Kendal 12 – Macclesfield 41

By David Wilkinson

Macclesfield travelled to Kendal for the 12th contest in the past 20 years between the two clubs. Not having played for three weeks would the lads from Macclesfield be a little ring-rusty, or would the Kendal team be battered, after their bruising by Lymm in Cheshire? The latter certainly had an effect, as there were two players unavailable through injury at Lymm. Macclesfield certainly didn’t show any signs of being not quite on their game; the visitors were immediately on the attack. They went from deep going through the phases, until a penalty won them a lineout in the 22. The ball was played off the top into the hands of a charging Harry Harding who was pulled down just short of the line. The move faltered, and Macclesfield were penalised for holding on, although Kendal could not find touch; Charlie Attis put in a long kick to left-field for Harry Oliver to run on to, he was just beaten to it, but relief for Kendal would be brief. Macclesfield had a series of 5m line-outs; however, a combination of Kendal’s stoic defence and Macclesfield’s falter to finish, didn’t trouble the scorer, and Kendal escaped, as Macc lost the ball over the line – it was the first nibble of The Curate’s Egg!

Elliot Alston drives through the maul to score Macclesfield’s first

Again Macclesfield went from deep, going through the phases, until a cut-out pass from Attis found Harry Harding on the charge, who took it deep into the Cumbrians’ territory. With a three-man overlap it looked like a certain try, but the Kendal 12 had no alternative but to attempt to intercept the ball’s flight – illegally. Down to 14, Kendal were on the rack again defending their line; the Macc pack was clinical, a catch and drive took them close to the line, Elliot Alston picked his moment, breaking off the maul to dive over for the 1st try.

Terence Babarinsa makes good yards

After the restart, play changed hands several times around the middle of the pitch, before Kendal were awarded a brace of penalties. But it ended up with a scrum to Macc 30m from their line. Terence Babarinsa took an inside line, beating three tacklers before feeding Oliver; Attis continued the attack with another long kick for Sam Brown to chase, which resulted in another line-out for the visitors, 10m out. However, after several attempts to cross the whitewash, Macc were penalised and Kendal escaped again – briefly. Just two phases into their advance, and Kendal were penalised for holding-on, which Attis punished, to put Macc 10 points ahead.

Danny Martin rounds the cover for Macclesfield’s second try

After the restart Kendal had a brief period of possession which led to a penalty and a line-out, deep into the visitors half, but a poor throw led to a Macclesfield scrum. Full of confidence the Macclesfield backs chose to employ a training ground move, just outside their 22. Two dummy runners were used before Attis slipped the pass to Oliver on the crash-ball; he beat two players before taking the ball into the Kendal half and feeding Danny Martin at full-speed on the right. Danny angled to the corner rounding the cover tackler to score a very well executed try, to go 15 points up.

Sam Adu wins his chip and chase for the third and his debut try for Macc

Macclesfield attacked from deep again, and after a few phases Attis threw a long pass out to Sam Adu on the left wing; Sam chipped infield and as he arrived with Sam Brown the Kendal Full Back failed to deal with the ball on the ground, Sam got his foot to it again and kept in control until he could drop on it for the score and a 22 point lead.

Kendal responded with their first consistent piece of play, going through numerous phases, not always forward, but they kept possession and eventually crept forward. A gap opened up for them and they took play into the red-zone for the first time. The Macclesfield defence held firm until the Kendal 10 spotted their right wing, out wide in acres of space; he chipped perfectly for Leo Mercer to catch and score, to finish the half 5 – 22. Macclesfield’s dominance should probably have yielded more points, and Kendal would be hoping to keep up their momentum in the second half.

Harry Oliver fends-off a Kendal would-be tackler

As he did at the previous encounter, the young Aaron Stephens came on at Fly Half; his accurate boot immediately gave Kendal ground, but their lineout was as woeful as the first half, losing the first three, and possession. Lloyd Smith-Coates would feature twice, first getting a latch on the ball, and gaining relief in the red-zone, followed by creating a line-break in the middle of the field which was taken to the line, only to be called back for a forward pass, much to the chagrin and protestations of the Macclesfield Replacements. Macclesfield won the ball back, and put together another slick attack on the, but the final pass was sloppy and butchered the move. Macclesfield’s competitive forward play was not being rewarded, as the referee notched up the penalty account against the visitors. From a penalty on halfway the young Stephens put in a teasing kick that pitched before the touchline and 10m out; Sam Brown desperately tried to keep it in play, but his efforts gave the ball back to Kendal at the line-out. For once they executed well and got a good drive on against Macclesfield, who splintered, and Kendal were over for a 12 -22 game.

Left Wing Sam Adu going for the line

Macclesfield were still on the wrong side of the referee, adjudged to being offside after Sam Brown had put up a high ball that was knocked on, even though speedy Sam had put them on-side. After a good clearing cover-kick, on the line, Sam Adu would hack-through running 60m but just losing the footrace for the try.

Sam Brown on his way to scoring a wonderful, weaving 70 metre try

Sam Brown has too much gas to be caught, on his solo swerving run to the line

Kendal would clear up-field to the Macclesfield 40m line, but into the hands of Sam Brown how was quickly bisecting two defenders as he swerved to the right, which was followed by an arcing run to the left avoiding all other defenders and finishing by the posts – it was a thing of beauty for a 12 – 29 lead.

Harry Oliver fields Charlie Attis’s chip in the air to get over for Macc’s fifth

Harry Oliver goes over after fielding Charlie Attis’s superb kick to the wing

Macclesfield now had the bit back between their teeth, they made some changes to the front-row and Tom Jennings came on at Right Wing; he nearly made it to the line after more good play in the back line. The ball was recycled, and Charlie Attis executed a perfect kick-pass from one side of the pitch the other, that Harry Oliver celebrated his birthday with, as he waited to catch it and score – it was a second thing of beauty, 12 – 34.

Kendal reduced to 13 as the referee awards the penalty try to the visitors

Macclesfield attacked from deep, the ball getting into the hands of Elliot Alston on the right wing, with 70m in front of him to the line; he delicately chipped the ball ahead. When Kendal tried to clear to alleviate the pressure they strayed offside. Macclesfield were back in the red-zone; the catch-and-drive would prove to be legally unstoppable and the referee run under the sticks to award the penalty try.

After the restart Sam Brown would have another weaving run, only to be halted by a high tackle from the Kendal 8, who would miss the rest of the contest. From the penalty Macc put several phases together again, and it looked like Phil Laing had scored, only for the referee to call it back again for a forwards pass. There were no more scores, although Sam Brown did have yet another mazy run down the middle.

Danny Martin’s spin pass from a solid scrum

It had been a bit of a Curates Egg, but the good bits had been particularly tasty. Macclesfield had played some excellent rugby, but perhaps had not been as clinical, at times, as they had wished; 50/50 passes, which are actually never caught, terminate attacks, and kill the momentum. They will not have the luxury of so much possession against Rossendale, on Saturday, and will need to finish a higher proportion of the opportunities created to secure the win. Head Coach, Ben Wade, was very pleased with the win, 6 tries away from home, and they had executed much of what had been done on the training ground. That said he will challenge them in how they can be more clinical against Rossendale, when Matt Coleridge publishes his analysis of the match: “You are always looking for the perfect game, and there are plenty of things to work on, we didn’t always get are pods right, besides some of the execution. We are expecting to make a few changes next week, with a couple of players back into the mix”.

Since the RFU’s law change press release, on the lowering of the tackle height, there has been outrage throughout the game. It would be no exaggeration to say that the potential effect has been catastrophic, with calls for a total restructure of the RFU and the removal of its CEO, Bill Sweeney.  It beggars belief why the RFU had chosen to do this when they did, when the lowering of the tackle height was already well underway with the changes already implemented, and that World Rugby had already announced that they will be changing the tackle-height. This was eloquently explained on Rugby Tonight by World Rugby’s expert in the analysis of all data collected in relation to high-tackle incidents. It would seem that a line may be drawn somewhere in the area that World Rugby calls the ‘green zone’, between the chest and trouser waist. Talking to someone within the RFU, over the weekend, their view was that it would be set, not above the pectoral muscle.

Kick-off is 3.00pm on Saturday, pre match lunch places are available, booking is available online through the website; please come and give your support if you can; it makes all of the difference to the boys.


Semi-static social rugby 4ths v Leek

Macclesfield 4ths 27 –  Leek Veterans 24

By Terry Robson

When the fourth team get to fulfil a fixture, it’s reminiscent of those times before league rugby was introduced at this level – just for the sheer enjoyment of a game between two well matched sides in a lovely sprit of aggressive running rugby.

The lead changed hands several times, nine tries were scored and we saw the old fashioned idea of Leek loaning one of their substitutes to even up the sides. There were some positional alterations, Rufus Dixon at blind side flanker and Pete Hardwick at No 10; Matt McNamara continuing his learning curve as a prop forward learning the dark mysterious arts of front row tussling.

It was the usual back three, Bill Latham and Jordan Wilson on the wings and try scoring Ryan Brown at full back; Paul Smith at scrum half kept the back line moving supplying quick passes and even quicker verbal quips to all and sundry. All the players were in fine spirits after the encounter – few moods can match the dressing room and bar room criac after a narrow, but deserved win.

Macc 4s v Leek Vets

The regular problem occurred before the match, recruiting players in order to field 15 starters and three subs on the replacements bench.  Whilst our Club has magnificent Minis, Juniors and Colts sections we do have difficulties integrating those young men into senior rugby as they graduate out of the juniors; a situation that exists not only here at Macclesfield but at most other clubs.

On a happy note this was Dominic McCartney’s farewell to the fourth.  He’s off to start a new career in the USA this week and he finished in style scoring the match winning try in the last 2 minutes.  What a way to bow out, he twisted and turned, using his bulk and speed charging his way over the whitewash.  He was accorded the accolade of leading the team through the players’ applause tunnel as they left the pitch.  Best wishes Dom!


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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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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