Lymm 32 – Macclesfield 36

By David Wilkinson

The pre-match predictions would have been heavily weighted in Lymm’s favour; the previous encounter at Priory Park was clinical, Macclesfield had never really been in the fight; and on the back of that Lymm were unbeaten at home, on their 3G pitch. Lymm were sitting-pretty, positioned in top-spot with Blackburn poised, with a game in hand and only 3 points adrift. As has been the case this season the Macc Alikadoos (some with partners) were mob-handed, but royally looked after by Lymm President Neil Kelly, with beers, buffet and banter.

Lymm relieve Macc pressure from deep in their half

There was no feeling out of the opposition following the kick-off; it was evident that both teams wanted to play rugby. Possession changed hands several times before Harry Oliver made the first of numerous runs, making good ground. When Lymm got their hands on the ball again they demonstrate how to play the pitch and the wind with a massive 50-22. But after the restart Brendan Berry ripped the ball and Macc attacked from their 22, releasing Sam Adu. Sam, who improves more each week, showed shades of Martin Ophia as he laconically went from one 22 to the other. When the ball came back to the left, it looked like Macc would score, but Lymm illegally stopped the attack 5 metres out. Lymm then infringed at the penalty lineout, and Macc went again, this time moving the ball out, and when it came back towards the wing, the ball was intercepted on the offside line, and hoofed downfield, the wind taking it beyond the 22. Sam Adu was the first there, but without support, and was penalised for holding on; Lymm went quickly and had more players in support to get the first points on the board, to go 7 points up after 12 minutes.

Two-try Terence Babarinsa about to light the fuse

Charlie Attis’s restart, against the elements, found touch 7 metres out, and although Lymm won the lineout. They were turned over after one phase, Macc played quickly, with Terence Babarinsa picking up from the ruck and barrelling his way over the line, it appeared as if half of the Lymm team had a hold of him, but he used his strength to get the ball down and level the scores within a minute of the last score.

Lymm’s riposte was immediate, from a lineout after the restart, they switched the ball back to the left, where the lineout had been, now leaving a big gap and creating an easy overlap; some crisp passing creating the try in the corner.

Tom Jennings about to set off with Lloyd in support

Possession, after the restart, would change hands several times, with play going up and down the pitch; it was a good contest with both sides trying to move the ball as much as possible. Macc put together a sustained series of phases, getting over the gain-line each time, and when the move broke down the visitors attacked again, from the scrum with real purpose. Attis threw out one of his trademark huge passes to Sam Adu on the left wing, who made good ground before timing his pass back inside to Tom Jennings, in support, to finish; the conversion by Attis put Macc in front 12 – 14 after 27 minutes.

Terence Babarinsa powers over from short-range

Lymm went too long at the restart, and Attis punished them at the scrum taking play to within 10 metres. Macclesfield really applied the pressure forcing mistakes out of Lymm, Babarinsa nearly forced his way over again, and when Lymm infringed again the Macc pack had the confidence to go for the scrum from 5 metres. This time there was no stopping Babarinsa, his power took him through two tackles to score, for a 12 – 21 score-line. The rest of the half was mostly Macclesfield, and another long pass by Attis to Adu, took Macc close to scoring again, but Lymm escaped and at the second attempt cleared deep and the referee blew for half-time. It had been a pleasing first half for the visitors, full of adventure with accurate executions.

It took a mere two minutes for Lymm to get back into the contest; from a 60 metre scrum they broke to the left, with a crash ball in the centre, the Right Wing had joined the line, he cut back inside of his left foot, wrong-footing the two Macclesfield defenders as he arced his run back to the posts. It was a well executed try that cut the deficit to 19 – 21. The ball was caught cleanly from the restart and run back into the Macclesfield half, where the league leaders won a penalty 45 metres out which was converted well in the windy conditions; Lymm were back in the lead, by a point.

Macclesfield forced Lymm back, after a botched restart, giving away ground at every phase. At an extended ruck, the Referee called the ball out, and Danny Martin pounced, setting the ball up for another Macc attack, which was delightful. Attis beat the first man before passing to Phil Laing on the charge, he fed Martin in support who made good ground before slipping the ball to Harry Harding who crashed over, only to be held-up. It was a monstrous drop-out, against the wind, by the Lymm 10 finding touch in the Macclesfield half. Macclesfield put another good attack together but it was knocked on, and Lymm had a scrum 65 metres out. Again they showed their invention from a set piece, their Outside Centre running from left field to take the ball and break up the right, his angle gave him the outside shoulder, and he took the ball all the way to the 22, where he fed the support, for the Right Wing to go over, untouched for his second try and a lead of 29 – 21.

The Macc Pack set the ball up for another attack

Macclesfield spent the next 10 minutes camped in the Lymm half of the field. They attacked left and right, and even when Lymm seemed to relieve the pressure they knocked on, giving possession back to their opponents. The Macc scrum had a slight edge, and from 5 metres they applied the pressure, it was sufficient to keep the Lymm Back Row engaged, allowing Captain James Oliver to pick-up from the base and crash over. Macc were back in it, at 29 – 26 with 18 minutes left to play.

From the restart, Lymm kicked long, but it made no difference, Macclesfield were playing with a confident free-spirit, after a few phases, Attis chipped over the on-rushing defence. The flight of the ball turned out to be inch-perfect as Harry Oliver at full speed caught it with an out-stretched hand; he fed to Lloyd Smith-Coates who took it to the Lymm 22, where Macc won a scrum, wide on the right. One phase put Attis in the middle of the pitch, where he fired out another huge flat pass, over the heads of the defenders, and into the hands of Sam Adu on the Left Wing, to beat the last defender to score and sneak Macc ahead, 29 – 31.

Lymm pressed from the restart and gradually inched their way deeper into the Macc half. Macclesfield won a scrum 30 metres out and it looked as though they would relieve the pressure, but it wasn’t to be. The previously dominant Macc scrum was undone, Lymm put on enormous pressure, spearheaded by ex Macc Prop Gavin Woods, their delight in the penalty was truly warranted; the kick was virtually academic to give a one point lead again, with 7 minutes to play.

Macc went all out on attack from the restart and after a lineout made good ground from a rolling-maul, the ball was kept alive and it looked like Macc might score in the corner, but were forced out. The Referee was playing advantage and the visitors were given a penalty five metres from touch. After much deliberation the tee was called for, a brave call given the position and the strength of the wind; the wind did its job and Lymm were saved – for now.

The match winning score for Macclesfield

The Lymm Fly Half, again put in a huge 22 drop-out, but this time it didn’t make touch and Macclesfield fled down the wing, but Harry Oliver’s pass went behind Sam Adu, and Lymm escaped again, with less than 3 minutes to play. What followed next was breathtaking. The Lymm Fly Half put in the same huge drop-out, with the same result. Macclesfield attacked again from deep, first to the right and then back to the left, with Harry Oliver making 40 metres, the ball came back inside to Attis who fed Rhys Davies and back to Attis, who took the ball to within 5 metres sending the ball out wide to Smith-Coates, who was tackled on the line. Macclesfield secured the ruck, with Attis now in the Scrum Half position, he picked his moment to lift the ball and dive over the top for the winning try. Time was up, the kick was not needed, Macclesfield had beaten the league leaders; the only team to do so on their home 3G surface.

Superb performances from the Macclesfield half backs, Charlie Attis and Danny Martin

It had not been the perfect game, but it had been, by far, the best performance of the season. When five players are in the reckoning for MOTM (In my opinion it was Charlie Attis) it demonstrates the quality of the rugby, the team had played an expansive game with accuracy, that when it really counted, they were able to replicate in the last two minutes, in clinical fashion, to take the 5 points and move up a place in the table. Head Coach, Ben Wade was duly happy after the game: “The boys did what we asked for, to play for the full 80 minutes, you can ask no more. We made some mistakes, but it was an excellent all round performance with some clinical finishing. We have pace all through the team, and it showed on Saturday. The pitch has taken its toll on the players; there are some very sore legs and knees, so our Tuesday training before Sandbach will be a lighter session concentrating more on skills. We’ve been very fortunate with injuries this season, which has helped us build on consistency that hopefully we can continue for the rest of the season”.

The six-try victors after taming Lymm

Macclesfield are on the road again next week, for the re arranged game against Sandbach. Please come and give your support, as we try to wrestle back the bragging-rites with our near neighbours, in this 2.15 pm fixture.

Macclesfield 2ND  XV 44 – Broughton Park 2nd XV  7

Macclesfield 2nd XV returned to winning ways with a comprehensive win over Broughton Park. Macclesfield dominated the early part of the match but were unable to convert the opportunities they created. Broughton Park came back into the match with an effective mauling game and took a surprising lead after a series of errors from the Macclesfield team. Macclesfield responded with a try from James Brocklehurst, converted by Louis Gray. This was followed by lightening hands from the backs allowing Tom Leicester, returning from a lengthy period of injury to score, which again  was converted by Gray, Macclesfield took a 14-7 lead into half time.

The second half was controlled by Macclesfield with some deft kicking to the corners from Gray and Leicester, allowing the seconds to play in the opposition half. From these positions Macclesfield scored through the illustrious Fred Taylor, Harry King and Dale Crompton  (after a mad giraffe like run!) which gave  Macclesfield complete control of the match. Tom McNulty scored a brace and Ross Turner concluded the scoring from a ruck. After defeat to Tarleton by a point, last week, it was good to get back to winning ways and maintain an unbeaten home record at Priory Park.

This is a young side recently against Birkenhead Park they averaged 25 and as a group it is full of talent, has a willingness to learn, and has a positive attitude to training, which is taken into fixtures on Saturdays. Sam Jones and Issac Reaney have brought calmness and experience in their leadership during the season thus far.

During the season, opposition sides have struggled to deal with the seconds’ aggressive defence and an athletic Back Row in which Max Dempsey and Ben Hadfield have been outstanding. Carl Droy has continued to progress at Hooker and causes opposition defences problems with his runs in open play and the return of Dale Crompton has had an impact both on and off the field.

In the back line Alex Jakubowski and Louis Gray are maturing as creative players and attacking threats. Pete Milne, Sam Broster and Tom Jennings when available have all helped in developing the youngsters, bringing their experience and knowledge to the team. It has been every bit a squad effort to put the side in its current position in the league. Sam Davies, Noah Reaney, Finn McNicholas and Roan Elliott have also stepped up from the Colts as a part of the Club’s desire to develop future players and all have not looked out of place at this level.

Next week Priory Park will welcome Vale of Lune, so if you are not able to support the first XV at Sandbach come and see the next generation of players and Dale!


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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