The 4th team’s opposition last week, Bowdon 3rds, cried-off the fixture on Friday, so Macclesfield gained a bye into the next round of the Cheshire Plate. Bowdon’s reason was shortage of players to make up a full 15. It’s obviously not just our club who at times are scratching around to make up teams.
Ryan Brown, captain and Jeremy Bostock, vice captain had gone to a great deal of trouble to assemble a squad for this game. Reading the team’s Whats App it’s apparent there was huge disappointment amongst our players at the cancellation, for most of us our Saturday afternoon sport is the highlight of the weekend.
The team has a pool of 25 players so we generally have a strong bench of replacements. Brown and Bostock are delighted with progress this season. Jack Nicholson a newcomer to the area has fitted in marvellously he’s a giant at 6′ 7″ a good ball carrier, difficult to tackle and a colossus in the line outs.
However Jack isn’t a one man pack of forwards, our regular front row Mike Dale, Rufus Dixon and Jason Walker are a reliable and robust trio. Dixon has developed excellent radar in hitting his jumpers with his throw-ins; it’s normal to win 100% of our own line outs.
Lock Jim Welch, when his pilot’s duties fit has been partnered by Lewis Smith until the latter fractured his ribs recently, the back row had father and son Craig and Matt Price alongside Scott Goodfellow or Kieran Merriman, Rick Hogg and Rob McLeod rotating as replacements.
Paul Smith is the regular scrum half partnered by James Parsons or Ben Heginbottam and three quarters are Simon Street, Jordan Wilson, Nick Smith and Russ Tomlinson – a powerful side in all positions.
One downside they’re aware of is mobility, several players in their upper 40s and when Geoff Chan and Jim Curtis enter the fray they’re both mid in their 50s. This is why the side feel they need to play tight rugby going through the phases rather than opening up the whole field with fast running attacks.
In summary they love their matches; this is a social team as evidenced by their popular end of season tour, already fully booked in 2020 to Majorca for sport and high jinks.