Macclesfield Fourth struggle in the Sunshine

Macc motored across to Edale, motoring is a very apt expression, Jim Welch and Simon Street in their open-topped, suped-up sports cars, these vehicles so short of comfort space there was barely room for the holdall of team uniform shirts and shorts.

A hilarious moment before kick-off, Mike Dale had his hand stamped on by scrum-half Paul Smith. Not actually so funny when it swelled up to twice its size. When incidents like this happen during the match it is unfortunate but when the perpetrator is one of your teammates he can expect rather strong industrial language.

Fortunately, Dalo is a prop so has a high pain threshold, he still packed down with hooker Rufus Dixon and along with Jason Walker this front row is now an ever-present formation this season. In the engine room, Jim Welch and Jack Nicholson were tough and robust, Jack again scoring a try to become the leading tryman in the side.

Back row Keiran Merriman and unusually Jeremy Bostock at No6 were locked by the other try scorer Scott Goodfellow. It was necessary to tinker with favourite positions, half-backs this week were Smith and Ryan Brown who kicked the conversion points.

The half time score was 10-14 to us however the youthful Hope Valley twigged the way to win was to keep the ball in play moving it about to tire the heavier less mobile pack of their visitors.

Simon Street and Jordan Wilson tackled tenaciously in the centre to stem the flood and with a rear trio Alister Sutherland, Howard Congleton and Alex Poynton being pulled out of position on defensive duties everyone played above themselves and it was in the event a very enjoyable game..

The fourth team is a social rugby side, all members being able to see the most optimistic part of the afternoon despite conceding 50 points. Both Captain Ryan Brown and Vice-Captain Bostock telling them in the aftermath huddle, with Marple at home next Saturday they have high hopes of returning to winning ways.

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