By David Wilkinson
Danny Martin taps and goes quickly last time against Wirral
Contests against Wirral, on the Wirral, have been very competitive affairs in recent seasons, generally played in poor conditions, with Macclesfield scraping the win. Conditions on Saturday are likely to be very different, with a fast track available for the speedsters to show their skills, which was the case at Priory Park with Macc winning 45 – 24 last season. Watching Wirral play at Sixways, back in May, in their final of the Shield competition, they demonstrated their pacey back play. They were being demolished by the Launceston pack, but their open field play turned the game around and they ended up winning the Shield comfortably. Last week they faced Rossendale in Lancashire and came out on the wrong side of a highly competitive game that they were winning for much of the first half. It looks like most of the damage was caused by the evergreen Matt Lamprey at 8 and their Jamaican 7s international Wing, Anthony Bingham.
Fast action from the backs as they go through their moves
Macclesfield’s trip up to northern Cumbria, to take on newly promoted Penrith, was a good starter to get 5 points on-the-road, and sets the team up for Saturday’s clash on the Wirral. Assistant Head Coach Tommy Taylor has been in charge this week, and will be in charge on Saturday at Wirral as Darren Lamond takes a week’s break. Tommy had this to say: “I’m very excited, it was a great win at the weekend, and although we had four injuries, the squad is in a great place to make strong replacements. The boys returned to training on Tuesday, frustrated that they had let Penrith come back at them; and we’ve looked at that in training, what we need to do; the lads are very positive. Tuesday’s session was full-on attack and defence and tonight has been all about fine-honing”.
Ones v Twos in full-on match training for Wirral’s challenge on Saturday
There were probably 40 guys training on Thursday, which means that they could create proper match situations, which will have been great for the twos as well, who also travel to Wirral. Watching-on they looked very sharp and will be raring to go on Saturday. Some may recognise the Water-Boy in the top shot, Chris Mode (ex Macc Vets) has taken on the role of Team Manger after a spell at Kelso; an excellent 10 who will look after the boys.
Thursday’s eclectic bunch of Dads and ex players, take a breather from walking very quickly!
Elsewhere, at Priory Park the pitches were packed with junior teams, as well as Touch Rugby and Walking Touch Rugby (which is mostly not walking!). The Rugby World Cup kicks-off at the Sin Bin Bar on Friday Night with hosts France taking on the All Blacks, bar opens at 6.30; Saturday’s action starts at 2.00 and throughout the day with the climax at 8.00, when the massed ranks return from the Wirral to watch England demolish Argentina!
The team for Saturday’s 3.00pm kick-off at Wirral is: 1. Ollie Longmore, 2. Brendan Berry (C) 3. Samir Tahraoui, 4. Rhys Davies, 5. Harry Harding, 6. Tom Burden, 7. Matt Harrison, 8. Elliot Alston 9. Dan Martin, 10. Charlie Attis, 11. Tom Jennings, 12. Sam Broster, 13. Harry Oliver (VC), 14. Sam Brown, 15. Harry Blackwell, 16. Dan Percival, 17. Louis Singleton, 18. Terence Babarinsa.