For ‘Clubman’ – Cricket result in New Zealand apart it was a bad weekend starting with yet another defeat for the ‘Wire’ at the hands of St Helens on Friday and then compounded on Saturday by defeats for Macclesfield up in the North East at the hands of Tynedale and England in the Six Nations over the Channel in Paris and with the final weekend of the Six Nations this weekend the game against hitherto unbeaten and already Champions Ireland it does not get any easier so watch this space for hopefully better news next week…
Saturday for me however was not all bad as in the evening my Wife and I enjoyed a relaxing evening at the Heritage Centre with a full house listening to the NCO and the superbly talented Jennifer Pike playing Tchiakovsky’s Violin Concerto which put it all in perspective for this scribe.
But back to Rugby and despite opening the scoring with the first try of the game at Corbridge it was the home side that then ran in five unanswered tries to get the important ‘bonus point’ before Macclesfield closed the game by scoring the final try of the afternoon to go down 35-12. Elsewhere in Two North leaders Sale continued on their quest for National One with an outstanding 29-0 win at Heywood Road over second placed Stourbridge while Sedgley Park leapfrogged over Stour with a convincing 45-0 win over Chester. At the other end of the table Wharfedale, for so long sitting bottom, recorded a 16-0 win at Sheffield Tigers to stay just out of the relegation spots and South Leicester came from behind at home to defeat this weekend’s opposition – Luctonians – by 26-20 leaving Lucs sitting at the bottom of the pile so clearly a ‘must win’ game for the Blues come 3.pm. Saturday in what is a ‘reserve’ Saturday that sees just three games taking place in Two North all of which were postponed from last December when the weather held sway. In the other games Sedge take on an Otley side that surprised many with a splendid 15-13 victory at Hinckley and Wharfedale entertain last Saturdays victors over the Blues – Tynedale. Let’s have a full house at Priory Park for the Rugby which includes all those final Six Nations games.
Looking at promotion/relegation issues it is now clear that coming down to National Two North next season will be that famous old Lancashire club – Fylde – who lost all hope at Blackheath on Saturday and almost certainly coming up from National Three North will be Preston Grasshoppers who had another good victory at Lightfoot Green when they beat second placed Harrogate and from Three Midlands it looks like Birmingham and Solihull. All teams that we have previously met in our days in National 1 & 2 and for the Lancashire fans that mouth watering fixture of old Fylde v. Hoppers – remember the halcyon days of Bill Beaumont & Wade Dooley who both, of course, went from those clubs to England glory.
Anyhow back to Macclesfield Rugby and Saturday’s results for the other club teams starting with the Lions who travelled over to the Wirral to take on Caldy but sadly came second best in a high scoring game but the Thirds over at Wilmslow and playing the home sides 2nd XV returned with a very good 29-10 victory as did the 4th XV at Priory Park entertaining Sandbach 3rds and winning 19-8. As always I have no further details of these games despite requests early in the campaign so all I glean is from the various league results. Hopefully next season will see the information being passed in order for our lower sides to get some deserved publicity – I can but hope!!
Back to the Six Nations briefly and that game in Paris where England simply did not come up to scratch and that Yellow card dished out to Anthony Watson by referee Jaco Peyper for an alleged high tackle. I have seen worse go unpunished in both RL and RU but whilst the ref did not have the best of games neither did England and they now have to pick up the pieces at HQ against an Irish side looking good in my book for a ‘Grand Slam’ which – despite my background – I hope they do as they have been by far the best side this time round. Watch this space!!
Games for this weekend:-
1st v. Luctonians – Home – 3.pm.
2nd – Free Week
3rd – Free Week
4th v. Lymm 4 – Home
Enjoy your Rugby – I do,