Stockport Preview

By David Wilkinson

Stockport at Priory Park needs little motivation; both teams will be fired-up for this local bragging-rites derby. The last time out was at Headlands Road, in the Semi Final of the Pappa Johns Cup, the bragging-rites swung back to Macc on that day, with a 15 – 48, seven-try mauling from a rampant Macclesfield team. Saturday’s team has 6 changes in the starting line-up that includes 3 new faces; from what we can see, Stockport also have several new players into their squad with 3 new forwards from South Africa and a 10 New Zealand.

According to the match report Stockport’s encounter at home against Penrith was a close encounter until they pulled away in the final minutes with a series of penalty goals. Macclesfield’s contest against Wirral last week, was a slow-starter, going down by two early scores, but there was never any panic. They pegged their way back, finally scoring 6 tries, the fifth being a thing of beauty.

Sam Brown scoring against Stockport in the Semi Final last season

Talking to Darren Lamond after Thursday evening’s training, it was evident that he was very happy about the overall performance at Wirral: “The flow of the coaching team through pre season and into the league has been great, with Tommy (Taylor) taking the reins at the weekend and doing a fantastic job. Training this week has had some resets on things that we worked on in pre season, with lots of 15 on 15 sessions.  The unique brand of rugby that we have worked on, and have implemented in the away games, is what we now want to bring and develop in our home fixtures that we hope the home supporters will really appreciate. I’m expecting the first 20 minutes against Stockport on Saturday to be tight, but we’ve been working on our game plan, that’s gone really well in training this week”.

An added bit of spice on Saturday will be the return, if selected, of Tom Eaton, past Captain of Macclesfield. Last time at Priory Park he scuffed a drop-goal over the bar in the dying seconds to take the spoils. Eats, who is in the twilight of his career, now finds himself at 12, opposite Sam Broster – expect sparks. There is an ex player’s lunch in the Clubhouse, so expect a boisterous Stand for the 3.00pm kick off. Bach 95 Brewing Company are the match-day sponsors and Will Cliff, ex Macc and Sale Sharks will be presenting MOTM on the pitch after the game. The team for tomorrow is: 1. Ollie Longmore,  2. Brendan Berry 3. Samir Tahraoui, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Tom Burden, 7. Matt Harrison, 8. James Oliver Captain 9. Dan Martin, 10. Charlie Attis, 11. Tom Jennings, 12. Sam Broster, 13. Harry Oliver, 14. Sam Brown, 15. Harry Blackwell, 16. Dan Percival, 17. Elliot Alston, 18. Terence Babarinsa.

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