Macclesfield Blues 21 – 45 Hull Ionians

After the controversy of the last minute calling off of this fixture in January due to a frozen pitch, and the fact the two teams are separated by one place in the relegation zone of National One, this had all the hallmarks of a grudge match.

Both teams wasted their first attacking entry in the opening exchanges and Macclesfield had the better of the scoreless opening quarter, using their pack to retain possession and to bludgeon away at the home eight, and they should have made more of several good chances created but handling errors and a resilient home defensive effort kept them at bay. It was Macclesfield who went ahead in the 21st minute after fly-half Tom Eaton saw a gap and made a break through the Ionians defence on half way, and put the supporting Matt King under the posts for the first score. Tom Morton added the goal to open up a seven point lead.

Ionians responded with an improved forward effort to drive the ball into the opposition 22. James Sanderson and Mark Wigham did the donkey work to allow Phil Eggleshaw to barge over from close range, on 25 minutes to level the scores. This was followed swiftly by a fine solo effort from Aquile Smith; ever alert, Smith gathered the ball at the base of a poorly guarded ruck, and sprinted through the middle, rounded the covering Ryan Parkinson and dived over in the corner. The kick was expertly judged by Isaac Green, to put the hosts 14 – 7 in front, which was how it remained to the break.

The Blues came out fighting in the second half, with Ionians weathering an early onslaught from Macclesfield, during which scrum half Green was sent to the bin after the visitors mauled 25 metres deep into the Yorkshire sides’ ‘22. Unfortunately for Macc points win prizes and the lads failed to pick any up in that dominant spell. Ultimately, not taking their chances is what has cost the Cheshire side numerous wins this season and this game was no exception.

Despite a man disadvantage, Ionians pulled away, after the pacey winger Smith had turned defence into attack by racing from one 22 to the other and forced a penalty out of the scrambling defence, the home side drove a line-out over for a try for Ali Thomson, to extend the lead to 19 – 7 after 47 minutes. Even though Macclesfield were dominating scrum time they couldn’t capitalize and conceded the bonus point try came as the game approached the final quarter. The unrelenting Joe Allott broke through the first line of a flagging defence, ran on for 40 yards before unselfishly passing inside to Smith to finish under the posts. Sam Wilson made the game safe with Ionians fifth try on the hour, when he was on hand to finish off a move instigated by some increasingly fluid play from the home back line, Lewis Minikin making a nifty break that put the home side in a good attacking position making it 31-7 with 18 minutes left to play.

Matt King combined with Eaton again five minutes later, the former underneath the latter’s chip over the Ionians defence from 5 metres out and literally falling over the line to finish, to keep the visitors faint hopes alive but these were snuffed out as Ionians were growing in confidence and hit back with two late tries; Smith was denied a third try when he was illegally impeded in a race to the line after a chip and chase kick with only Matt King at home for Macclesfield but Ionians were awarded a penalty try and the former professional, Eggleshaw then bagged a second, like his first, from close range.

Francis Barker scored for Macclesfield, following up on a break by fellow back-rower Nyle Davidson, on 75 minutes but this served as little more than a consolation, though no more than their effort deserved. As has been the case all season the lads gave everything but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

The reality is that it looks incredibly bleak for Macc in National One now. Yes, there are 35 points available from the remaining 7 games, but The Blues are rooted to the bottom of the league and 18 points from safety, and having failed to pick up wins in the games against the teams around them, it looks as if Macclesfield can expect to be playing in National 2 next season. Many of the teams in this league have had positive praise for the fluid brand of rugby played but the high physicality, the highly competitive budgets of the teams in National One as well as the unforgiving nature of this league have were always going to make it a big ask to stay up and these factors have all played their part in what has been a difficult season to date, for Macclesfield Blues. One thing is for sure, the lads will give everything for the shirt and the fans until the bitter end. #backingmacc


👏11 players 1 coach & TR from Macc involved in the final at HQ! 8 of the lads have come from our Mini & Youth section 💥The County XV to take on Oxfordshire at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow!All are welcome to travel to HQ to support the lads, and if that's not possible, it will be livestreamed on England Rugby Youtube! 📺 I’m sure you will join us in wishing the Macc lads and the Cheshire RFU squad all the best 👏👏🏆#macclesfield #local #community #rugby #CountyRugby #cheshire #maccrugby ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
🗣️Another 2 class acts are in for 24/25 🏉Danny has been a growing talent for the past few seasons and is now ready to fire into National League Rugby! 💥 All rounder Phil Laing is absolutely brilliant wherever he plays, a true club man and he’s ready to go! 💪Danny is kindly sponsored by the Mayfield’s 🙏Phil is open to sponsor 📧 #macclesfield #local #community #rugby #oneclub #maccrugby National League Rugby ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
We still have places left for teams to get involved 🔗BOOK NOW:👀💰 £600 Prize for the Men’s Open & £250 for the women’s 7s winners! 🤩🥇🏆Don’t miss a great day of Rugby 🏉 & sport including our new 5 a side football ⚽️ offer! Also Lacrosse🥍 will be full swing on the Saturday for anyone interested in seeing what it’s all about! #rugby #rugbysevens #rugby7s #cashprizes #WalkingRugby #womensrugby #communityrugby #football #lacrosse #Macclesfield #cheshire #rugbyclub #camping ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
The End of Season Awards were presented at the End of Season Ball 2024 - a fantastic evening celebrating the end of a successful season which saw the 1st XV crowned champions of Premier North and promoted to National League Rugby 2 West. Our Macclesfield Womens Rugby XV went (virtually) undefeated and will now move into their first league from the 24/25 season and the 2nd / 3rd Xv celebrated their league achievements too! With thanks to all who attended - and all our supporters and sponsors throughout the year. The event was held in aid of the Cardiac Risk in the Young - Onwards we go into the 150th year for the Club and bring on season 2024/25!!!Full list of winners below!Chairman’s Player of the Season 23/24 - Tom Burden 1stXV Players Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Harry Blackwell 1stXV Most Improved 23/24 - Tom Jennings 2ndXV Players Player 23/24 - Ted Broadley2ndXV Coaches Player 23/24 - Hector Tomlinson 2ndXV Most Improved 23/24 - Carl Droy 2ndXV Young Player 23/24 - Haydn Keogh 3rdXV Players Player 23/24 - Mathew Price3rdXV Most Improved 23/24 - Rupert Dixon 3rdXV Captains Player 23/24 - Mike Dale Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Tiegan Shaw Women’s Players Player 23/24 - Liz JarrattWomen’s Coaches Player 23/24 - Julia Ashford Women’s Most Improved 23/24 - Annie James Bert Ashley tankard 23/24 - Mel BramleyWomen’s Best Newcomer 23/24 - Chloe Newbigging ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
🗣️Welcome to the club Dan Leake, the ex Rotherham Titans & Sale FC winger will be aiming to pile up the points from September. 📈The club wishes you all the best Dan!👍👏💥Become Dan’s sponsor and get a shout out every time he scores or is mentioned on our feeds. 📧 #welcome #macclesfield #community #rugby #oneclub #newsigning #newkidintown #support #sponsorship #opportunity ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
    Your Basket
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop