The recent run of victories was put on hold by a competent Sedgley Park side at Priory Park on Saturday when they travelled back to Whitefield with a 28-18 victory following an entertaining game on a muddy surface and whilst they were value for the ‘W’ I did feel that Macclesfield deserved at least a bonus point for their efforts on the park which initially saw them take an early 10-0 lead thanks to some enterprising running by the threes before the visitors got on the scoreboard. This could have been higher if the home side had taken the opportunities to convert kickable penalties in the first quarter of the game instead of running the ball but hey it is easy to make those decisions on the touchline!! This game was the first of a testing run of fixtures in February and early March for the Blues as they travel over the tops to the Dore More home of Sheffield Tigers on Saturday and that is followed the next week when table topping and potential champions –Sale – currently on a twelve match winning run come visiting. With the victory on Saturday Sedge completed the ‘double’ over Macclesfield having won the encounter in Park Lane in early October. Let’s hope that no other club manages that before the campaign closes…
Just three months left in the season and clearly still much water to flow under the bridge but it does seem that at the top of Two North Sale will take some stopping after their impressive 36-5 victory over second placed Hinckley in the Midlands which leaves them 4 points clear of Hinckley and 5 clear of Sedgley Park (in third. ) Stourbridge and Tynedale follow closely. All of those clubs are now well clear of Huddersfield in the following pack whilst at the bottom of the table it is now Luctonians who lost at home to Huddersfield by 30-18, Sheffield who beat South Leicester in a tight game at Abbeydale by 10-3, Blaydon who were on the wrong side of an 89-17 pasting at Stour and currently moving away from the danger area are Wharfedale who are having a new lease of life with a close fought 22-20 victory over Chester in West Yorkshire. Ten points currently separate Wharfedale – 4th from bottom – from Otley and just one more point from ourselves on 38 points so clearly there is still much to play for especially as our next few games include Sale, South Leicester, Hinckley & Tynedale – none of which offer any respite.
There was no game for the Second XV (Lions) on Saturday but thankfully after a few troublesome weeks it was good to see victories for the 3rd XV who beat Rochdale Seconds at Priory Park by 31-12 and the 4th XV who took on Linley Seconds in the Midlands and returned with a 15-5 victory which hopefully will continue into this weekend when they play eminently winnable games. Once more I have no detail of these games other than the bare stats.
As we enter a new week it will not be a surprise to those who know me that I am looking forward to the start of Super League tomorrow (Thursday) when my home town club take on Leeds Rhinos in the first game of a long season and not only that the Six Nations kicks off on Saturday with Wales entertaining Scotland whilst the ‘favourites’ in many people’s minds – Ireland – travel over to Paris to take on France. England begin the day after in Rome when Italy provides the opposition as they seek to be ‘top of the pile’ again. This will be a tough campaign for all as injuries have hampered most of the countries and it will be interesting to see how the replacements perform at the top table come 5.pm. Sunday.
All this and at last success for the Cricketers ‘down under’ taking the one day series 4-1 to make up for the Test defeats. Let’s hope that the 20/20 games also go our way.
For those of you who intend travelling to Sheffield Tigers on Saturday please be aware that kick off will be 2.pm. and not the usual 3.pm. Priory Park kick off as they have no floodlights. Tigers play at ‘Dore More’, Hathersage Road, Sheffield S17 3AB. This is some 33 miles from Macclesfield (my post code in SK10) so suggest you allow about 1 ¼ hours to travel.
Games for Saturday:-
1st v. Sheffield Tigers – Away – 2.pm.
2nd v. Firwood Waterloo – Home – 2.15.pm.
3rd v. Preston Grasshoppers – Away
4th v. Winnington Park – Home
That’s all for now,
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,