DIRECTOR of rugby Adam Fletcher hailed his Lymm side’s attack as “sensational” as they gave their promotion bid a huge shot in the arm on Saturday.

Having finished 2022 sitting second in the Regional One North West table, they resumed after the Christmas break with a crunch clash with leaders Blackburn.

The occasion brought the best out of the home side, who won 38-21 to close the gap between the sides to seven points with Lymm having played one game less.

Skipper Nathan Beesley scored twice as the hosts picked up the maximum five points on offer – four for the victory and a bonus point for scoring four or more tries.

Cormac Nolan contributed 13 points via a try and four conversions while Matty Hand, Harry Martin and James Kimber also crossed the whitewash.

Lymm visit second-bottom Burnage on Saturday with the hope of closing the gap to the summit even further.

For now, though, Fletcher was left to enjoy a magnificent display from his men.

“It was a great performance from one to 18,” he said.

“We knew they would have long periods of possession and that our defence would be massively tested.

“The defence stood strong from the first minute and this gave the lads huge confidence.

“Our attack was sensational – we caused them problems every time we had the ball and scored six amazing tries.

“I was extremely happy with the last five minutes – Blackburn threw the kitchen sink at us in search of a try bonus point so to hold them out showed great heart and commitment.”

Team: Gav Woods, Rob Makin, Matty Hand, Samir Tahraoui, Sam Dickenson, Rhys Lilly, Harry Martin, Oli Higginson; Cal Morris, Tom Shard; Sam Wadsworth, James Kimber, Scott Redfern, Nathan Beesley, Cormac Nolan. Subs: Ben Thompson, Ali Sutherland, Paddy Jennings.

The seconds and thirds enjoyed mixed fortunes on their returns to action following the festive period.

Having been in the game at the break, the seconds conceded 60 second-half points on their trip to their Blackburn counterparts to fall to an 83-26 defeat.

The thirds looked to be going the same way as they trailed hosts Hope Valley 22-12 going into the final quarter, with Craig Capewell and Tom Coghill their try-scorers.

However, tries from Rhys Jones, Rick McEvoy and Simon Beards proved enough for the visitors to come away with a 31-22 victory.

Team: Ollie Brown, Craig Capewell, David Coon, Jez Ure, Ben Stroud, Guy Larkin, Jim France, Matt Grellier; Chris Kinsey, Rhys Jones; Josh McKeen, Simon Beards, Rick McEvoy, Tom Coghill, Liam Kirkham. Subs: Chris Beards, Josh Guy

Meanwhile, Warrington’s return to action did not go according to plan at Tarleton.

Their trip to Lancashire saw them beaten 34-18 as a poor period either side of half time proved costly.

Having conceded the first points via a penalty, the visitors edged in front thanks to two Matt Beeley kicks but then conceded the first try via a lost lineout inside their own 2022 to fall 10-6 behind.

They responded well and crossed the whitewash themselves 10 minutes later thanks to Beeley’s try, but a converted home score on the stroke of half time started a period in which Tarleton took definitive control.

Two more converted scores inside the third quarter of the game took them 20 points ahead and even though James Brazendale’s fine solo effort reduced that deficit, the hosts had the final word with a penalty kick.

Warrington’s first home game of 2023 is on Saturday as they welcome Southport to Stockton Lane.

Team: T Green, C White, S Bennett, J Brazendale, J Riley, J Evans, P Lynch, D Fleming; C Hughes, T Wood; J Rigby, M Beeley, G Percival, L Turner, M Caldwell. Subs: J Ward, A Kellett, A Mather