It seems that the atmosphere at Priory Park improves with every home game. Possibly as Christmas is coming all the spectators were in jovial pre Festive holiday mood. As Lymm, our opponents, hadn’t submitted their team sheet, in time for printing, Andy Appleyard named their players after Santa’s reindeer, so we had Dancer and Prancer in the second row, Donner and Blitzen at half back etc, and on the bench the replacements were Sleepy, Sneezy and Snow White.
The match was preceded by Christmas turkey dinner for 160 members, friends, sponsors and visiting officials who all enjoyed themselves and contributed massively to the Christmas Raffle and Auction; funds were being raised for a disabled lift and refurbishment of the toilets and changing rooms. Rugby was the winner on the day first with Harry Oliver presenting his England U18 shirt to the Club and thens with an exciting contest; Macclesfield won and gained a try bonus point to maintain their league position. Good to see Terry Longworth making his debut with a try, he’s already achieved one ambition of a first team place and it’s felt he has enough confidence to make a big impact to the team.
Head coach Andy Appleyard spoke afterwards; he was delighted his game plan went well but felt the side relaxed in the second quarter. At half time he insisted that they raise it again which they all duly did and after the interval they attacked with much more determination, eventually scoring five tries, winning the game 27 – 15. He felt his men who came off the bench made a massive impact; they were: Dan Percival and Matt Thompson and James Oliver.
With both the first and fourth teams winning at home the post match celebrations started immediately. The clubhouse was jammed full, the noise levels making conversation difficult however no-one seemed anxious to leave this infectious occasion. The players, donned in Christmas jumpers, sang carols before heading off for their own Christmas parties in Macclesfield.
The seconds went via coach to a windy Fylde and didn’t actually make much use of the conditions, they played plenty of good rugby, but unforced errors provided the home side with three first half tries; Tom Blackwell, back from university, scored in the corner to make it 17-5 at half time.
In the second half we had most of the possession, Pete Milne being man of the match, showing why he has been ever present in the 1sts this season. Jack Caswell and Jake Robinson had outstanding games the latter showed his versatility by playing number 12 in the first half then at 7 in the second. Jake was one of 5 Kings old boys on display, and Coach Pete Langley said he was also thrilled that the King’s 1st XV side had beaten Lymm High School 15-0 under floodlights last Wednesday – so they retain local bragging rights.
The third team had no match so Simon Grant’s squad all came to cheer on the first XV.
Next week the fourths are at home, this is the only match at Priory Park; all the other sides have finished their fixtures for 2019. It’s been a remarkable year in many ways, a new Head Coach and General Manager, Andy Appleyard, a new Forward’s Coach in Macclesfield legend Rick Jones, a new Club Steward – Amanda is now in charge of the bar and catering, and we have seen Chairman Peter Harper hand over to Stephen Branch after seven years. Everyone in the Club is full of appreciation for the drive and energy Peter brought to that position, now continued in the safe hands of Stephen.
As we move into 2020 we realise there’s a great future for Macclesfield Rugby Club in the new decade.
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.
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