Another excellent away day for the Blues who recorded a ‘five pointer’ at the Volac Park home of Cambridge and the 35-32 scoreline combined with other SSE National One results on the day means that Macclesfield now move up to second place above Fylde who felt the strength of that same Blaydon outfit who spoiled our 100% record just a couple of weeks ago and who, I suspect, will take few prisoners at Crow Trees this season.
Macc began at Cambridge in an almost identical way to the game at the same location last season when we sped into a 20-5 lead after just 22 minutes before the ‘blood & sand’s’ woke up to eventually win a high scoring game 45-37 but this time the Blues outscored them by 5 tries to just 2 with the bulk of Cambridge’s points coming from the boot of Tom Wheatcroft with no less than six penalties plus two conversions and, for me, that is the good news but, as always, Geoff & his team will be looking at those penalties which could so easily have cost us.
Elsewhere in SSE National One there were victories for Ealing, 53-29 at Wharfedale as they remain the only unbeaten side in the league after just six games. Blaydon beat Fylde 33-17 to bring the Lancashire lads down to earth after their unbeaten start, Barking lost again this time 34-24 to Coventry and as a result go to the foot of the table. Cinderford at last won a game beating newcomers Jersey 19-16 in a close encounter, Sedgley Park beat Birmingham/Solihull 55-34 (89 points!!) while Stourbridge continue to struggle losing out to Blackheath 25-20 at Stourton Park. Tynedale, who visit Priory Park on Saturday, lost out again to Rosslyn Park up in the North East by 37-24 all of which means that Ealing are on top with 27 points, Macclesfield second on 26 points and Fylde third on 25 with Coventry & Blaydon six points adrift of the three on 19 points.
I was unable to travel to Cambridge and watched the Lions at Priory Park in a local derby with Stockport who took a rapid ten point lead before the Lions got on the board and from then the game flowed back and forth with Stockport eventually taking the spoils with a 30-29 victory but a simple missed penalty at the death could have secured a Lions victory. One or two likely lads in this Lions Squad which is suffering from a number of changes after the last successful seasons. Also at Priory Park the Vets had a high scoring and entertaining encounter with Liverpool St Helens Vets who went away with the spoils after a 47-39 victory and the Thirds won at Rossendale by 36-22.
The Blues now have two ‘home’ matches with Tynedale this Saturday and then Rosslyn Park on 15th before which there is a pre match dinner and time now perhaps for me to explain the new admission charges which have caused much comment since Wharfedale visited on 27 August.
After the Financial AGM last week it is clear that in this day and age with less flowing down to clubs such as ours from the laden coffers of the RFU that the club needs to spend less and make more where possible and as a result a review of charges made and the packages involved compared with other clubs at our level was made and after much discussion at management level the decision was made to increase the charges to those you now see displayed on a notice board at the club entrance.
In a nutshell they are as follows:
Non Members £15 which includes car parking, match programme and a seat if required in the stand with Concessions (Over 60) at £12 with the same benefits.
Under 16 – No Charge
Members – £10
This is on a par with some clubs in SSE National One and not so with others.
There have been a number of comments that I have heard from supporters at Priory Park some in agreement but sadly a number who are not and whilst I will keep my counsel on this one let us not forget the bigger picture of what you want and what you expect when you come to Priory Park.
Put simply Macclesfield Rugby Club needs regular finance to survive at this high level of rugby football. Don’t forget that this magnificent club has never taken a backward step since leagues were introduced into Rugby Union way back in 1988 and unless a lottery win or a local millionaire comes up with the readies then, if we wish to see the success story continue, the club needs regular income and this is one way of obtaining same. Enough said at this stage!!
This coming weekend it is going to be a case of early alarms on Saturday and Sunday as the World Cup has now reached the knock out stage and, Scotland and Italy sadly apart, it is going to be a Six Nations showdown with England taking on France and Ireland v. Wales starting the show at 0600 on Saturday morning. On Sunday South Africa play Australia and then New Zealand (minus Dan Carter) play Argentina.
Clearly England will have to ‘up’ their game if they wish to progress but still they keep on winning and a third successive WC Final is not out of the frame – yet. Ireland & Wales seem to be in top order and that game will be one cracker so let it come on. All of this followed at 3.pm. of course by my match of the day at Priory Park, Macclesfield v. Tynedale. Be there……………………and I am saying nowt about the Super league Grand Final!!
Games for Saturday:
1st v. Tynedale – League – Home – 3.pm.
2nd v. Caldy – League – Home
3rd v. Wilmslow – League – Home
4th v. Ashton on Mersey – League – Away
Vets v. Oswestry Vets – League – Away
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,