By David Wilkinson
Macclesfield and Sandbach make the short trip to Lymm on Saturday, to battle it out for the Cheshire Cup. The teams are well matched, finishing the league on the same points, but Sandbach edging it with a much bigger points-difference. Probably more significant is form/momentum; this swings very much in Macclesfield’s favour with 6 wins out of 6 all with bonus points; Sandbach has had 4 wins out of 6, with one of those losses being against Macclesfield at Bradwall Road. For one reason or another, both teams will be without players, the in-form Seb Pemberton is out along with Louis Singleton, Sam Brown and Captain James Oliver is still recovering from his head injury.
The win away at Sandbach was significant for Macclesfield, in the first half they clinically finished the opportunities that they created building a good lead. Sandbach then had the majority of the game, but other than one lapse of concentration, the Macclesfield defence was solid. But that was then and not now; as holders of the Cup Sandbach will not relinquish it without an enormous fight, and that’s what it’s set up to be. Sandbach Head Coach, Matt Bebbington is renowned for his attention to detail and will have poured over Macc’s game to identify any chinks in the armour.
The squad getting used to the 4G for Saturday’s Cheshire Cup Final
The squad took advantage of the 4G training pitch to get the lads used to the surface again at Lymm. That said after their superb performance against Lymm, on their fast track, they will have no fears in playing on the surface. This is what Darren Lamon had to say after last night’s session: “The boys have trained very well this week, they are mentally up for it and excited about the challenge. It couldn’t be set up better, two teams with equal points in the league and both with away wins against each other; it’s great for the players and spectators and great for Cheshire rugby. As holders Sandbach will be difficult to beat, we will need to be at our best, and the boys know that. They have come a long way since September and now have a real belief in themselves individually and as a team.”
Daz (Darren Lamon) has said that he will use the 5 on the bench tactically, and it is a very strong bench; corner-stoned with Macclesfield’s most experienced front row forward Sam Moss, and Matt Harrison returning from Uni in London amongst the replacements. Kick-off is 3.00 pm at Lymm Rugby Club, please come in your droves, the boys deserve all the support we can give them, and we need to drown-out our friends from Sandbach and bring the Cup back to Macc. The team is: 1 Dan Percival, 2 Brendan Berry VC, 3 James Cross, 4 Rhys Davies, 5 Harry Harding, 6 Tom Burden, 7 Phil Laing, 8 Elliot Alston, 9 Dan Martin, 10 Charlie Attis, 11 Sam Adu, 12 Terence Babarinsa, 13 Harry Oliver Captain, 14 Harry Blackwell, 15 Will Davies, 16 Sam Moss, 17 Sam Broster, 18. Lloyd Smith-Coates, 19 Matt Harrison, 20 Tom Jennings.