Kirkby Lonsdale 0 – Macclesfield 77

By David Wilkinson

It was an early start for the squad and travelling support, as Kirkby Lonsdale had requested an early kick-off of 1.30 pm, to accommodate their bonfire evening. The squad will have travelled up to Cumbria with good confidence having managed four consecutive wins; a good win on the day would also put their points difference into the positive. They finished the day in 6th position, just one point behind Manchester who had lost up at Kendal.

From the kick-off Macclesfield got the initial upper-hand in the kicking exchange, they span the ball right, and then back left; Kirkby Lonsdale seemed to be caught napping, and Macclesfield found that they had a fairly simple overlap for Tom Jennings to score out wide on the left; Charlie Attis got the first of his conversions, from the touchline, to make it 0 – 7 after 4 minutes.

Seb Pembeerton unchallenged in the Lineout would score from the next move

From the restart both sides seemed to be trying to pass the ball as if it were a bar of soap; but Macclesfield fared slightly better, putting together a few phases. It was nip-and-tuck in the host’s half until Macclesfield got an edge, working the ball from one side to the other; Kirby couldn’t keep up with the pace defensively, and Seb Pemberton found the space to get over for a 14 point lead.

Seb Pemberton goes over for the second Macclesfield try

Jordon Simpson, at 7, was proving to be a real handful after his long layoff, making good yards ever time he got his hands on the ball. The slippery ball was making it difficult for both sides, but Macc’s physicality kept the pressure on the home side, eventually forcing a 5 metre scrum, which was academic for James Oliver, and as it turned out, Attis’s conversion.

James Oliver dots down for the first of his four tries

Simpson caught the restart on the Macc 22 beating four players to take play to the halfway line, the hosts were penalised at the ruck, and Attis kicked to just outside the 22. The visitors drove the lineout maul to within 10 metres winning another penalty. Their superiority in the pack made for an easy choice, opting for a 5 metre scrum, Captain James Oliver dabbed down again and Attis continued his goal-kicking excellence.

Kirkby would have their best period of possession in the first half, retaining the ball through the phases, but not really gaining much territorial advantage. When Macc did get their hands back on the ball, they were quick to pull the trigger again. Attis fired a penalty to the 22 and the forwards flooded through after a driving maul, Louis Singleton getting over the line to make it 0 – 35. At the ruck from the restart there was a very minor handbag disagreement between Jordon Simpson and the Kirkby Lonsdale 8, it was over-and-done-with in a mere 3 seconds, but for some bizarre reason the referee felt it necessary that they should be yellow carded as he blew for half-time, it was totally uncalled for.

James Oliver sets up the try for his brother Harry

The hosts started the second half with plenty of possession, but again failed to trouble Macclesfield’s defence. From a penalty close to Macc’s 10 metre line Attis fired another accurate kick to the visitor’s 22. Pemberton caught cleanly in the middle, for the attack to move out to the right, when it came back the other way, James Oliver found himself in the Left Wing position making good ground. As he was tackled he popped the ball up to his twin brother in support, the tackler probably thinking that he was seeing double, as Harry went over for try number 6 – duly converted, again from out wide.

Kirkby were trying their best to find a chink in the visitor’s defence but they were often taking the ball standing still; and once again when Macclesfield got good possession from a scrum they made them pay, every player making good yards until Brendan Berry, now on at 2 for Marcus Pyle crashed over for the 7th, 0 – 49.

Brendan Berry crashes over for try number 7

A scrappy period of play followed, with neither side being able to keep hold of the ball for long. Jordon Simpson was shown the yellow card again, for a high tackle, which would convert into a red card. It seemed a very harsh call as it was the Kirkby Second Row that had run into Simpson, who was set-up in the tackling position as the number 5 fell into him; the rest of the game would be played out with 14 in the visitor’s team. The man disadvantage didn’t seem to affect the Macc pack, Harry Harding had moved up to Tight Head with Elliot Alston now in the Second Row with Rhys Davies; at the next scrum the Macclesfield 7 were too much for the Kirkby 8. It wasn’t long before Kirby were reduced to 14, with some rough-house off the ball play, and once again the Attis boot fired Macc deep into their opponent’s territory. Two lineout mauls followed, and James Oliver powered over for his hat-trick; again Attis converted from wide out.

Kirkby got half a chance to score but Harry Oliver got back to save a clean-sheet. Kirkby were running out of steam, as Macclesfield trundled back up the field with a conga-like maul that was in total control. As the maul went over the halfway line the ball was shipped to Attis who went for a big 50/22, and whilst the ball was just stopped short, Lloyd Smith Coates had sprinted the 50 metres to dribble the ball away from the defence to get over and score – again Attis converted from wide out!

Macclesfield played out the rest of the game in total control, scoring a further two tries from Tom Jennings and with James Oliver bagging his fourth, naturally both were converted by Charlie Attis, who had given a master-class with the boot. Kirkby Lonsdale never gave up the fight but found it very difficult to compete with Macclesfield’s physicality and organisation. It had been an 8o minutes umbrella day for the soaked spectators, and given the testing conditions it had been no mean feat for Macclesfield to cross the whitewash eleven times. The only downside was the double yellow carding of Jordon Simpson, as the first of the cards was certainly not necessary for either player; he now awaits his sentence.

Head Coach, Ben Wade, was very pleased with the performance: “The boys treated their opponents with absolute respect; it must have been very difficult for the young Kirkby side coming off a heavy defeat against Lymm the previous week. I thought that the lads were thoroughly professional in the way that they played the game; they stuck to the plan and played the full 80 minutes. There were a few sloppy areas in the first half, with players getting isolated, but we spoke about it at half time and sorted it for the second half, when the support play was excellent. We now prepare for Lymm, in what will probably be the toughest game of the season, but the boys are confident, you want to be tested by the best teams, and the boys are all looking forward to playing at Priory Park with the home crowd behind them”.

There will be a Club lunch before the game, with plenty of banter with our friends from Lymm as we look forward to who will win the first local derby, and bragging-rites. Lunch can be booked online; kick-off will be 3.00 pm. The squad relish playing in front of the Priory Park Faithful, come along and give your support and make the difference on the day.


 Sam shines in the rain

 Macclesfield 2nd XV   45   Tarleton 2nd XV 10

By Paul Jakubowski

The second XV continued their winning ways with a convincing win over Lancashire side Tarleton. The first fifteen minutes were a stop-start affair with neither side having any fluidity, due to Tarleton injuries, poor weather conditions and officiating that never allowed the game to flow. Tarleton were a resilient opposition and had a Fly Half that organised his team well and who’s kicking out of hand often kept his side out of trouble. Resistance was eventually broken down after a break from Sam Davies, a late call up from the Colts, allowing Pete Milne to go in under the posts, converted by Isaac Reaney.

Colt Sam James has a great game in his debut for the 2s

When Macclesfield did use the ball well, they looked dangerous, deft hands from Louis Gray led to young Sam Davies scoring on his debut, converted by Reaney. Soon after, a midfield break from Ben Hadfield led to a great supporting run from Captain Sam Jones, crashing over by the posts; 19- 0 to the home side. From the kick off Tarleton put Macclesfield under pressure for the first time in the game. Macclesfield gave away penalties and Tarleton looked to use their forwards to get over the line; eventually going over from a scrum five meters out. Macclesfield had opportunities to move the ball wide before half time, but these were not communicated, and potential scoring opportunities were missed; at half time it was 19- 5 to Macclesfield.

The second half was a similar stop start affair but after a quick break and some quick hands Reaney went over and came close with the conversion. Tarleton responded with a delightful kick to the corner which was gathered in the air by the wing to score the try-of-the-day.  As Tarleton tired, Ben Hadfield, Max Dempsey, having another excellent game, made some excellent runs. Pete Milne made a trademark break before feeding to Louis Gray who stepped the defender to go over for the bonus-point try, converted again by Reaney. At this stage pre planned changes were made in the backs and Macclesfield were able to move the ball quicker, against a tiring Tarleton side, Sam Davies continued to look dangerous with ball in hand, and after a break from their own half Reaney scored under the posts, converting his own try to make it 38 -10. More pressure was applied by Macclesfield allowing Callum Wright to go over for the sixth try. With conditions now deteriorating, as the rain intensified, the game petered out; the final score 45 -10, Macclesfield remain top of the table and travel to Broughton Park next week.


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