MILESTONES achieved by two Lymm Rugby Club players in the first game of the new season on Saturday have been recognised.

The club treasurer Andy Leach made presentations of club waistcoats to James Yates and Nick Ashton on the occasion of their 100th appearances for the first XV.

Their ton-up matches came in a 22-21 home loss to Wharfedale in what was Lymm's first ever game in National League 2 North.

While describing both players as 'outstanding clubmen' this is the background Leach gave of each player:

Nick Ashton:

Tight-head prop forward Nick joined Lymm in 2011 when he moved into the area after university, having played previously from a young age at Newport Salop.

While Nick could hardly be described as a prolific try scorer, he has been a cornerstone of the front row such that it was always reassuring to see his name in the match day squad as it was a given that the set piece would be stronger for his presence.

It was also recalled that Nick did gain some notoriety in the 2021/22 season when he single-handedly managed to force the away fixture at Alnwick to be postponed when he received a positive Covid test result whilst sitting on the team bus on the M62!

Nick has already put his hand up to help with the organisation and management of the second XV this season.

James Yates

Second-row and current club captain James is a “Lymm lad” through and through, having come through the junior ranks.

Having made his first-team debut in 2012, work took 'Yatesy' south to Bedford for a couple of seasons when he played for Bedford Athletic.

Returning home, and after some injury-plagued seasons, it was only in the 2019/20 season that James became a firt XV regular, becoming an inked-in name in the second row.

In 2021/22 James was an ever-present, starting every one of Lymm’s 26-match season and winning the 'Player of the Year' Award.

He stepped into the captaincy in 2022/23 and, despite missing nine matches through a head injury, was a motivating force for Lymm throughout the title-winning season.