Cheshire Cup Quarter Final Ellesmere Port U16’s 5 – 46 Macclesfield U16’s

The Blues travelled to Ellesmere Port for their Cheshire Cup Quarter Final game, not knowing what to expect from their opposition having only come across them at a Caldy festival a number of years ago. With a strong blustery wind blowing down the pitch, the Blues encountered a team keener than themselves to drop on the loose ball and a defensive line peppered with fierce tacklers. A superior scrum and forward power in the loose enabled the Blues to slowly turn the screw in the second half and build a tidy lead and come away with their biggest win of the season. There were a number of candidates for Man of the Match. Ollie scored all the points in the first half, Archie along with Motty provided the go forward in the pack, Charlie and Scott fought for the ball at the breakdown, but Ben made the biggest difference, hitting the gain line and making the hard yards.
Playing with the wind in the first half helped the kicking game, but hindered the passing game. Huw cut a neat line from the centre to set up the first attack. A pass to Tom R went to ground, which he hacked on into space on the right wing. Ollie chased it , diving to touch it down just before the ball reached the in- goal touch line. A frustrating period of play then followed, the final pass not going to hand after a number of line breaks, or needless kicking going dead. The Blues only kept the initiative with their superior scrummaging. Archie sets up the next score with a pick up off the back of the scrum, smart hands to Tom R to Ollie, put Ollie in space on the right hand side, who scored in a similar place to his first. Ollie slots the tricky conversion. Ellesmere Port then have a period of pressure in the Blues’ twenty two. Scott foiled a neat lineout move with a monster tackle and Charlie was quick to drop on a loose ball while others watched. The pack repelled a maul on their own line, Tom L wrapped up the ball and the pack moved the maul backwards. Eventually a penalty is won, enabling Tom R to clear the lines. With time running out, the Blues opt to kick a penalty, which Ollie takes, adding to his first half points haul.
Playing into the wind in the second half was much more productive for the Blues. Unable to get much distance on any kicks, the ball had to go through the hands in attack. Will snaffled the opposition ball at a scrum, moving it left Tom R pops the ball to Ben, who straightens his run to drive over the line for the score. Ollie converts again. Ben and Archie were in action again, joining forces to move the ball forward. Adam hit the back of a maul, restarting its progress down the pitch. Archie set off on a mazy run from the half way line to the twenty two, unfortunately the move breaks down after a knock on. Archie has another go from first receiver from a penalty, this time his inside run gets him over the line for the score. Ollie made the conversion count with the extra two points. Archie scored again, five minutes later. The ball is moved left down the line to Jonny in the centre. Jonny fed Archie who tumbled over the line to score. Tom L instigates the next scoring move, getting to the full back first, wrapping him and the ball up. Ben drove the maul forward towards the line, the ball is smuggled back to Will who nipped round the right of the maul to dab the ball over the line. Tom R converts the extras. The final score of the game was a testament to Huw’s perseverance and acrobatic skills. Tidying up a loose ball, Huw tripped, pirouetted, somersaulted and dodged his way over the line for the welcome score. Tom L had a go at the conversion, but the wind held the ball up short.
The semi final now beckons against Wirral, Stockport or Lymm.
Try: Macclesfield – Ollie Aston – 2 mins
Try: Macclesfield – Ollie Aston – 17 mins
Conversion – Ollie Aston
Penalty: Macclesfield – Ollie Aston – 35 mins
Try: Macclesfield – Ben Hadfield – 37 mins
Conversion – Ollie Aston
Try: Macclesfield – Archie Thorneycroft -44 mins
Conversion – Ollie Aston
Try: Macclesfield – Archie Thorneycoft – 59 mins
Try: Ellesmere Port – No 9 – 62 mins
Try: Macclesfield – Will Gregory – 64 mins
Conversion – Tom Roberts
Try: Macclesfield – Huw Ravenscroft – 70 mins

(1) Joe Stubbs (2) Rob Davies (3) Ben Hadfield (4) Tom Lucas (5) Jack Pearce (6) Charlie Davies (7) Junaid Athar (8) Archie Thorneycroft (9) Harry Grant (10) Tom Roberts (11) Jonny Jones (12) Will Gregory (13) Huw Ravenscroft (14) Jack Dymond (15) Ollie Aston (16) Adam Grindrod (17) Tom Leicester (18) Jack Salem (19) Jonny Hammill (20) Scott Greenway

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