Wirral Preview

By David Wilkinson

Saturday’s fixture will be another tough contest for the boys, but this time back at Priory Park, in front of a boisterous Stand. Although Macclesfield has never lost to Wirral, they are always highly competitive contests, and usually only separated by a score. Our positions in the league are only separated by three points and two positions, so form can only be judged on momentum, availability and how each team performs on the day. After good wins last week, both teams have momentum, but the Macc lads may have a bit of an edge beating Lymm on their home pitch the previous week, the only team to do so in two seasons. In contrast Wirral shipped 51 points at Lymm, but got a try-bonus-point; which is no-mean-feat in itself.

Macclesfield are still without Sam Brown, and Captain, James Oliver starts his HIA protocol, after his clash in the tackle against Sandbach. Brendan Berry starts at Hooker, Elliot Alston moves to 6 and Phil Laing to 8; in the backs Lloyd Smith-Coates returns to the Wing and Sam Adu moves to Full Back.

Wirral have some big, direct running forwards, with a strong catch-and-drive from the lineout, along with backs that can finish, given the chance. Macclesfield will want to replicate what has been good the last two weeks, solidity in the set piece with an uncompromising defence. The backs are now playing with confidence, with a variety in their game that is creating plenty of breaks.

Head Coach, Ben Wade, has four games left with the squad, before he heads off to pastures new.  These were his thoughts: “I’m here until the 25th for the Cheshire Cup Final, and naturally we would like to win all of them, if results go our way, we could finish 5th, and even 4th; I would be more than happy with that, especially given where we were at the beginning of the season. It starts on Saturday against Wirral, who have had some very good results this season, but we will be happy to be back on our big flat wide pitch”. Wadey may be missing his Captain, but there are a number of players that have stepped-up their performances in recent weeks, they will be desperate to put on a good show for the Priory Park faithful. The weather forecast should give a great surface for a fast flowing game – bring it on, come and cheer-on the boys, in the first of three home games to finish the league off.

The team TBC is: 1. Dan Percival, 2. Brendan Berry, 3. James Cross, 4. Harry Harding, 5. Rhys Davies, 6. Elliot Alston, 7. Seb Pemberton, 8. Phil Laing, 9. Danny Martin, 10. Charlie Attis, 11. Lloyd Smith-Coates, 12. Terence Babarinsa, 13. Harry Oliver (Captain), 14. Sam Broster, 15. Sam Adu, 16. Tom Burden, 17. Tom Leicester, 18. Alex Jakubowski.

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