Cheshire in only their 2nd outing of this year’s National competition, whilst missing some players called on the depth of their focused determined squad to successfully dominate this vital group stage game. They not only achieved their primary team objective in gaining promotion within 15 minute of K.O , but also now qualify for the ¼ final fixture that will now occur in 2 weeks time (detail / venue etc to follow once confirmed .. although it will be a Home / Cheshire venue)
Lancashire presented a strong team, even with their omissions, they were both physical and man for man bigger than their hosts. However it was The Cestrian forwards who put down the mark to exercise full control of this game. In 80 minutes Lancs only had half a dozen forays into the Cheshire half, some forced errors and lapse in Cheshire defence on one such excursion resulted in the only converted score in Lancs favour.
The Cheshire Skippers persuasive words of ‘advice’ to his team at this juncture alongside those of the coaches ensured full control of the remaining phases occurred to swiftly put it out of reach from the visitors. The Lancashire Scrum went backwards, and with the exception of one lost line out, this also was subject to full Cheshire control
The result was control of the game, timely release of the backs netting 7 tries, including one from the Cheshire Skipper leading the charge ! With the trimmings this resulted in 41 points credit to the hosts . The vast majority of the game being played in opposition territory. Unfortunately Cheshire did leave 18 points on the pitch and the performance review has commenced as they strive for further improvement.
By way of the results within this group it is possible that Cheshire can meet Lancs again at the Semi final stage. No doubt it will be a different Lancs team who turn up to play on that day!The game was played in the true spirit of our fine game, a genuine sporting rivalry on the pitch, a friendly chat and a beer in the bar afterwards. Just like it should be!! So we look forward to our next encounter!
After the game Coach Finnemore stated “The lads have got a great work ethos and team spirit , in the short time we have been together they have developed as a unit, they were set some ‘goals’ and I am not surprised they have exceeded expectation as they are all committed to this team”
Manager Ian Stanton reflected these sentiments adding “Our first objective was promotion that done …this team will decide how far it can now go in this year’s competition… they have gelled and it’s great to see them perform but they are not yet at their best”
A number of thanks must be made, firstly to the Cheshire squad players who have trained and didn’t make selection; they are still ’squad’ and remain an integral part of this team. Lymm RUFC for its hospitality, and all the travelling Cheshire parents / supporters who gave significant encouragement from the touch lines!