Rossendale 15 Lymm 15

ALI Sutherland's try secured Lymm a share of the spoils in terrible conditions at Marl Pitts.

He was on the wing at the start of a sequence of plays that unravelled with him eventually picking the ball up from a scrum at number eight to cross by the posts, with Cormac Nolan converting.

It was the least that Lymm deserved on a day of freezing rain alternating with hail and sleet along with a gusting wind.

"I'm immensely proud of the boys," said coach John Millington.

"To take a result from Marl Pitts, especially in such terrible conditions, takes a lot character and determination.

"After a difficult start, getting to grips with both the weather and the referee's approach, I think we showed a lot of quality and were probably the better side for 60 minutes.

A lot of credit must go to man-of-the-match Tom Shard who was outstanding in controlling the game for us and put us in the right positions to take a good result into our Christmas break."

Lymm, who will next entertain Wirral in rugby union's North Premier League at Crouchley Lane on January 5, kick-off 2.15pm, trailed 12-3 at one stage in a first half in which they were playing down the slope.

The second try was conceded while skipper Adam Bray was off the field for a professional foul but, restored to their full complement, Lymm began to show more enterprise and attacking intent.

Nolan caught the opposition napping as he took a quick tap and ghosted over from 15 metres.

Pitcher had a try ruled out shortly before half time after the referee blew for an infringement at the previous ruck.

With Rossendale enjoying clear ascendancy in the scrums and an 11-3 penalty count in their favour, an easy penalty at the start of the second half enhanced their lead to 15-8.

Lymm raised their game and eventually Sutherland's score squared everything up.

Lymm: Gav Woods, Adam Bray, Matty Hand, Matty Connolly, Will Baldwin, Jake Ashall, James Pitcher, Aaron Rasheed, Tom Shard, Scott Redfern, Luke Richards, Tom Bray, James Kimber, Ali Sutherland, Cormac Nolan, Replacements: Jordan Widdrington, Rhys Lilly, Tom Baker.

Meanwhile, Lymm's seconds were defeated 49-26 at Sale FC.

They trailed 49-0 after 41 minutes and mounted a comeback with tries from Tom Oliver, Henry Simpson, Josh Davies and Rory Riddell.

This was the proverbial game of two halves, played in artic conditions with strong icy wind blowing straight down the pitch.

With first-team call ups and ‘Christmas time unavailability,’ Lymm fielded a side showing many changes.

Lymm kicked off against a very strong wind and Sale ran the ball through ineffective tackling to score a converted try.

This was to be a feature of the half along with an inability to string two phases together without dropping the ball.

Sale continued to run through weak defence, and Lymm never really threatening with the ball.

However, it must have been some festive spirit in the half-time drink that galvanised Lymm into action.

They retained possession well, recycling and going forward through the strong running of Josh Davies and Paddy Jennings. This resulted in a driving maul, up to the Sale line with Tom Oliver claiming the touchdown, 49-5.

Lymm stormed back again with good recycling and offloading and eventually Henry Simpson barged over from five metres for Josh Davies to convert, 49-12.

Sale struggled to get their hands on the ball and Lymm's defence became more tenacious.

Lymm continued to drive forward with the dynamic Paddy Jennings proving a handful for the Sale defence.

It was after a series of these drives that Will Leach provided a switch pass 10 metres from the Sale line for Josh Davies to power through for a try, which he converted, 49-19.

That man Leach, who after good driving play by the rejuvenated Kieran O'Callaghan, managed to get his hands free to slip a neat pass to Rory Riddell, who showed great pace to score the final try from 40 metres.

Lymm squad: D Williamson, J Hamer, J Davies, P Jennings, J Reynolds , W Leach, H Simpson, P Widdrington , R Riddell, J Portiss, O Chesworth, T Oliver, K O' Callaghan, D Coon, J Porteus, J McKeefe.