Sedgley Park 12 – 79 Macclesfield Lions

For those of you who have followed the Lions over the last few season will know, Macclesfield vs Sedgley is usually the game that sets the tone for the season – the Lions will be hoping this is the case this year. The Lions turned up at Sedgley knowing that no matter what strength their opponents were at, they would be in for a tough 80 minutes, the Lions themselves had a strong 15 out but this would count for nothing once the game started and Sedgley laid down their intent immediately.

Roberts kicked off and immediately Sedgley shipped the ball to their oversized centre who looked like he should be playing in the Super League, he was brought down but managed to offload to a team mate who went over underneath the posts, the Lions were 5 nil down. To say this spurred the Lions into action would be an understatement. The Lions went straight back down to the other end and scored two quick tries, one of which Longmore converted, however as suspected Sedgley did not lie down and responded with a converted try due to some poor defence from the Lions. This took the score to 12-12, Robinson gave a war cry that would have been more suited to an Amazon tribe and from this point on the game became a one sided affair, Macclesfield were simply unstoppable.  At half time the Lions had managed another two converted tries and a penalty which took the scores to 29-12 but Macclesfield knew that they had a chance to bury Sedgley and in the second half they stepped it up another notch.

Whenever Sedgley had the ball they were met with a brick wall defence which was lead by skipper Roberts who more than proved his worth in the defensive line, the ‘oversized centre’ made not one line break and Macclesfield forced Sedgley backwards every time they were in possession. The Lions’ ability to attack was being created by their severe defence and their dominance in the scrum, Luckett, Taylor and Robinson were demolishing the entire Sedgley pack. Rawles was pinching line out ball and Smith along with Laing, Clowes and Fox were making severe inroads.

Ashley was ensuring his selection in the 9 jersey for next week through a fantastic performance, he made breaks and provided Roberts with the ball at the right times. The backline was functioning perfectly, having Longmore at 13 gave the backs the opportunity to attack the outside channels, once the line was broken the support flooded through and the Lions were simply unstoppable. There was an abundance of tries during the second half and Sedgley had no answer to Macclesfields never ending pressure.

At the final whistle the score was 79-12 in favour of the Lions, the dressing room was buzzing after the game and the Lions had proved to themselves that if they play like that week in week out they will be more than a match for anyone. The support from head coach Bartle on the sideline made a massive difference and for him and the senior players Taylor, Rawles, Laing, Roberts and Hardwick the margin of victory meant a lot, it would also mean just as much to Hehirs and Jones who are no longer with the Lions. It will be important for the Lions to carry this form into their league game against Flyde next Saturday. The Lions will also face Flyde in an evening kick off cup encounter at Priory Park a week on Friday.

Man of the Match: Ashley

Team: Luckett, Taylor (I), Robinson, Rawles, Smith, Clowes, Laing, Fox, Ashley, Roberts (c), Board, Longmore, Hardwick, Jewars, Morrison.

Reserves: Taylor (J), Curtis

Next week the Lions entertain Flyde at 2.15pm, Priory Park

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