Macclesfield 38 – Wirral 7
Clinical finishing by the backs and dogged defence by the forwards was the basis for a fine win against a physical Wirral side. All twenty two players contributed to an impressive performance, which was pacey and committed. This will be the third season in succession that the lads have progressed to the Cheshire Cup Final. The Blues had to work hard on their defence for the first quarter of an hour. Wirall pinned Macc back in their twenty two for long periods of time, helped by the strong wind and an effective pick and drive strategy from their muscular pack. Eventually, the forwards nicked the ball at a ruck and Harry was able to kick clear. A well timed tap tackle was enough to stop Chris opening the scoring, after he broke down the left wing, but minutes later, he was last to get up after a catch and drive from a lineout bulldozered its way over the Wirral line for the first score. Ollie’s conversion was cutely judged, allowing for the tight angle and the wind in his face.
The second try came straight from the restart. Harry made a break, then pinged the ball to Joe, who dodged, then fed Dan on his outside. Dan outpaced the cover defence to score close to the posts, making Ollie’s conversion attempt more straightforward than his first.
The backs were starting to look dangerous, with their combination of pace and accurate passing. The forwards were getting to the breakdown quickly to maintain possession. These attributes were illustrated in the third try. Ollie came in to the back line, zipping round his man on the outside, then cutting in to set up the ball at a ruck. The forwards were there in numbers to secure the ball and tie in the opposition. Harry spotted the lack of cover down the blind side, then scurried down the wing to score. Ollie then slotted another tricky conversion.
Forwards and backs combined for the fourth try. Archie started the move with a break on the ten metre line, passing to Huw on his outside. Huw went outside then weaved back inside another twenty metres. George was in support and made it to the twenty two, before he was tackled. Moving the ball left, then right, opened up just enough of a gap for Harry to find Chris on the wing. Chris’ instinctive knowledge of where the try line was, enabled him to dab the ball down with one hand before he was tackled into touch.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, Macc able to keep the opposition at bay for long periods, despite the penalty count against them. The fifth try came from a break from Dan on halfway. He looked like he was going to go all the way, but a floated pass to Huw in support was the sensible option, enabling him to slide over for the score. Harry’s kicking over the Wirral defence kept them turning. A good chase forced Wirral to concede a five metre scrum in front of their posts. Archie burrowed over from the next breakdown to wrap up the scoring.
Squad: (1) Scott Greenway (2) Rob Davies (3) Ben Hadfield (4) Tom Lucas (5) Adam Grindrod (6) George Hodkinson (7) Archie Thorneycroft (8) Christian Taylor (9) Will Gregory (10) Harry Jackson (11) Huw Ravenscroft (12) Joe Hale (13) Dan Greer (14) Jack Dymond (15) Ollie Aston (16) Elliot Clayton (17) Tom Roberts (18) Harry Grant (19) Jack Pearce (20) Junaid Athar (21) Charlie Davies (22) Jonnie Hammill
Try: Christian Taylor (8) – 19 mins, Conversion: Ollie Aston (15), Try: Dan Greer (13) – 21 mins, Conversion: Ollie Aston (15), Try: Harry Jackson (10) – 24 mins, Conversion: Ollie Aston (15), Try: Christian Taylor (8) – 30 mins
Try: (11) – 33 mins, Conversion: (12)
Try: Huw Ravenscroft (11) – 6 mins, Try: Archie Thorneycroft (7) – 13 mins, Conversion: Ollie Aston (15)