MACC CRUISE PAST CUMBRIAN CHALLENGE

Macclesfield 53 – Kendal 26

By David Wilkinson

There had been a 13 year gap since this last fixture, the teams then went in different directions, and the Kendal bus driver will have wished he’d gone in a different direction as they were seriously delayed on the M6. The game was rescheduled to kick-off at 3.15, which gave the President’s Lunch guests even more time to listen to, ex England’s, Chris Jones’s humorous anecdotes. Kendal kicked-off straight into touch, and just two phases from the scrum restart would give Charlie Attis a shot at goal from 40 meters; the ball sailed between the posts by some distance, which was particularly impressive against a stiff breeze.

Lloyd Smith-Cotes is too quick for the defence scoring his first

Tom Jennings, who has recently been selected for England Police, ran the ball back from deep, linking with Lloyd Smith Coates; the recycled ball was spun across the pitch with sharp precision, between forwards and backs, which was to become a hallmark of the contest. When the move broke down with a forward pass, the Stand would witness the wise selection of a muscular pack to take-on the big Kendal forwards; the Macc pack drove the Kendal scrum back forcing a hurried clearance. The Kendal 10 (24) almost made a 50/22, but from the lineout the Macc pack trundled forward, looking very impressive, as they reshaped the maul; when the ball did come out, Terence Babarinsa charged and pirouetted some 40 meters up the pitch, the ball was worked right and it looked like the first try was on, until the Touch Judge’s flag went up. However, the lineout was to be Kendal’s undoing; they had complained about their lineout against Lymm, and one could see why, Kendal threw the ball to the middle and Rhys Davies was able to take it for Macc, unchallenged. The ball was quickly spun left, with Lloyd Smith-Coates coming into the line from the opposite wing to cruise past the would-be tacklers for his first of the day, 10 – 0 to Macclesfield after 10 minutes.

Brendan Berry gets the 2nd try and the first of his brace

Macclesfield cleared well from the restart, and Kendal miss-fired again from the lineout, the ball going over the top to the grateful hands of Captain James Oliver, who made 30 metres taking play into the 22. Slick hands again saw the ball moved quickly left for twin Harry to put real pace into the attack, and from a few metres out Brendan Berry barrelled his way over for the second and a seventeen point lead.

At the fourth attempt Kendal won a lineout and attacked with some real purpose, and after a quick-tap penalty made good ground into the home side’s 22. It looked like the way was blocked for Kendal’s 10, but a delightful little chip over the defence got him over for the full seven points.

 

Harry Oliver’s electric pace sets up the third try

Kendal won the spoils from the restart, after a miss-judged spiral bomb. They attacked from the scrum through several phases until James Cross won a turnover penalty. Macc were back on the attack, putting together slick phases, until Attis attracted the defence in the middle of the pitch before releasing Sam Broster coming into the line from the left wing, he made good yards before the ball was spun out to the speedy Harry Oliver, Jennings drew the last man to give Lloyd Smith-Coates a simple finish and a 24 – 7 lead.

Lloyd Smith-Coates controls the ball with his feet for his hat-trick try

The ball was kicked out on the full again, from the restart, and Macclesfield took full advantage from the scrum, with a free ball to play with, after driving the Kendal scrum back, Harry Oliver put in a speculative grubber kick; the visitor’s Full Back fumbled and Smith-Coates was on-hand to take his hat-trick, 29 – 7.

After a penalty kick deep into the visitor’s half, there was a long period of Macclesfield pressure that gradually got them into the red-zone. From a scrum on the far right the ball was worked left Berry went from close quarters but was stopped short, but at the next ruck he picked up from the base and was over; Attis converted to make it 36 – 7 at half-time. Other than one period of attacking play it had been all Macclesfield, they were controlling all facets of the game and looked capable of scoring ever time that they got possession.

Seb Pemberton beats the last defender for the sixth try

Macclesfield continued the second half where they had left the first, attacking deep into the Kendal half. Kendal infringed attempting to quell an attack on the right, which set up Macclesfield with a lineout on 5 metres. The ball was fed left then back right, where Harry Oliver broke the line feeding to Seb Pemberton, who had one man to beat before going over for another 7 points, 43 -7, there looked to be no way back for Kendal.

James Oliver breaks through the defensive line

Kendal managed to keep the ball for several phases, with a driving maul taking them close to the line; but they could not crack the Macclesfield defence. Eventually Macclesfield won a penalty and cleared their lines, only for the referee to deem the lineout not straight; it was the first that Macclesfield had lost. Bizarrely Kendal opted for the lineout; up until this point they had lost most of their lineouts, but all of their scrums. It was thrown to the back and, not surprisingly, lost. Macclesfield broke their line through Harry Oliver, who fed to Phil Laing, who found Danny Martin sprinting in support who was never going to be threatened as he ran in on the angle, it was 48 – 7 with 23 minutes to play.

Kendal took play into the 22 where they established a sustained period of pressure, Macclesfield still held firm, until Dan Percival was yellow carded for coming in at the side at a maul. Kendal were quick to take the penalty, firing it out to the left, where they had an overlap, for a well taken try which was converted from the touchline, 48 – 14.

Kendal were now playing with some belief, the introduction of a very young looking Aaron Stephens at 10 had got their line moving, and it was from one such attack that the no. 7 Alister Thompson spotted a gap in the otherwise impregnable defensive line. He sprinted through it and was untroubled reaching the line, the very quickly taken conversion gave every opportunity for a bonus point try; and it would not take long. Kendal were awarded a penalty deep in their half, which they ran; the first man was beaten then a clever grubber kick bounced up into the arms of wing Dan Shorrock, who juggled it as he sprinted to the line for his second and the bonus point.

Tom Jennings goes over for the last try of the match

With Dan Percival off the field, Macclesfield had to bring Harry Harding into the front row for a scrum, although it wheeled through 90 degrees, James Oliver was able to pick up at the base and run right around the scrum and in to the midfield, and safety. Not wishing to give Kendal another opportunity they played keep-ball in the Kendal half until a decent opportunity arose, when it came they span the ball to the right where Tom Jennings entered the line to score, for a final score-line of 53 – 26.

The final score somewhat flattered Kendal in the overall contest, but they won’t mind that, they grabbed their opportunities when they were on offer and will be pleased with the bonus point. Head Coach, Ben Wade, was naturally pleased with the boy’s performance: “I’m really pleased with the continuity, the fluidity in attack and defence, what we have been trying to achieve has grown and grown over the past few weeks, it was typified in the patient build-up for the second try, forwards and backs combing well, it was the same for the third, a big build up and then the backs being clinical to put Lloyd into the corner”. On the not so good he had this to say: “I’ve said it before, you have to respect every team you play, you have got to work and concentrate for the full 80 minutes, the boys were not happy about giving up a bonus point”.

Next week they will take on Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, where Wadey will be demanding an 80 minute performance.

 

Birkenhead Park 2nd XV     26    Macclesfield 2nd XV 42

By Paul Jakubowski

After a comprehensive win against Anselmians last Saturday the second XV travelled to the Wirral to play Birkenhead Wanderers, the club’s second string side. Wanderers were defeated in their last outing, losing 26-21 at Vale of Lune, the only side to have defeated Macclesfield this season.

Sam Brown, scorer of the 2’s last try on one of his mazy runs

Wanderers set themselves up in a similar way to Anselmians, only this was a far fitter pack than last week’s opposition. Macclesfield effectively repelled a number of driving mauls and rucks in the first 10 minutes. When Macclesfield were in possession, they looked to move the ball wide as they had done last week.  Sam Brown had one mazy run after coming into the line, before Alex Jakubowski struck first after clever work from Brown and Louis Gray, with Issac Reaney converting. Reaney than kicked a penalty as Wanderers were caught offside. Wanderers kept their game plan simple and continued to challenge Macclesfield around the fringes, a lack of effective guarding, and tackling to high, allowing them to gain momentum and ground. Macclesfield were not as effective in attack as they had been the previous week, but were still able to score tries through Reaney, whilst Nathan Sach scored twice leaving the Wanderers defence grasping at air! In between these scores Wanderers had scored a converted try after a series of rucks on the Macclesfield line. Whilst not playing at their best Macclesfield had a half time score of 25-7 which would be something to build on.

Macclesfield needed to cut out their mistakes and defend more effectively in the second half; however errors continued, with penalties being conceded, missed tackles, and lost lineouts allowing Wanderers to build momentum and eventually scoring and converting a try. Macclesfield responded from the kick off and forced a knock-on in the Birkenhead 22, from the resulting scrum Jakubowski now at nine broke and escaped the attention of the Wanderers defence to dart under the post with Reaney chipping over the conversion. This should have been the opportunity for the Seconds to get a grip on the game, but again Wanderers kept to their game plan and Macclesfield failed to deal with it.

The game was turning into a war of attrition, in the forwards Max Dempsey, Harry Owns and Ben Hadfield tackled heroically, Chris Effingham made some excellent hits as did Ross Turner. Eventually Macclesfield succumbed to the pressure and Wanderers were over again, converting to make it 21 – 34 to the visitors. Macclesfield hit back after turning over Wanderers on the halfway line Sam Brown had the ball in space and went on a mazy run to score and take Macclesfield up to 39 points.  The Seconds forwards were now tiring, and Wanderers again put pressure on Macclesfield forcing them into an exhausting defensive effort. Jim Curtis took a yellow card for the team as they went offside repeatedly on their try line, eventually Wanderers crashed over in the corner. From the kick off Macclesfield forced a penalty in front of the posts which Reaney converted to make it a final score of 26 -42 to Macclesfield. The changing room was flat after the game the feeling was that as a group they  had not performed to the standards  set in recent matches and they are looking to put this right on Saturday  when Tarleton visit Priory Park.

Macclesfield Ladies 24 – Trafford MV Ladies 31

By Phil Mason

With a number of new players this would be the first game ever for some of the team. As part of a development league the girls play 10-a-side with a couple of subs available on the day; the game was played in 3 x 20 minute thirds.

Macc Ladies showed a high level of skill throughout and there was some great defence in action. The highlight was some amazing tries from Macc with two of them being from new players.

The score sheet started with a great pick-and-go out of the scrum by No. 9 Mel Bramley who also converted her try. Second try for Macc was from new player Sophie Barnett who was perfectly lined up for a quick pass down the line to create a try on the wing. The score at the end of the first third was 12-12. The second 20 minutes saw tries from Macc new player Pip Wyer and a successfully converted try for Trafford, finishing this third with a score of 17-19.

The final third saw Trafford score first, but Macc answered back with an amazing try from Prop Alex Wilson, successfully converted by No.9 Mel Bramley bringing the score to 24-24. In the final seconds of the game Trafford found space and managed to get the ball over the line and convert taking the final score to 24-31.

Macc Ladies fought against a strong Traff MV side and never took their eye off the ball. They pushed until the final whistle and a great effort was put in from both sides.

Macclesfield Ladies travel to Tarleton this Saturday for their first away game; the next home game is Saturday 12th November 2pm KO against Aspall Ladies.

Macclesfield Ladies take on Trafford MV Ladies in the first game of the season

Anyone wanting to join the Ladies team please contact Ladies.mrufc@gmail.com.  No experience necessary, and all are welcome.

#maccrugby

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