an unconverted try in (36-8).
The last 10 minutes Lymm scored two more tries by Ollie Mallet and Richard Halford both converted by Tom Shard (50-8).
With only three changes from the previous week, Lymm produced an excellent second half display, forwards and backs combining well, Richard Halford stealing the show with his strong runs and line breaks and Mark Sutton yet again proving there's no substitute for experience.
Lymm now meet Broughton Park second in the final, date to be confirmed.
Lymm J Cooper, M Pownall, O Askew, T Darbyshire, J Yates, T Coon, J Harper, M Sutton, T Shard, O Rae, O Mallet, D Norman, R McEvoy, J Lester, J Worton.
Subs G Dugdale, R Halford, T Young.