Lymm 31 - Anselmians 2nd XV 32
By Dan Jenner
Semi final berth beckons.
The day started with The Ducks turning up at Lymm in buoyant mood arriving early, getting in a solid hour warm up in preparation for the game. After a last minute withdrawal from the team from Kris Lewis, with a hamstring problem, Martyn Brown came to the rescue to start on the wing and he did not disappoint.
The game started with Anselmians on the front foot, with the forwards putting in some great go forward yards with Ewan Nolan and Will Sass really driving the team forward along with contributions from Tyler Brookes and Stephen Brooks. After 10 mins of Anselmians ball, Lymm had their first foray into the Anselmians half pushing hard for the Ducks line. When they lost the ball in the Ducks 22, the later posted a hasty and punishable counter-attack which ended with Campbell Clayton go over near the corner, with Ben Sadler slotting the conversion. Following the kick-off Anselmians went straight back on the attack with the forwards instantly pushing forward again, Nick HEARN then picked the ball from the base of a ruck and went 15 yards to go over the line again. After this Lymm came back at Anselmians with 2 unanswered tries to go 14-12 ahead with minutes to go until the break. Then a late push into the 22 of Lymm by the Ducks saw some great handling between the backs and forwards with Tom Gilbert cutting a great line to go over and put Anselmians 19-14 ahead at half time. The scorline only preserved by Martyn Brown’s fantastic covering tackle on the Lymm 13 who ran devastatingly all day from deep in his own half.
The second half started in devastating fashion with Lymm again scoring 12 unanswered points and putting themselves 26-19 ahead. Then the story of the half Anselmians parked in the Lymm half only getting frustrated time and time again by the Lymm defence. After several attempts at breaking the Lymm defence it was finally breached by Matthew Dowler who forced himself over from close range. After returning back down field, Anselmians again found themselves camped near the Lymm line with only the occasional poor decision hampering their ability to score. Then from nothing, that man again, Martyn Brown, scored to put the Saints only 2 points behind 31-29 with only 15mins left on the clock. Then the turning point of the game, with a penalty almost on halfway, Ben Sadler elected to take a shot to goal. With the Lymm players doing all they could to put him off, not listening to the warnings from the referee to stop, Sadler missed the shot and the referee instantly marched the Lymm team back 10metres to offer Saints another shot at goal 10 metres closer from which he made no mistake splitting the uprights. The last 5 mins saw Lymm pushing hard towards the Ducks line, with wave after wave of attack and only a quality last ditch tackle by Ben O’Connor, after Lymm had finally broken the initial line, stopped Lymm stealing the game at the death.