Forwards Domination Leads to Wirral Win
By Andrew Broadbent
This season's second home league game results in another win, this time against fellow Cheshire rivals Lymm.
The” derby” match against Lymm resulted in changes from last Saturday’s game and from the team selected on Tuesday night. SAM BROADBENT failed a fitness test so Chris Speed
came into the centre berth with Ben Brooks
moving to the wing. The subs were RYAN STEAD, Chris Hughes
and James Adams
, however 10 minutes before kick-off, RYAN pulled a groin muscle and arrangements made for JOE ADNAMS, who was playing for the 4th team to come onto the bench but then Mike Warren
and beagle, Hank turned up, fortunately with kit, so MIKE came onto the subs bench. From the Lymm point of view it was interesting to see Andy Davies, the County scrum half was on their subs bench. This was Matt Loon
’s 100th appearance for the first team.
Wirral kicked off playing towards the clubhouse only to put the ball straight out of play from the kick – off, thus giving the away side the first advantage and from the next play they were awarded a penalty some 40m out, 15m in from touch which was converted by Cormac Nolan, 0-3 (2 mins). Play for the next 10 minutes was confined to mid-field with both teams kicking long and seeking territorial advantage. The Wirral scrum was becoming dominant and Lymm wheel led to give Wirral the penalty and the territory where Lymm were now finding it difficult to clear.
On 23 minutes a Wirral scrum advanced a number of metres in the Lymm red zone before the ball went out left through several pairs of hands before Ben Brooks
had the task of a few metres run before touching down wide out, the conversion was missed. 5-3. At this stage there were too many dropped passes from both sides and Lymm were giving away too many penalties. Despite the pressure from Wirral it came to nought but the next time Lymm were in the Wirral half, they turned down a penalty opportunity from 40m but a couple of minutes they were presented with an easier kick at goal which Nolan converted to enable Lymm to regain the lead. 5-6 (37 minutes).
In the remaining minutes of the first half all the pressure was coming from Wirral and a penalty took play to 12m from the Lymm line, a fine catch and drive saw the Wirral pack rumble forward over the whitewash with Jack Yarker
touching down. From a couple of metres in from touch, James Annetts
landed a fine conversion. 12-6 at half time.
At the second half the referee appeared to give Lymm a final warning given the number of penalties being given away. A further penalty saw a superb kick to touch from half-way to 5m from the Lymm line. Another catch and drive resulted in another penalty and the Lymm prop, Gavin Woods was sin binned. The Lymm scrum was being pushed back and Wirral refused easy penalties as they maintained pressure on the Lymm scrum, 3 penalties and 3 more collapsed scrums followed- surprisingly no penalty try, but after a number of thrusts in open play, JAMES REEVES (now leading try scorer) crashed over under the posts, leaving James Annetts
an easy conversion. 19-6 (54 minutes). With Lymm changing scrum halves, the ball was being recycled quicker and Lymm were coming more into the game but the Wirral defence was steady.
On the hour all the Wirral subs came on for Jack Yarker
, Matt Loon
and Mike Warren
. Lymm were now retaining the ball more effectively but the tackling from the Wirral back row and centres effectively kept Lymm too few metres gained. With 7 minutes to go Matt Loon
returned to the game in place of DAN HARVEY. In the final 2 minutes of the game a poor Wirral clearance from their 20m area gave Lymm the opportunity to attack a disorganised Wirral side and with the ball going down the backs resulted in Richard McEvoy squeezing over in the corner, the conversion was missed.
It was a welcome win for Wirral but this was game when they should have been becoming away with a bonus point win. The defence was well organised and tackling did not allow Lymm any opportunity to play their open game. Wirral now move up to 6th after 3 games, with the best defence in the league and next Saturday they are away at Harrogate, who are currently 5th.