Macclesfield 59 – Kirkby Lonsdale 0

By David Wilkinson

If the last two matches ended in deflation, this one would keep inflating like a giant balloon. Macclesfield had been smarting after a last second loss to Blackburn, followed by a failure to score the points when it mattered against Lymm. It was evident by the team selection and Head Coach, Andy Aplleyard’s pre-match lunch comments, that there would be a change in the style of play. Harry Oliver reverted to his best position at outside centre bringing James Hampson in at 10. Significantly, the bench was heavily weighted with 3 big forwards, it looked like being a game that would take no prisoners.

Kirkby Lonsdale has no answer to Macc’s power, as Sam Moss goes over for the first

With the game barely two minutes old the Macclesfield pack were camped in the Cumbrian’s red-zone, and from a catch-and-drive, Captain Sam Moss went over for the first score. Kirkby Lonsdale’s 10 had a couple of shots at goal but failed to find the target. Billy Robison then left the field holding his arm, which at first looked as if it could be another serious injury; at the next scrum he was replaced by the athletic Aaron Wilman. Macclesfield’s scrum looked strong again; first it was rock-solid on its own ball, then devastating on the opposition’s ball. The lineout problems looked to have improved from the previous week; the first three were taken cleanly, then James Oliver climbed the highest to steal one of theirs.

Three defenders couldn’t stop Brendan Berry’s power-surge to the line

Macclesfield attacked down the right wing, before the ball was moved back inside to the forwards who punched hard down the middle before the ball was spun out to Harry Oliver, out wide on the left , who side-stepped two, would-be tacklers, to score the second. The magic-sponge had done its job on Billy’s arm, which had turned out just to be a ‘stinger’. It wasn’t long before Macclesfield were back on the attack, Josh DeGroot found a gap in the defensive line before feeding Brendan Berry to score, Macclesfield would be 19 points to the good after 25 minutes.

Miles Hall showing determination as well as guile to go over for his first

The ascendancy continued, under pressure on their 5 metre line, Macclesfield had the confidence to run-it-out, rather than kick, Sam Broster charged up the field, feeding Phil Laing before the ball went to either side of the pitch through 8 phases before a switch in the middle got Miles Hall over the line for the bonus-point try. From the kick-off Josh DeGroot charged up the field and the ball was spun out, a knock-on gave a scrum to the visitors; but they had no answer to Macc’s pack and the penalty and lineout put Macclesfield back in the red-zone, where a cut-out pass from James Hampson created an easy finish for Miles Hall’s brace and Macclesfield’s fifth, the game drifted to half-time with the Priory Park faithful applauding the 31 point lead.

Phil Laing, who had an outstanding game, in full-flow for his first try

The second half started with bags of energy from Macclesfield, they had the bit-between-their-teeth and Kirby Lonsdale could not get any relief, Macclesfield punched up the middle through their powerful second rows before the ball was spun out to Hampson, then Oliver beating the first man, and then Laing showing some neat footwork to score. Things were getting even worse for Kirkby Lonsdale, their scum was demolished again, and the referee lost patience with their Tight-Head Prop sending him to the bin; within seconds Phil Laing went over again but was high tackled in the process of scoring, the tackler being sent to the bin, and a penalty try being awarded.

A huge gap for Brendan Berry to run into and his brace

Macclesfield’s heavy-weight bench was emptied, first Chris Roddy, followed by Aaron Wilman and Elliot Alston making his debut for the 1st team. After some see-sawing, Kirkby Lonsdale pressed hard for 5 minutes, threatening to score from a succession of attempts in the red-zone, but Macclesfield’s defence was resolute, and whilst a bit of air had escaped from the balloon, they weathered the storm. Aaron Wilman charged up the middle, reaping havoc, and gaining some field position, but the Cumbrians continued to run everything back at Macclesfield. A series of excellent attacks through the forwards took play into the 22, where Harry Harding slipped a quick, short pass to the on-rushing Brendan Berry to run into space, and go over for his brace.

Josh Redfern bags the last from a quickly taken penalty

The last 5 minutes was all Macclesfield again; a rare scrum penalty had been the only blip, thereafter the scrum had reprised its dominance to again be the launch-pad for attacks, which there were several of. With the-clock-in-the-red, Josh Redfern would score the last try from a quickly taken scrum penalty. Kirkby Lonsdale never gave up, they battled to the end, but there was a noticeable difference in the quality of their players; the big score was almost inevitable.

Caitlin Smith, one of the U15 girls was awarded her Blue Laces for showing Teamwork and Respect by Amy Wilkie from the Women’s Team

Head Coach, Andy Appleyard was pleased with the changes made, and particularly with how the defence had held out, not allowing Kirkby to cross the whitewash: “The boys did well scoring plenty of points and keeping a clean-sheet. We’ve worked a lot in the week, tweaking some things and working on the mindset, playing in the moment. We now need to bag as many points as possible”.

The team now faces three away games in succession, starting at Rossendale on Saturday with a 2.15 kick-off, followed by Wirral and then taking the long trip up to Alnwick, for what will be a tough fixture and the last game in the first half of the season.

As a postscript to Saturday, the previous week Captain Sam Moss had openly admitted, that he’d left his arrows at home, as the lineout had failed to function. This week it was “Chapeau” to Mr Moss as he hit 100% bulls-eyes!


A confidence building win for Macclesfield 2nd XV

Macclesfield 74 – Kirkby Lonsdale 5

By Paul Jakubowski

After a disappointing defensive performance against Lymm, in last weekend’s home defeat, Macclesfield produced an excellent display of rugby to defeat Kirkby Lonsdale 74 -5. Macclesfield dominated play and easily dealt with the sporadic attacks from a Kirkby Lonsdale side that had not won a game this season.

Alex Jakubowski opened the scoring in the corner from a clever kick from flyhalf Tom Jennings after 10 minutes. Macclesfield’s dominance continued with further tries, first from hooker Carl Droy from a driving maul, and then from wingers Kevin Pike, and Lloyd Smith Coates in the backs.

The backs were enjoying the opportunities being created by a dominant pack, where Jim Curtis and Fred Taylor added some tactical nous and experience. Former Colts players Jakubowski and Droy both scored again before half time. Throughout the game the back-row of Kerfoot, Crompton and Jones shone at the break-down, enabling the half-back pairing of Board and Jennings the time to mix the game up, either through deft kicks, picking up the forward runs of the lock pairing of Tom Burden and James Brocklehurst, using the centre paring of Tomlinson and Blackwell to punch holes or bring in the physical Macclesfield wings to run through a tiring Kirkby Lonsdale defence.

As the game went on, Macclesfield continued to maintain the pressure with Jakubowski and Droy (Player of Match) both finishing with hat-tricks. Cyrus Kerfoot enjoyed another strong game, driving over, from close range, to score his first senior try; whilst Lloyd Smith-Coates scored another two tries to complete a second hat-trick in two weeks. Kirby Lonsdale finally managed to get a reward after a series of drives, to score before an excellent try from the busy Tom Jennings concluded the scoring.

Coach Russ Tomlinson was delighted with the side’s application and looks forward to more of the same when the seconds host Rosendale at Priory Park next week.

The 2nd team has had a difficult start to the season. The league is loaded with National 2 teams that currently have much stronger playing squads that have been difficult to combat, when the 1st team has suffered so many injuries and then availability problems, which calls upon the depth of the squad. This was followed by three weeks without a game which must have fractured any kind of team-building. Hopefully, whilst the games won’t get any easier, the team should become more settled as it mirrors the activity of the first team. Looking forward, the end of January, at the moment, sees another fallow three week period; pretty unsatisfactory when you’re a keen young rugby player.


Macclesfield 3rd XV 15 – Altrincham Kersal 2nd XV 22

By Simon Grant 

In a game that Macclesfield could and should have won against a stubborn and resolute Altrincham Kersal side, Macc with well over the lion’s share of possession, just couldn’t get that final score to edge in front. When the final whistle went you would have thought that the opposition had won the league with their celebrations; there was no doubt that a combination of dubious decisions, by the official, and ‘butchered’ chances, by the home team, cost Macc the game.

Macclesfield started well, with an early penalty converted by James Keep, followed shortly afterwards by a penalty-try awarded after a quick tap penalty, taken by Jonnie Thomson, the opposition being judged not to be 10 metres. An early change with prop Chris Effingham leaving the field due to injury meant the match having to resort to uncontested scrums, with Simon Street coming on as an able replacement but unable to play in the front row.

With Macc having a slender lead at half time, it was obvious that Alty Kersal were trying to slow the game down and play at their place. Two quick tries for the opposition, scored very much against the run-of-play stirred Macc into a spirited come-back with the final 25 minutes being played continuously in the opposition half. It was more than unfortunate, that the official in charge, was viewed to have got a number of decisions wrong, with the home team pressing the opposition try line for a score (One has to feel for any intelligent rugby player when decisions are made without true rhyme nor reason).

Altrincham again scored a 3rd well worked try after Macclesfield spilled the ball in mid-field, this being the final score of the game. On another day Macc would win this game but it wasn’t to be. Many thanks to the 4th team lads that stepped up and a special mention should be made of Sam Bancroft, Jonnie Thomson, Harry Wheelton and Danny Briggs who were all outstanding throughout the game.


The MaccRugbyTV cameras were at pre season training with the 1st XV again this week and we caught up with the currently injured Tom Jennings. Many thanks to East Cheshire Pressure Washing for sponsoring Tom again this season. #macclesfield #rugby #local #community #rugbyfamily #Nat2West National League Rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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🗓️ 3 weeks until week 1 of our boys & girls rugby camp. Get your sons and daughters booked in for an amazing experience! 💻📱 by our Senior Men’s & Women’s players U9s upwardsEarly drop off optionDiscounted week booking New to rugby? Great, beginners welcome!! 🏉#macclesfield #schoolholidays #thingstodo #childcare #summercamps #RugbyCamp #rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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TONIGHT - All the action down at MRUFC - come on down and cheer on England as they look to win UEFA EURO 2024 and #BringItHome - 🍻BAR OPEN 7:00🍻 for the big game!!! ... See MoreSee Less
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We're showing the round ball game tomorrow, so come on down and cheer on England as they look to win UEFA EURO 2024 and #BringItHome - 🍻BAR OPEN 7:00🍻 for the big game!!! ... See MoreSee Less
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The Macclesfield 2ndXV is in safe hands with Russ Tomlinson taking the reins for a 3rd year, as he looks to build on the success of the last 2 campaigns!! Russ is vital to developing our squad and nurturing the lads coming through the pathway.Isaac makes the big step into coaching as 2nd XV player coach and will provide valuable insight to the players using his extensive experience.Ollie church joined last season from Sheffield tigers having previously been with Hartpury college and brings valuable experience from National 2 North to the side while looking to break into the 1s team!Good luck to all 3 this season 👍🏉 ... See MoreSee Less
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