As the season began for real after the pre-season games and cup ties it was down to League Rugby for all of the Macclesfield teams on Saturday but sadly none of the games saw victory for any of our sides with the 1st XV losing in a high scoring encounter at South Leicester (47-24) with match report elsewhere in this paper and in the Halbro North West Leagues the Lions (2nd XV) went down 29-5 at Lymm whilst the 3rd & 4th teams also lost to Wilmslow 2nds and Crewe & Nantwich 3rds respectively also in high scoring games but I have no further detail about these encounters. Hopefully now that the first weekend is done and dusted we can get back to the habit of winning games as the respective squads settle for the season.
In National Two North – where Macclesfield will be plying their trade for the next eight months – the new sides to this level for 2018/19 Fylde (who were relegated from National 1) entertained and beat Otley 24-14, Preston Grasshoppers (promoted) lost a high scoring encounter at Chester 48-37, Peterborough Lions – new to us this season also following their promotion – lost out at home to Wharfedale by 26-12 and Hull Ionians- also promoted – edged it against Sheffield Tigers by 35-33 in what sounds a cracker of a game. Elsewhere potential favourites for promotion this time round Sedgley Park had a close call at Huddersfield before coming out 29-24 victors but rest assured there are no ‘easy’ games at this level and a mouth watering few months is on the cards for all us rugby fans so let’s see a good turnout at Priory Park come 3.pm. this Saturday when we entertain local rivals Chester and, of course, we have a score to settle with them after they put us out of the Cheshire Cup immediately pre-season. Should be a great game but already I have a sneaky feeling that the Hare Lane outfit will be up there for promotion come April 19 – watch this space……………. On another tack I see Bournville, who we played pre-season, had a good start to their season in Three Midlands with a 12-0 victory at Syston
Last season’s winners of Two North – Sale FC – began their campaign with another high scoring encounter finishing up 36-36 at Cambridge where I have fond memories of visiting when Macc played at that level some years ago and I will watch their progress with interest.
With it being what you might term as ‘crossover’ time in sporting seasons it was good a few hours ago to see England complete a series victory over India in a compelling Test Match at the Ageas Bowl and I simply cannot close this article without a mention for my home town RL side who had a big victory over Hull in the Super 8’s last Thursday as the season approaches its Old Trafford climax. Once the Old Trafford final is over I promise that I will try not mention them again (until next season…!) but did you see the Saints-Wigan clash on Friday evening. A superb game that took me back to my youth on the terraces at the old Wilderspool Stadium where I spent many happy (and some not so) hours in my youth before I was ‘converted’ to the other rugby code.
Games for this Saturday as follows:-
1st XV v. Chester – Home – 3.pm.
2nd XV v. Caldy 2 – Away
3rd XV c. Rochdale 2 – Home
4th XV v. Linley/Kidsgrove 2 – Away