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MATCH REPORT – Sunday, 12th February
Wirral 0 – Macclesfield 69
Macc made yet another trip up the M53 in the ¼ final of the Cheshire Cup. The result was never in doubt absolute credit must be given to the Wirral team who never gave up.
Macc won the toss and skipper Harry Harding chose to play up hill into the wind. Wirral used the elements well kicking deep, Macc anticipated this and changed their defensive structure playing with 3 full backs to counter attack. This proved to be the correct tactic. Wirral kicked long, Callum gathered the kick and linked well with Toby and we were attacking in the Wirral half. From the resulting scrum Macc executed a set play that involved all 15 players, several changes in directional play and Will Davies fed Harry Oliver who ran the perfect line to score under the posts, Harry then converted.
This set the tone for the game, the forwards consistently won the ball, the team used the outside backs well to make ground. From a set play Ross found a gap and put Toby in space who scampered over in the corner for Try no 2. The front 5 was getting on top, Wheelton, Walton and Chalcroft were wining every scrum regardless of whose put in it was, Harding & Meredith, the engine room of the scrum were creating perfect ball for the back row, James O at No 8 was making some excellent breaks one of which resulted in a score out wide.
The next try was again off the training paddock, Matt Harding’s favourite move – The catch and drive !! This allowed James Walton to score. The forwards were on top and further tries for Connor and Danny Brigs with conversions by Harry O set the score at 41-0 at half time. Eden and Sean were stopping any attacks that Wirral could muster, great tackling using a mix of Blitz and drift defence.
The distribution was excellent with Harry Kings & Will Davies’s passing creating gaps for the whole team, the link play between forwards and backs was a joy to watch. One Wirral parent event commented that it was like watching the All Blacks !! High praise indeed.
Macc made several changes with all the subs being used just after the break, this didn’t disrupt the play. Ross McGlone scored, followed by Harry Oliver & Toby Moules 2ndtries of the game. (Toby’s was the pick of the bunch after a 40 meter cross kick from Calum Greaves) Harry Oliver kicked all the conversions and scoreboard was ticking over.
The scrum remained solid with the new front row of Hurst, Faiers and Chalcroft working hard, the introduction of the fresh legs of Blackburn, Panton, Sleath & Holden only caused Wirral more problems. The last try came from some superb passing, I counted 11 players involved and Ben Sleath danced down the wing to score in the corner, Harry Oliver converted from the touchline to end a great performance.
Wirral played their part never giving up, Macc now proceed to the semi-final of the Cup.
Today was a real squad effort, 22 players involved and used !!
Macclesfield U16’s 23 – Sedbergh U16’s 12
Macclesfield hosted the winners of the Nat West Schools Trophy on Wednesday night in front of a bumper crowd. The game was won by the 15 on the pitch but it was a real squad effort.
Macc were straight out of the blocks, after a great kick off Sedbergh fielded the ball & were forced back by the Macc forwards who immediately put them under huge pressure, Sedbergh tried to force their way up the field but the tackling from Macc was immense, this really set the tone for the game. Sedbergh tried to clear but a great charge down by Sean and his superb pick up allowed him to score the game’s first try, Calum Greaves converted. Macc were 7-0 up inside 2 minutes.
Sedbergh composed themselves and started to put together several phases, Macc anticipated this onslaught and some huge tackling by James Oliver, Harry Harding & James Meredith stopped them from gaining ground. They did eventually score taking the game to 7-7.
This only lit the fire within Macc and within minutes they won a penalty which Calum converted to take the score to 10-7. The next 10 minutes were all Macc, the front row of Wheelton, Walton & Chalcroft were immense taking 3 balls against the head and pushing the much larger pack from Sedbergh backwards. This stopped there No 8 from being able to run the game, not something he is used to. The lineouts were functioning well, again Macc causing Sedbergh many problems on their own ball. This pressure resulted in Connor forcing his way over for another Macc try. Macc were 15-7 up at half time
The second half started well with Macc changing their game plan to push the visitors back into their own half more. This worked well and after a great pre-called move Ross McGlone scored to take the score to 20-7. This forced Sedbergh to be more expansive and try and get back into the game. This played into Maccs hands and the Macc back line of Greaves, McGlone, Briggs, Sleath, McNulty and Moule worked as a unit to stop anything Sedbergh threw at them. Macc then scored next with a penalty taking the score 23-7.
With the clock running down Sedbergh scored a well deserved try with the last play of the game after a charged down kick.
Macc won 23-12.
The lads fought like lions from start to finish, they showed huge character defending as if their lives depended on it, Macc thoroughly deserved the win. This was the hardest game we have played against well organised, talented opposition, just shows what Macc can produce!
Captain & Vice Captains chosen by U16 squad
Summary of 2015/2016 Season
Winners – Cheshire Bowl
Winners – Bowl Wirral Festival
Winners – Heaton Mersey 7 a side Festival
Winners – Macclesfield 7 a side Festival
U15’s End of Season Awards
Players Player – James Oliver
Most Improved Forward – Eden Massey
Coaches Forward – Connor Chalcroft
Most Improved Back – Sam Pantone
Coaches Back – Toby Moule
Clubman – George Coleman