Macclesfield 4’s 65 – 14 Winnington Park 3’s

6th January 2014

Macc continued their rich vein of form with an 11 try rout of spirited but weakened bottom of the table Winnington Park. Winnington Park are to be complimented in honouring the fixture and travelling to Priory Park despite being three players short of a full team.  Macc lent them players to ensure a fair and competitive match could be enjoyed by both clubs.

Macc began at a high pace, with the usually dominant forwards providing the majority of the possession that enabled the threequarters to probe the line for gaps. This was a consistent feature of the first half, with Macc monopolising the ball and not allowing Winnington Park the opportunity to get into the game and create attacking moves in response. Bos scored the first try after 10 minutes with a push over the line from short range.  Keeling added the conversion. A few minutes later Streety forced his way over for the second try, although Keeling missed the conversion. Shortly afterwards Streety had to leave the field with a leg injury and was replaced by Jim Welsh. It began to look as though the Macc forwards would continue to take advantage of their strength in the set piece to create the platform for more forward tries, but it was Will Hawthorn who enjoyed a very successful afternoon who scorched in to score the first of his three first half tries next as Macc varied the point of attack. Keeling duly added the extras. Tim Peakman drove over from a five yard scrum to take the score to 24-0 to Macc before the backs took over the remainder of the first half scoring through two long distance tries from Hawthorn who showed the Winnington Park defence his exceptional pace, and Andy Foster who fought his way over from short range. The final try in the first half was scored by Macc right wing Ryan Brown, surely a candidate for most improved player this season.
 
At half time Macc were winning 48-0 and it looked as though a cricket score was definitely on the cards as Macc had dominated the possession and all phases of the play throughout the first period. Skipper Walker then changed the Macc players loaned to Winnington Park and Nick Cooke and Dave Cusick who had been playing on the wings for Winnington Park were swapped with their Macc opponents Dave Spendlove, Will Hawthorn and Ryan Brown. 
 
Although Macc scored three further tries during the second half, it seemed as though they had “gone off the boil” as their dominance and determination did not reach the first half levels and the accuracy and teamwork slipped allowing Winnington Park to get more into their game.  There is no doubt that the move to uncontested scrums drew the sting from the dominant Macc pack and allowed Winnington Park the opportunity to mount attacks from the back of the scrum that were not possible during the first half. There is always the potential in a game where you are dominating every phase of play for some complacency to creep into the game and Macc were guilty of this and several scores went begging due to players becoming isolated or poor finishing of scoring moves. Nevertheless Fergus Green scored two good forward tries and Andy Foster crossed for his second of the match.  Keeling converted the first of Fergus Green’s tries to take the Macc score to 65.
 
The key scores of the afternoon were both from Winnington Park, but both scored, and scored well by loaned Macc players. First it was Ryan Brown who came in off the right wing to arc through the centre turn on the afterburners and beat all the Macc cover to score close to the posts. The conversion was successful.  Secondly, Dave Spendlove scorched up the left wing to dive in for his try. This was also successfully converted and final score was 65-14.
 
A good win for Macc, but Skipper Walker impressed upon the team that when they face top of the league Moore at Priory Park next week the concentration levels and application must not be allowed to dip in the second half and the performance must be maintained for the full 80 minutes.  The first half score of 48-0, followed by a second half score of 17-14 tells its own story.
 
A special thank you to those Macc players who sportingly played for Winnington Park in this match. Nick Cooke, Dave Cusick, Will Hawthorne, Dave Spendlove and Ryan Brown.  Brown got on the scoresheet for both teams.
 
Macc play Moore, top of the league at Priory Park next Saturday.  In the away fixture on 5th October Macc lost 28-13 and are keen to reverse the result in the return match.