Clubman: Sunshine and mixed results

A day of very warm autumn sunshine and high temperatures saw mixed results for the four senior sides.

The first team travelled to Ilkley for a really good win and garnered a bonus point for 5 tries, this made it back to back wins and lifts us to top four of the Northern Premiership.

Sam Broster was the man of the match, so next week’s encounter with Kirkby Lonsdale is eagerly anticipated – supporters, please note a 2.15 kick-off.

Head coach Andy Appleyard (Apps) was delighted at the victory and is pleased that all the work on the training ground is paying dividends. Defence coach Rick Jones and Captain Tom Morton told Clubman there’s still plenty to do but the squad is definitely moving in the right direction. This week they were without two stalwarts, Sam Moss and Billy Robinson so all their experience was unavailable in the front row.

The second team went to Blackburn and pulled off an amazing win. Fielding an understrength team they had two forwards in the three quarters and conceded 12 points in the first 10 minutes, most people thought the result a foregone conclusion.

Phil Laing was incredible in the centre supported by Giles Hetherington at No10. Eventually, Macclesfield clawed back to win 37-26. Ross Turner one of the forwards on the wing powered over to score 2 tries and was their Man of the Match. We’ve now achieved two wins from two fixtures and with this bonus point are top of the league.

Pete Langley the coach was delighted with his side, he too is witnessing great development from his training ground routines.

The thirds were the only side at Priory Park, they lost to Sedgley Park by 25-32 securing a losing bonus point by scoring 5 tries.

Actually this was a really good performance by a side who at the end was reduced to only 11 men because of on-field injuries. Harvey Gadd the hooker could barely walk badly twisting his ankle played on for a further 40 minutes. George Hodkinson scored four tries, Louis Pearce and Jake Robinson in his first game for eighteen months both played very well with Tom Leicester topping the tackling charts with 17.

Simon Grant manager/ coach was pleased with the guts and tenacity obviously disappointed with the loss but paid tribute to his boys.

The fourth team motored across to Hope Valley near Edale they took an early lead and held it up to half time, in the second half they also suffered injuries and finished with only 13 men so eventually lost.

They play Marple at home on Saturday so hope to get back to winning ways.

Personality Profile

This week the Club Chairman comes under the microscope, he spoke to Clubman about his background, his hopes and ambitions for us.

Stephen Branch is not an easy man to interview because he has such an impish sense of humour and it’s hard to know when in answering the questions he’s kidding along or being truthful.

He was born in Derby and because his father’s career sent him all over the world, he went to boarding school before he joined Sandhurst Officer Training College. He was middleweight boxing champion and proudly awarded the.prize of fittest cadet of his intake.

Then graduating as leiutenant he served 12 years in Cyprus, Gambia, Berlin and two tours of Northern Ireland. When his family arrived he took demobilisation and entered civvy street.

At rugby, he’s always played full back gaining selection for the United Nations and the Combined Services XV whilst in Germany.

He joined us here at MRUFC in 2,000 captaining the Vets for six years and now is a regular member of the Walking Rugby Section who plays every Thursday night.

Branch was elected Club Chairman at the AGM in May. His mantra is to keep Macclesfield as a happy sustainable and successful rugby club for the community across all age groups including the women. Further to play at the highest level possible within our means.

He’s delighted with the upgrades of the premises, the Spiral Lounge is excellent, the elevator installation is ongoing and the dressing room upgrades the next phase.

His commercial plan is to encourage more social events which in turn he hopes will generate more income and lead to organisations hiring the Priory Suite.

Outside rugby, he plays tennis and loves mountain walking. For holidays he returns to Cyprus every year where he met his wife Jen during his army career.

Best of good fortune, Steve from all the membership, we trust you will achieve all your ideals.

Macclesfield Rugby Union Football Club (MRUFC) is committed to upholding the core values of Rugby Union, ensuring all players, match officials, spectators and members of the club are able to enjoy the game in accordance with the RFU Core Values.

Please visit out Discipline page to see how you can help our club and the game.


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