A stunning victory by the hosts; Marple came to Macclesfield with a 100% league record, including some very handsome wins by over 50 points behind them. Often it wasn’t pretty rugby, two sets of forwards slugging it out; usually when oppositions decide to take on the 4th team upfront, Macclesfield’s heavy belligerent and experienced 8 will triumph.
This implies we’re a one dimensional side which isn’t the case. The back 3, Bill Latham and points kicking Ryan Brown on the wings, with full back Jim Parsons, are all fleet of foot and sagacious in their attacking options. Further, the half backs, two Smiths: Paul at Scrum half and Nick wearing 10 know when to open up in attack or when to play back towards the forwards.
In the centres try scoring Dom McCarthy, big and heavy combined with much younger Ben Foster to play a variety of crash ball impacts and elusive body swerving styles of running.
Captain Jeremy Bostock leads the side and knows the wisdom of utilising his heavy-weight pack to win the ball and go through the phases to gain ground. In these exchanges it’s not uncommon for Bostock himself to score, following a rolling maul he’s wrestled over for a critical try.
Jason Walker and Mike Dale at prop and hooker anchored the scrum with big Jack Nicholson and Jim Welch locking the second row, actually at half time Welch had to leave the field to dash to Ringway Airport in order to assume his duties as pilot with Virgin Airlines; Geoff Chan took his place, another tough and abrasive front five player.
Scott Goodfellow and Rob McLeod, back from his other sport of cross country motor bike racing, had freedom to harass and disrupt Marple’s possession. Whilst Man of the Match Jack Pearce, now in the fourth team after playing for England’s partially sighted six in Japan, had a brilliant game, outstanding in the line outs and full of running.
All this implies Marple didn’t look good, in fact they were a very well organised side, their two tries the result of clever team efforts and they could even, in the last few minutes, have snatched a winner, but Macclesfield’s last line of defence held firm
The boys were delighted at the final whistle, it had been a contest of huge proportions and the best side deservedly won. They go onto Wythenshawe next week to confront another 2nd team.