SPECTATORS were treated to an epic tussle between Lymm and Hull Ionians sides who offered plenty of free-flowing rugby in wet conditions.

Scoring was tit-for-tat until the visitors took a 30-20 lead with 22 minutes remaining, but Lymm finished the National League 2 North encounter strongly and ran out 31-30 victors.

Their second home win of the season leaves Lymm 10th on the 14-team ladder ahead of this Saturday’s trip to sixth-placed Hull.

Director of rugby Adam Fletcher said: “It was another nail biter!

“I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. Our discipline and defence were brilliant, and our attack shape caused Hull Ionians problems throughout.

“To come back from 10 points down with around 20 minutes to go was outstanding. I loved the way we were able to close out the game.

“We are a very happy and proud coaching team.”

Lymm went into the contest with 18-year old Ralph McEachran gaining his first start in place of unavailable veteran Gav Woods, with Ben Thompson being promoted from the bench to cover for the injured Josh Hadland.

Two penalty kicks from Ionians’ Lewis Minikin, the older brother of former Warrington Wolves three-quarter Greg Minikin, sandwiched a response from Tom Shard before the first try came from Lymm.

The forwards took play into the Hull 22 where Shard strolled in from 20metres and converted for 10-6 after 25 minutes.

Ionians hit straight back with their first converted try, only for Lymm to retake the lead through prop-forward Matty Hand reaching out to score an unconverted try.

As the half came to a close a Minikin penalty put the visitors’ noses in front at 16-15.

Lymm were quickly out of the blocks full of intent and three minutes into the half were back in front when Harry Martin crossed in the corner.

It was then that the visitors crossed twice in quick succession to take a 10-point lead.

The momentum was squarely with Ionians but Lymm were up for the challenge.

Displaying composure, focus and resolve Lymm stuck to their plans.

They maintained their attacking intent, while winning the collisions in both attack and defence to continue to pressurise Ionians.

The play was now much more in the Yorkshiremen’s territory, such that when they offended on 60 and 66 minutes Shard was able to easily convert the penalties.

Lymm were now in the ascendency and executed a perfect front-peel, with Lilly powering into the five-metre corridor before offloading to James Pitcher to score on his 50th appearance what proved to be the winning try.

Lymm: Ralph McEachran, James Pitcher, Matty Hand, James Yates, Ben Thompson, Sean Callender, Harry Martin, Rhys Lilly, Callum Morris, Tom Shard, Paddy Jennings, Ste Pilkington, James Kimber, Andy Williams, Jack Reynolds. Replacements: Nick Ashton, Alex Stewart, Joe Johnson, Jack Stride, Andy Rowley.