Macclesfield Blues overcame a tough and resilient Sedgley Tigers side last weekend, and came home with the points they wanted. Unfortunately the Blues weren’t able to deny Sedgley the bonus point, and therefore failed to clinch the League title on the day. However, that victory sets things up nicely for this coming weekend. A win against Chester at Priory Park this weekend will see Macclesfield Blues lift the National League 2 North trophy for the second time in 3 years, and for Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, that moment can’t come soon enough. Here’s what Giles had to say.
Was the Sedgley game as ‘nip and tuck’ as you’d predicted it would be?
“Nip and tuck is probably the understatement of the year! The first and last four and a half minutes were unreal and did little for my nerves. We started off horribly and went 12 points down early on. I started to think then that what we needed to do was get hold of the ball to exert our authority: but the problem was we couldn’t really manage to do that – not really for the first 20 minutes in fact.”
“In the last 4 minutes when Ryan Parkinson crashed over with the ball, I though yes, we’re going to do this, and we’re going to do this today. But a couple of silly decisions and a couple of sloppy penalties later and we were back under the pump again. From a rugby spectator’s point of view that first and last 4-minute spell was probably everything they could’ve asked for: but from a coach’s point of view it was horrible.”
“I suppose in retrospect it probably felt like the right kind of result – first playing second and fighting tooth and nail to the bitter end, but from my perspective it didn’t do much for the blood pressure. I suppose I can now look on the game more soberly, and accept that at least this now gives us the opportunity to go on and win the league in front of our home fans at Priory Park this weekend, but at the time I wasn’t necessarily thinking that.”
Were you disappointed not to claim the title last weekend?
“Well, obviously we were, but you have to be realistic. It would’ve been great to clinch the Championship last weekend, but you have to accept that we were never going to have it all our own way. To go to Park Lane and beat Sedgley is a tall order at the best of times: to go there, win and clinch the Championship was probably too much to ask for. The good thing is the boys, to their credit, really stepped up and showed the grit and determination they’ve demonstrated all season. The result is that it’s set up next Saturday very nicely for us.”
Chester are a good team, but their form has been inconsistent of late: what are you expecting?
“Chester are probably a little disappointed with how their season’s gone, especially after how they finished their season last year. I suppose they have been a little inconsistent during the latter half of this season. Then again they went and stuck 40 points on Sale FC last weekend, so that shows you what they’re capable of.”
“I can’t speak for Chester, but what I would say if I was in their position is, what better motivation and opportunity is there than having the potential to spoil a home party and throw a spanner in the works than this. That must surely be motivation enough for them to come and try to disrupt us, let alone the small matter of this being a local Cheshire derby.”
“From our point of view knowing the potential pitfalls, we have to make sure we prepare accordingly. We spoke after Saturday’s game and I told the boys we’d got our foot in the door now after that result: next Saturday against Chester we have to make sure we get through the door and slam it shut after us. We have to get the job done on Saturday and we don’t need any better motivation than that.”