Macclesfield Women take their first opponent of 2024 by storm!

By Mel Bramley


Macclesfield Women’s Team went to Rochdale with a strong side in their first game of 2024. Their winter training has focused on strong defence and this was in evidence as they ran out winners in an entertaining Inner Warrior League match. The scoring started quickly with some good passing through the backs giving player of the match, Jasmine Wilson, the opportunity to use her pace to score. The next score came from another break by Wilson who forced Rochdale to concede a penalty, 10 metres from their line. After taking a quick tap-penalty, Scrum-Half Mel Bramley scored between the posts.

Half time team talk from Coach Simon Dempsey

Committed tackles were going in from the forward pack with number eight, Tiegan Shaw, leading the line brilliantly. With excellent strength in the ruck provided by Louisa Mackintosh and Julia Ashford, the backs were again able to switch the ball wide, with Wing Katie McCree scoring in the corner. Rochdale were providing some stiff opposition, running the ball close to the Macclesfield try line, but strong tackles prevented them crossing with Fly Half Mary Thorp, holding the ball up in the maul to give Macclesfield possession. From some good link-up play through the Centres, Bramley was able to put in a cross-field kick. McCree outmuscled the defence to take the ball on the bounce and run in her second try which finished the first half.

Catherine Rigby and Hannah Worsley started the second half, coming on for their first games for Macclesfield, providing energy for the team to continue to pressure the Rochdale line. An excellent run and unselfish offload from the influential Mary Thorp allowed Wilson to score her second try. As the game progressed, Rochdale continued to look for ways back into the game. After a kicked clearance by Bramley from the Macclesfield 22, full-back Sophie Barnett-Hubbard used her lightning quick pace to beat her Rochdale counterpart to the ball, controlling with her feet before diving over to give Macclesfield another score.

A Macclesfield scrum

The Macclesfield defence was resolute in the closing stages and more quick hands put centre Pip Wyer away to score in the corner; with kicker Bramley converting five of the seven Macclesfield tries, the team came away with an impressive win. Coach Simon Dempsey told us “The squad has been training so well over the last few weeks, with skill levels constantly improving, it was so visible to see everything coming together culminating in a truly fantastic display of rugby against a physical and determined Rochdale team. There were some great team tries scored, coupled with some individual moments of magic, our resolute defence held firm all game delivering a very well deserved clean sheet victory!”

Macclesfield Women’s team head into their next game at home against Eccles on January 27th full of confidence and ready to show a home crowd what they have been working on!


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