Blues 18 – 21 Plymouth Albion

Macc were lifted after their recent run of good performances after a nail biting home victory over Loughborough Students, and then a dominant but valiant loss at Birmingham Moseley last week, while second placed Plymouth were going for 10 wins in a row so no dead rubbers here.

An early maul try from the visitors by Daly and they had also built numerous forward momentum phases only to drop the ball over the line, giving the impression this may be a regulation win for the South Coast outfit, but the home side have been in deeper holes this season and hit back with a nice bit of magic from Elliot Brierley after a massive maul, side stepping 2 defenders and finishing from the edge of the ‘22. Brierley arguably had his best game of the season and was a strong contender for man of the match along with the energetic and spirited scrum half Nick Allsop.

The Blues were starved of possession for long spells by the visitors but showed good defiance and structure in their defence. Attacking opportunities were rare and The Blues were often pegged back if they did get their hands on the pill. Rare ventures into the opposition 22, first by Elliott Millar-Mills supported by 2 latching team mates and then from big carries by Ollie Parkinson and Myles Hall, were both squandered. Despite much ball Macc didn’t look under too much pressure until Plymouth went ahead again through Strong despite their attacking play struggling to break our boys down.

Macc responded not long after though when captain and number 8 Ryan Parkinson got good go forward via a Parkinson peel and moments later a penalty was awarded that Lewis Barker dispatched from 35 metres out to claw 3 points back, 10-14 at half time.

Plymouth looked a bit stronger after the break, targeting the collision in the carry, and spreading their phases from wing to wing, finding some joy in the wider channels at times but it was the Cheshire side who went into the lead after Matt King chased down his own kick, after a nice move by the backs off scrum ball. This appeared to swing the momentum and saw Plymouth’s discipline deteriorate, this being one occasion, in a season where the Priory Park side have received very little help from the officials, they would have admit referee Ben Blain was very much on the ball with the final pen count 19-9* in favour of the Blues. It wasn’t without foundation though, the visitors proved cynical in defence and set piece and breakdown, with tempers flaring when Lewis Barker was clotheslined, Blain preferring to keep his cards in his pocket this time. Macclesfield were enjoying far more possession this second period, with plenty of red zone threat. A series of scrums for the home team on the opposition 5m line, came to nothing except a yellow card for Albion before a strong attack into the Plymouth final third resulted in a further 3 points from Barker’s boot (18-14 with 12 to play).

But as has been the case so many time this year, it came down to one mistake, and as we have learnt in this league mistakes are often punished. Fly half and long time servant to the club, Tom Eaton dropped a pass right at the feet of Winger Wedlake-Milcam who ran it in under the posts (18-21) with 8 minutes to play.

The Blues dug deep and were cheered on tremendously by the home support, and spent the entirety of the remaining time in the Plymouth 22 having multiple set piece opportunities to snatch victory and a 14 phases final push for the line was ended when Billy Robinson was isolated at the bottom of a ruck. They will kick themselves for not converting the 2 major red zone opportunity conversion is such a big part of being successful in this league, and more performances like the last 2 might have meant the current league position at the foot of the table didn’t have to be the current reality, but it was a sterling effort all the same, and visitors to Priory Lane have been treated to some fantastic rugby lately.

The way the travelling side celebrated you would have thought they had just won in the final of the Champions Cup so they clearly knew they had been in a game and despite losing that should be a feather in the cap of Cheshire’s currently top ranked team.

An Ionians win against Cambridge means Macclesfield will be playing National 2 rugby next season, and Giles Heagerty (who was quick to thank the fans for their unwavering support this season) and his lieutenants will turn their attention to structuring a squad to try and bounce back at the first attempt, which wont be easy with the likes of Sedgley Park, Leicester Lions, Stourbridge, potentially the big spending Sale FC not to mention Hull or Blaydon too, but whatever happens, if its anything like today it will be exciting.

*statistical analysis provided by NoFX Sports Analysis & Media 


Tries: Brierley, King
Conversions: L. Barker x1
Penalties: L. Barker x2
Drop goals:


Tries: Daly, Strong
Conversions: Shepherd x2
Drop goals:

Attendance: 268
Referee: Ben Blain
Half-time: 10-14
Star man: R. Parkinson

TEAMS (15-9, then 1-8)

MACCLESFIELD: Lomax, Hall, Brierley, L. Barker, King, Eaton, Allsop and Mantell, Millea, Millar-Mills, O. parkinson, Marwick, F. Barker, Parfitt, R. Parkinson. Replacements: Moss, Robinson, Finnemore, Smith, Broster

PLYMOUTH: Powell, Wedlake-Millcam, Squire, Strong, Crosscombe, Skinner, Shepherd and Norton, Cowan-Dickie, Keast, Collier, Holmes, Cooper, Daly, Williams. Replacements: Nixon, Freestone, George, Hallet, Setter


👏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
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🗣️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
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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
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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
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🗣️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
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