Macclesfield Select XV 19 – King’s School Old Boys XV 29

By David Wilkinson

This final fixture of the year, has become a regular post Christmas contest to provide some rugby entertainment whilst fostering the King’s School rugby alumni and raising funds for LooseHeadz, rugby’s mental health charity. This year’s Old Boy’s squad appeared to be the entire school’s rugby squad from the past two years, with an average age of 19.

Iain Taylor defying the years against the young old boys

In contrast the Macclesfield XV was a much smaller eclectic bunch of players from the Colts, the second team and selected players from other teams. It did however feature father and son Iain and Christian Taylor, along with 2nd team Coach Russ Tomlinson, also Lloyd Lamprecht U13 Coach, Tristan Wood, Mike Keeling and yours truly from the Walking Rugby group. Lloyd, who looked very useful in the Back Row, played half the game, whilst we other three only troubled the opposition for a quarter of the game (Keeling and Wood playing for the Old Boys). Tristan Wood, one of the organisers had tempted Mike Keeling and me to take part, ideally opposite each other to add a bit of spice to the end of the game, as it turned out Mike sneaked on before me.

Ollie Wilson scores first for Macclesfield

From the kick-off it was evident that the teams would employ different tactics, the young King’s Old Boys playing fast and loose, whilst Macclesfield played a more direct, route one game. Ollie Wilson looked the most energetic on the pitch, and indeed was the first to score for Macclesfield, which was followed by a try for Kevin Pike; Ollie looked like a player who should be playing his rugby at a much higher standard than his usual social rugby for the Fourth Team. At this point Macclesfield did have the benefit of the King’s School Fly Half, Finn Usher, giving them excellent field position with the more experienced Macclesfield pack being too strong for the Old Boys at close quarters.

Kevin Pike gets the ball down over the line

The Old Boys stuck to their plan and pulled back two unconverted tries, at half time the score was very close. The game was being excellently refereed by King’s teacher Paul Bartle, and although there was a little confusion as to whether Macclesfield had scored again, it was eventually awarded at the second attempt, for Macclesfield to lead 19 – 10.

King’s Old Boys scoring their first

The last quarter would be all King’s Old Boys, their youthful pace and fitness, and sheer numbers got the better of the tiring Macclesfield XV. Wilkinson’s joining of the fray would make him, possibly, the oldest to play in Macclesfield’s colours (don’t ask), but was quickly made to look his age as a fleet-of-foot King’s Old Boy danced around him, leaving him grasping at thin air.

King’s Old Boys finished the stronger for the win

One man to beat for another Old Boys try

The contest would finish 19 – 29 to the Old Boys; it had been an excellent evening of rugby for a full stand of rugby supporters to enjoy, with plenty of young talent on show. Hopefully some of the young Old Boys will find their way back to Priory Park to enjoy some Club Rugby. Tristan Wood had this to say after the match: “With varying abilities, agilities and 54 years between the youngest and oldest players on the pitch, the match was a true display of why rugby is such an inclusive game”.

The young and more experienced of Macclesfield

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