Macclesfield 29 – Rossendale 35

By David Wilkinson

Macclesfield were immediately on the attack from a scrum after the kick-off; Charlie Attis fired the ball out to the left wing, but Sam Adu ran out of space and put a foot into touch. Rugby is a team game, but occasionally one individual player can consistently improve a team, greater than its individual parts; Billingham has Fly Half Peter Evans, Sheffield Tigers has Jamie Broadley, and Rossendale now has Matt Lamprey. Lamprey has been a king-pin and prodigious try-scorer at all the clubs he has played for: Sedgley Park, Fylde, Preston Grasshoppers and now back to where he comes from Rossendale. From the line-out the visitors were now on the attack, Lamprey took a ball on the charge and ran over the first tackler before feeding a line of Rossendale forwards in support; when the move broke-down, he was back deep in his own half, covering, to field the ball, with a run of 40 metres to set-up the attack again. A couple of phases and Lamprey charges again committing defenders, two passes and a Rossendale player was under the sticks, fortunately for Macclesfield the last pass was deemed to be forward.

After weathering another storm in their 22, Macclesfield worked their way back up field, and after a good attack they won a 5 metre line-out. The catch and drive was good, but the Rossendale Loose Head Prop pulled the maul down on the blind side of the referee. It still looked like Macclesfield might score but the ball spilled forward as Seb Pemberton was tackled trying to go for the line. Rossendale worked their way back into the Macclesfield half, and from wide out on the right they spun the ball back to the left wing; the last defender was beaten, but when the try was stopped it took one quick phase for Prop Matt Probert to score after 21 minutes.

Harry Oliver and the quick-silver Sam Brown going stride for stride

From a penalty, in a kickable position, Macclesfield were back in an identical position, but as they went for the catch and drive the ball was lost forward; Rossendale cleared but Macc were still on the attack. From the lineout the ball went to left field were Terence Babarinsa made good yards, Attis threw out a big miss-pass to Sam Brown who got close, the ball was quickly recycled back to the left, and when Harry Oliver was pulled down short of the line, Sam Brown was back in support to take the pass and score – all square.

Macclesfield got a line-out following the restart, and although it was fluffed, Danny Martin still managed to throw out a looping pass; the called move was still on, and executed to perfection, a dummy switch, with Oliver on the crash-ball, who fed to Brenden Berry, it looked like Macc were over again but there had been a nudge forward in the tackle. After a scrappy period of play Macclesfield were penalised on the ground and Rossendale got the ball to within 10 metres of the line. A few phases to the left before it was switched back right for the simplest of tries. Instead of driving in to contact, the visitors had let the ball do the work at close-quarters, first right and then two short quick passes back to the left created a gap for Jordon Lord to jog over the line and around between the sticks; it was 7 – 14 at halftime.

The start of the second half saw a couple of Macc attacks that impatiently came to nothing, before a protracted period of Rossendale possession. They probed left and right looking for a gap until one opened up; the ball came back to Outside Centre Bradley Cave, who was not in a threatening position, but one of the visitor’s forwards was blocking the route for Harry Oliver’s tackle, the deviation was sufficient for the 13 to evade the tackle and sprint around the cover for their third try.

Alex Davies came on at Scrum Half, shortly after the restart; at the next penalty he tapped quickly making 20 metres and into the visitor’s half; Macclesfield would stay there until they scored. The home-side were now much more patient in their build-up, firstly taking a scrum penalty and then a tap penalty, eventually they got close enough for Harry Harding to barge over and reduce the arrears, 14-21.

There was frustration to be heard in the Stand, as the Rossendale 11 attempted to intercept a pass when Macclesfield appeared to have an overlap; in the first place they thought it was a deliberate knock-on, and secondly Sam Brown had collected the ball and had pulled the trigger to set off for the line, only for the referee to blow for a scrum. Macclesfield did have a sustained period of play in the Rossendale half and after a series of drives got to the line, only for it to be spilled again. Number 10, Lewis Allen, would have a triple role in the next part of the play to be acted out; firstly he put in a big clearance kick into the Macc half, Dale stole the ball at the line-out and Allen laid it on a plate for the wrecking machine, Matt Lamprey, to do the damage; knowing the outcome, Allen followed up at full-speed and was there to collect the try-scoring pass, 14-28.

Harry Oliver goes over after Sam Brown’s chip-and-chase

Again Macclesfield were deep in the visitor’s half, going through the phases, but as they tried to force the play the ball was spilled. Rossendale looked like they had escaped, after the scrum, as the ball was cleared into Macclesfield’s half; but Sam Brown ran it straight back at them, chipping over the defensive line before gathering his kick and immediately passing the ball to Harry Oliver, who had little problem in getting over the whitewash, 19-28.

From the restart Macc went through the phases until Rossendale infringed; Attis put in another good kick for an attacking lineout 30 metres out. Harry Harding went on a charge, dummied to pass, and went again, from the ensuing ruck, play shifted right to Attis, he spotted the opportunity, dummied to pass, and cut inside the tackler showing a good turn of speed to go under the posts, and the full 7 points, 26-28, there was hope.

Max Dempsey made his debut after his transition through the youth system and Colts

Dale fumbled the restart and Macc brought on Max Dempsey for the scrum; Max got a Wilkey “Whaa-Hoo” to celebrate his debut. Max took no time to settle, immediately getting a good clear-out. With just two points in the game Macc were pressing hard, but got pinged for not releasing. Rossendale were back in the strike zone, a 30 metre line-out, with Matt Lamprey standing at Inside Centre, there were no guesses for where the ball was going; he stormed past 5 players before being brought down just short, two passes and, Second Row, George Peel was celebrating over the line, 26-35.

There was still time left on the clock, Macclesfield worked their way up-field, getting close, out wide on the left; the referee awarded a penalty, and after much discussion Attis went for the 3 points, which could add up to two bonus points; it was struck sweetly to make it 29-35. With a few minutes left on the clock there was a slim chance of salvation, but it finished with an inaccuracy, which had been a feature of the game. Rossendale celebrated, and whilst they had always been ahead it was never a done-deal. The game was always competitive, and there were some good plays by the home team, but Macclesfield’s inaccuracies and Lamprey’s influence made it too difficult to get the 5 points, the boys would have to settle for the 2 bonus points. Head Coach, Ben Wade, was pleased with the game the boys played, but believed that the inaccuracies, at critical times of the game, was the deciding factor: “It’s something that we have all talked about, and something that the players are individually unhappy about, we will be working on it now and in the close-season. We still have plenty of games to go at. We’ve come out of the fixture with no injuries, but there may be a couple of changes when we go again next week, at home to Kirkby Lonsdale”.

Kick-off will be 3.00pm, still time to book in for some pre-match lunch and banter, here on the website:

The Global Pass…

At half time we will be filming a very short video to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of the game of rugby; our video clip will hopefully be part of a much bigger video, to send around the world. There will also be a fundraising element to create a bursary, for a means-tested student, who shows particular promise in the game, to attend Rugby School (more to follow). If you can delay getting to the bar for a minute at half-time, you can be part of the background, cheering on Macclesfield.

Macclesfield Colts 53 – Sandbach Colts 17

By Phil Mason

The Senior Colts Team sporting their new warm-up shirts with new sponsor NBDA Architects, Bollington

Macclesfield took the kick off, on a bright and still Sunday afternoon at Priory Park; Sandbach responded with hard and clinical rucks to drive their game forwards into the Macclesfield half, however a turnover saw Sam Davies break-through the Sandbach lines, caught in the 5 metre area he offloaded to Oli Carter who went over the line, but was held up by some great defence. Sandbach kicked from their goal line into the arms of Roan Elliot who took the ball straight back to them, resulting in a Macclesfield try in the far corner, 5 – 0.

Receiving the ball, Macclesfield kept the pressure on, although Sandbach’s defence was strong.  Each time Macclesfield got into the red zone, they lost the ball either knocking on or being turned over in the ruck. Sandbach kept clearing their lines only for Macclesfield to be knocking-on-the-door, with a couple of phases, then losing the ball again!  This pattern continued until, finally, Macclesfield managed to retain possession long enough to score their second try 10 – 0.

Sandbach retained the ball after the restart and put good pressure on Macclesfield driving hard into the Macclesfield 22.  Macclesfield turned the ball over, getting it out to the wing, only for the player to run out of space and get tackled into touch.  Sandbach won a great lineout, and fast ball saw them go over under the sticks, the try converted, and the score was 10 – 7.

It was a wake-up call for Macclesfield, and they applied the pressure, and following a great passage of play from the breakdown, fast hands got the ball to a flying Roan Elliot who scored under the sticks, 17 – 5.

Sandbach again piled-on the pressure at the restart, keeping Macclesfield deep in their half. Sadly for Sandbach, they fumbled a breakdown and the Macclesfield turnover released Fin Arnold. He exploited what was a rare moment of confusion in the Sandbach defence to sprint three quarters of the pitch, evading three Sandbach backs, and scoring the bonus-point try as the first half ended 22 – 5.

Anyone’s ball in the line-out against Sanbach Colts

Rehydrated and revitalised, Sandbach emerged strong, taking the play directly to Macclesfield, and regaining possession at the restart, and with more clinical rucking and clean passing they were rewarded with a second try, converted to make it 22 – 12.

Macclesfield made a number of replacements, resulting in some disruption to the flow of their game. Sandbach capitalised with some excellent footwork, passing the ball wide and scoring their second try in 5 minutes, 22 – 17, and the gap was narrowing.

Colts taking good ball in the line-out

Macclesfield settled down, and returned to their first half form, but a missed pass resulted in a scrum to Sandbach. So far the packs had been evenly matched, however Macclesfield now benefited from fresh legs in the second and back row. Driving Sandbach back, the ball was won by Macclesfield, releasing Haydn Keogh from the back to collect and go over the line for the 5th try, 27 – 17. Haydn had received confirmation that week of his selection for the North of England U18s Squad!

Macclesfield reclaimed the ball quickly after the restart, giving Sandbach a tough time defending, playing through the phases, making progress towards the try line, with the returning 2nd row Ollie Jennings making it 34 – 17, conversion kicked by Roan Elliot.

The pressure was telling on Sandbach and sadly three of their players had to leave the field, and as they only had one replacement at the start, this left them with 13 on the field. Rather than play with reduced numbers, Macclesfield loaned two players, to don a Sandbach shirt (Sam Wisdom and Dylan Tyrrell).

Two fast tries to Macclesfield (Roan Elliot and Ed Broadley) saw the lead extended to 46 – 17 over a tiring Sandbach.  A quickly gathered restart gave Koby Wilkinson a chance to exploit a gap, and he shot over to make it 53 – 17.

Despite the score Sandbach restarted determined to get another try from somewhere. They played down the last 6 minutes with refreshed vigour, driving Macclesfield deep into their own 22, before losing the ball forwards. Macclesfield won the scrum and with the clock dead, kicked to touch.

Final whistle 53 – 17 and a good 5-point league win for Macclesfield. Following the game all of the lads, as always, shook hands, and there were smiles all round. Colts is an important transition year, and many of these players will have played on the same sides in the past for, County or Sharks DPP.  The real winner on the day was, of course, our wonderful game of Rugby.


WEEKEND ROUNDUP - and what a weekend. The 2nd XV took on Rossendale's 2nd XV and whilst not getting the win another FIVE senior colts made their debut and did themselves proud on the field against a huge opposition.Meanwhile, Macclesfield Womens Rugby continued their unbeaten streak against Ashbourne Women's Rugby , and the Colts put in a good shift in a 'Cup Preparation' friendly against Heaton Moor. Away from Priory Park the U10s smashed Kirkby Lonsdale Festival and the U14s were crowned Bowl Winners over at Sandal Festival.Even further afield the U15s were enjoying the sunshine and some rugby over in Barcelona - with a narrow defeat to Rugby Castillon (43 - 38 but some great memories made! ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨BOOK NOW FOR THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN🚨Fancy a laugh? Book in for our ‘Stand Up for your Mental Health Comedy Night’ taking place on 26th April 2024. Featuring a host of fantastic comedians from RockCentral Promotions 🎭Once booked start thinking of your prize for the NAFFLE, which will take place on the night. There will be a prize for the WOERST NAFFLE Prize on the night!!!All money raised on the night will go towards LooseHeadz amazing work in the Rugby community. #MentalHealthMatters #TackleTheStigma #rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨SUNDAY FUNDAY🚨 get on down for a Double Header of live Rugby as the Colts take on Heaton Moor Rugby Club Colts followed by Macclesfield Womens Rugby .v. Ashbourne Women's Rugby .Bars open from 11:00 🍻 🏉 ... See MoreSee Less
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All the action THIS WEEKEND at your Macclesfield Rugby Club!Saturday the 2nd XV head over to Rossendale Rugby Club with THREE more colts making their debut. Live scores on our X account (@MaccRugby) from 🕒3:00. If you're not heading over why not come down to the 🌀Spiral Bar 🍻from 🕑2:00 as England Rugby Red Roses take on @Rugby Scotland in the Guinness Women's Six Nations.On Sunday we have a #doubleheader as our Colts host Heaton Moor Rugby Club in a Friendly pre-cup final game, followed by our Macclesfield Womens Rugby taking on Ashbourne Women's Rugby - bars open from 11:00.Come on down and let's ... See MoreSee Less
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Annie James - Macclesfield Womens Rugby 1st XV player is WELL on her way with her challenge of doing a 10K a month for a year!!! She is raising money for The Alzheimer's Society and of course this week is 💜 Alzheimer's Awareness week 💜!!! Don't forget whilst Annie does these 10Ks - she is now doing Trek26 (Alking Marathon), and she STILL finds the energy to play for Sheffield Hallam University AND Macclesfield Womens Rugby!!! A true athlete and formidable sports person.If you can donate to Annie's cause please donate using the link below!! ... See MoreSee Less
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