Macclesfield Women’s XV continue unbeaten league run

By Paul Jacobowski

 

With three back-to-back home games at Priory Park on Saturday, the women’s team set the standard with a hard-fought win against a physical Eccles side.  The team had defeated Eccles earlier in the season, but expected a tight match with the visiting side reinforced with a few first team players back from Injury.

Katie McCree charging down the wing

Eccles put Macclesfield under pressure in the opening period; however, they never looked like creating a scoring opportunity, due to some excellent tackling from the home side with Louisa Andeson and Jamie Lasky to the fore. The Macclesfield scrum was solid enabling the backs to move set piece ball quickly with Katie McCree and debutante Chole Newbigging making breaks that only some high-quality tackling, from Eccles, preventing them from scoring. Sophie Barnett-Hubbard growing into her new role at full back looked to counterattack from any loose Eccles’ kicks. With a quarter of the game gone, number 8 Julia Ashford picked from the base of a scrum and moved the ball to fly half Mary Thorp who fed Jazz Wilson to score under the posts with Mel Bramley converting.

Mel Bramley attempting a charge down

Eccles continued to attack but narrowly and these were easily repulsed by the Macclesfield defence, on the odd occasion they moved the ball wide Amy Worthington snuffed the attacks out with some dominant tackles. Newbigging continued to look dangerous, Scrum Half Bramley took a quick tap penalty, and the ball was swiftly moved to the Centre who was driven into touch to prevent a score at the end of the half.

Chole Newbigging making one of her many breaks

The second half was a stop start affair, Macclesfield still looked to play with intent and move the ball wide. Inside Centre Wilson made breaks that were unfortunately not capitalised upon, and then the side were reduced to 14 when she was yellow carded for a high tackle. Despite this Macclesfield continued to move the ball and only a desperate tackle from the Eccles full back prevented Newbigging from scoring on her debut.

The coaches introduced Pip Wyer into the attack, who looked dangerous with ball in hand and made an immediate impact scoring from a turnover that was quickly moved wide.   Alex Wilson and Hannah Green were becoming more influential with some driving runs against the opposition. However, the home side spurned opportunities to use overlaps that would have increased their lead. With the clock ticking down Hannah Worsley was held-up, just before the line, as was Bramley; in the same passage of play Thorp was unlucky not to ground the ball and was held up over the line.

The last few minutes saw Macclesfield defending with real tenacity as for the first time in the game Eccles put the home side under pressure, with Macclesfield containing several mauls on their own try-line. Eccles attempted to drive over on the blind-side, only for Thorp to tackle the Eccles forward into touch and end the contest. Jamie Lasky and Chole Newbigging thoroughly deserved their nominations for players of the match, whilst Eccles nominated Sophie Barnett-Hubbard as their Macclesfield player of the match.

The side now travel to Vale of Lune next Saturday, before facing Rochdale at Priory Park on the February 10th.

Photography by Annie James

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