20th April 2018

Disappointment at Mortimer Park on Saturday as Macclesfield succumbed to bottom of North Two outfit Luctonians by 17-12 who, in the process, moved up one place in the relegation zone leaving Sheffield who lost at home to Otley in the Yorkshire ‘Derby’ languishing at the basement with just three games to play.

Down in Herefordshire the Blues took the early advantage with an unconverted try and indeed dominated most of the first half but it appears that indiscipline cost the visitors and the home side gradually belied their lowly league position to grind out an important ‘W’ but it seems a case of ‘too little too late’ as they also sit in the dreaded ‘drop zone’ along with Wharfedale who we visit for our final game of the season on 28 April and rest assured the home side will be up for it following their 44-19 thrashing of former league leaders Hinckley at Threshfield on Saturday as they seek to stay in Two North.

Blaydon – sitting just above ‘Dale – put up a great scrap before going down 36-24 to league leaders Sale FC up in the North East while Sedgley Park – who clearly have not yet given up hope of promotion – had a good win 50-29 at Leicester Lions so still plenty to play for at the top and bottom before the season closes in a couple of weeks.

Elsewhere in the League below us Champions elect – Preston Grasshoppers lost only their second game of the season by 31-27 at Billingham – and in the Midlands Premier Champions Birmingham & Solihull (who will join ‘Hoppers in Two North next season) also lost to our local rivals Sandbach by 33-26.

Maybe cases of taking the foot off the pedal with promotion assured but let’s wait and see what they have to offer come September as they join us in Two North for next seasons campaign along with already relegated Fylde from National One who were thrashed 40-7 up in the North East at Darlington Mowden Park.

Around Priory Park on Saturday the Lions – whose league season is now finished – had no game and the 3rd XV beat Wirral Seconds in an entertaining game at Priory Park by 48-31 whilst over at Northwich the 4th XV beat the home sides 3rd team by 37-15.  Both 3rd & 4th teams play their final games this coming weekend and the Thirds playing in the Halbro North West Leagues Championship can be proud of their achievements as they regularly play other clubs 2nd teams.

Back to the 1st XV and this weekend being the final ‘Home’ game of the season also sees a pre match dinner where many former players will be in attendance and I look forward to mulling over old times with a beer or so before the Blues take on Stourbridge in what hopefully will be anything but an ‘end of season’ game with little at stake apart from pride as the Cricket season commences.  Watch this space!!

With that other code now getting into full swing my side had another good ‘W’ on Saturday at the Halliwell Jones beating Hull KR in a high scoring encounter by 40-26 as the season gets into full swing with Challenge Cup games this coming weekend as the road to Wembley opens up.

Fixtures for Saturday:-

1st XV v. Stourbridge – Home – 3.pm.
3rd XV v. Vale of Lune – Away
4th v. Whitchurch 3 – Away

That’s it for now and only a couple more columns before I close for the Summer.

Enjoy your Rugby – I do,

‘CLUBMAN’