A PROUD DAY FOR PRIORY PARK
Saturday at Priory Park was something of a first half triumph in the Club’s transformation of its facilities. The significant moment, was the much awaited opening of the new disability lift. After 18 months of work by volunteers, much fundraising and donations, the installation of a lift completed the first phase of the Club’s transformation. The lift would not have been completed without a generous donation from the family of the late Macclesfield stalwart, Jim Hamer. Jim’s extended family came to the Club on Saturday to officially cut the ribbon and enjoy lunch and the rugby. The Club’s Chaplin, The Right Reverend William Pwaisiho, OBE (Bishop Willy), Dedicated the lift before Maccclesfield’s Member of Parliament, and good friend of the Club, David Rutley said some encouraging words about the energy within the Club and its important position in the community, particularly how it has been transformed, and is now an asset in the community for holding local events.
After lunch Chairman, Stephen Branch, thanked everyone for their involvement in the transformation so far, and gave a brief resume of the next phase of refurbishments and developments at Priory Park; urging all to continue their efforts in any way that they could.
On the Park, Macclesfield’s opponents took an early lead, crashing through midfield, indeed Ilkley could have taken a substantial lead, but for some woeful kicking in front of the posts. After a catch and drive, Maccclesfield were soon to hit back with Sam Moss’s first try. Billy Robinson, celebrating his birthday, was having a field-day against his, Oxford Blue, opposing prop, and from a driving scrum Matt Thorp scored to make it 12 – 7 at half time. Macclesfield were a different side in the second half scoring a further four tries from Moss, Stelmaszek and Lomax; Sam Moss ending up with a hat-trick and another MOTM Award. Next week Macclesfield travel to Kirkby Lonsdale before a week’s break, then a must-win game against Harrogate on 1st of February.
Elsewhere the 2nd XV had a narrow loss against Lymm 24 – 28; the third team, struggling for numbers, went down 68 – 15 to Sedgley Park and the 4th XV won again 33 – 24 against Hope Valley. Next week the 1st XV travel to Kirkby Lonsdale who sit 8th in the table, the 2nd XV has a two week break and the thirds are away again at Fylde. As the 4th XV travel to Marple there will be no home games next Saturday – so why not visit the beautiful market town of Kirkby Lonsdale and take-in the 1st XV contest.
Macclesfield 2nd XV 24 – Lymm XV 28
The 2nd XV were also at home on Saturday against high-flying Lymm. Tables have turned this year with Macclesfield having occupied 2nd spot at the end of the 2018 season. The previous encounter ended 37-31 at Lymm, on a day when the result could have gone either way.
Macc have benefited from the University Christmas break, as 5 students returned to play over the weekend (some looking a little heavier than when they left). Hamish Burke started at fly-half and orchestrated a great attack early on in the game, Hamish scored himself in the corner to allow Macc to take an early lead, 7-0 (conversion from O. Jones).
The home team didn’t then make full use of the wind and were held on their line for a number of phases. A Lymm try and a yellow card for Macc, followed by an additional 7 pointer, swung the lead back to Lymm 7 – 12. Just before half-time the versatile Jake Robinson scored in the corner to level the scores at half time.
Macc switched-off for 10 minutes of the second half which saw Lymm take a 28-12 lead combining a couple of tries and a penalty kick. There was plenty of time left but the head-on wind and tiring legs saw the boys facing a very literal uphill challenge. The second half revival needed something inspirational and that came from the tight head prop Jake Percival. 2 barnstorming tries, one converted by Hetherington, left Macc a tantalising 4 points adrift with 3 minutes left to play. That’s how it ended but a valiant effort and a never-say-die attitude provided the 2s with extra match points to take into the league.
There were many positives including: the set piece in difficult conditions, long phases of possession as the wind limited the kicking options and the welcoming back of former junior member Harry Jackson who was a lively addition in the second half at scrum half.
Next match: Preston Grasshoppers at Priory Park 1/2/20
Yellow Peril – almost! Macc 4ths take the day 33 – 24
The Marvellous Macc 4s welcomed Hope Valley 1s to Priory Park on a blustery January Saturday. Hope Valley arrived very keen for a ‘W’ having lost the previous week to Marple and found themselves at 4th in the table below Macc at 3rd. Macc were equally keen for a win having suffered a heavy defeat at Hope early in the season.
The 4s fielded a strong team but with some big names missing, including Bos and Streety who sacrificed themselves to play for the 3s, for which we give thanks. We also greatly thank Craig Price for pulling on the green and playing a full game for Hope to make up the numbers. Leadership for the day was in the safe hands of Captain Nick Smith who didn’t take his eyes off the prize for a second.
At the whistle Macc experienced the full force and skill of Hope 1s who were switched-on and wanted some pies. Soon Macc found themselves several points down, despite some good defence work. 2 factors contributed to this less desirable start: 1. Macc have a tendency to take 15 or 20 minutes to warm up before their heads are fully in the game, and team-play starts to develop – something to work on going forward. 2. The Referee saw fit to show 7 yellow cards, 4 were to Macclesfield, none, in the writer’s opinion, with very clear reason. This was not a reflection of the excellent rugby all lads on the pitch were playing.
Despite being down in numbers, Macc reacted well, kept calm and aligned their sights to the end of the pitch. This exceptional attitude was shown by all 15 and the skill, aggression and support for the fellow man was to be largely unanswered.
A solid pack secured the ball; Dalo, Rupert and Jason, anchored by Jim and Jack; Rob McColud, Kieran and Scott added invaluable strength and support. With such power Hope struggled to match our forwards’ rolling mall. This solid forwards play allowed excellent backs work from Nick Smith x 2, Ryan, the excellent Matt Bowden and the very skilful Dom, Matt and Keepy.
Reserves included Troy, Hoggy, Mad dog and Manny, all of whom got on, most of whom got sent off. Scorers were: Scott, Dom, Rob M and Jack
In summary, once again Macc displayed courage, strength aggression and skill. Our old boys out played a much younger 1st team that are well trained. Biggest positive was the camaraderie on field and the positive talk amongst each other. Everyone played brilliantly so no MOM, however special mentions are: Birthday boy Rob McCloud, great running and support all day -awesome. Kieran – fantastic support and there at every breakdown – excellent work. Scotty – unrivalled aggression and the lynchpin to a lot of Macc set pieced – brilliant.
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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