The season is now at a close and Macclesfield will reflect on what has been a very successful season after securing promotion to National League One.
Macclesfield won the league in dramatic fashion after securing two bonus points away at Darlington Mowden Park. The Blues won 26 of their 30 games, losing three and drawing one with Stourbridge at Priory Park.
The start of the season seems a long time ago now but Macclesfield kicked off their successful season with a 30-19 win against fellow promotion chasers Darlington. Macc kicked on from this win and went on a winning streak of ten games before their first loss of the season at home to Birmingham Solihull on the 16th of November. The Blues only lost once on their travels all season and that came on the final day of the season, although they had done enough to secure promotion.
The Priory Park crowd was treated to some spectacular rugby throughout the season with some high scoring affairs which included some massive wins for Macclesfield, including a 73-3 win against the relegated and winless Dudley Kingswinford. Another spectacle of a match was witnessed by the highest home crowd of the season for Macclesfield when promotion chasing Stourbridge came to town looking to upset the Blues with a big away following. The two sets of fans witnessed a phenomenal 26-26 draw which included two tries for scrum half Jordan Brookes and one for the league’s top try scorer Ryan Parkinson.
Macclesfield the season with the season with three players within the top ten try scorers within the league. Centre, Elliot Brierley finished 7th with a return of 17 tries for the season which would have seen him be closer to the top in any of the other leagues. Blues winger, Edward Stobart finished the season with 23 tries, a return that would have seen him top the other national leagues, something which is an impressive feat. However, credit must go to Macc number eight Ryan Parkinson who scored an astonishing 32 league tries over the course of the 30 game season. Director of Rugby Geoff Wappett had this to say on the performance of the league’s top try scorer:
“I set Ryan a target of 30 tries at the beginning of the season which is a massive amount for any player, especially a back row forward. But the way set things up it is possible for back row to score high amounts of tries, I have had back row forwards here before who have got a lot of tries because of the way we play but Ryan has been very impressive.”
Macclesfield chairman Peter Harper felt the club are now where they belong in National One:
“It’s well deserved, they deserve to be there. We’ve been top of the league for pretty much the whole season. Everyone involved with the club has been absolutely fantastic and I’m sure the guys will do us proud next year in National One.”
Macclesfield Captain Tom Eaton also felt that the Blues should be a National One side:
“National One is where we should be as a side and a group of players, we should never have got relegated last year we were very unfortunate, its where we should be, its where all these players should aspire to play at, at least! We are better than this division and we have proved that, rugby is about playing at as higher level as you can, I hope we retain as many players as we can and we’ll be successful next year.”
The end of this season is also the end of an era for the club as Geoff Wappett and Andy Northey are leaving the Blues. The two coaches have helped take Macclesfield back to National One and the club and players could not thank them enough. The new man at the helm will be Giles Heagerty who will hope to continue the positive times for the Blues.