Macclesfield Women win well in the mud

By Annie James


On Sunday, Macclesfield Women’s rugby team took to the pitch taking-on a hybrid team, namely ‘Stormskirk’ made up from players from Stoke and Ormskirk. After 3 outstanding winning performances on Saturday, the Women’s team were ready to take to the pitch to make it a full-house.

After a night of rain, the Women were out clearing the pitch with garden forks and brushes in hand, clearing the water to ensure they had a match; they were ready to brave the muddy conditions to remain undefeated this season! Leading the side was Scrum-half Mel Bramley, with Vice Captain Mary Thorp at Fly-half. The team had been working hard this week on their formation in attack and applying pressure in defence.

Chloe Newbigging setting off for a sprint to the tryline

The game began with Macclesfield receiving the ball, and quickly running at Stormskirk’s defensive line. Mary Thorp decided quickly, following the breakdown, to run another forward’s ball with prop Hannah Worsley crashing through the line, and to then ship the ball out quickly to find Outside Centre Chloe Newbigging (who was the opposition’s player of the match), sending her down the wing scoring Macclesfield’s first try of the day within the first 2 minutes, with a conversion from Mel Bramley.

Stormskirk, got a turnover from the restart, and Macclesfield were getting themselves stuck in the mud, while holding their defensive line. Liz Jarratt and Julia Ashford would then make it difficult for Stormskirk to get over the try line, the latter was named forward of the match, making strong tackles stopping their forwards in their tracks. Stormskirk did eventually get the ball out to the wing, giving them their first score of the match.

Macclesfield and Stormskirk spent a period in the middle of the pitch, fighting for possession, both teams rucking hard over the ball; until a kick over the top was sent straight to Macclesfield’s Fullback Annie James, who returned it with a kick of her own, clearing the Stormskirk line into space. Stormskirk retained possession, forcing Macclesfield to work hard, applying pressure to try and force a mistake. Eventually Macclesfield won the ball back, and looking again to use their pace they sent the ball to Wing Pip Wyer, who speedily put herself on the score sheet.

Mel Bramley causing a ruckus at the Ruck

Macclesfield receiving the ball from the restart, got stuck at Stormskirk’s defensive line, forcing Mel Bramley to clear with a box kick which was quickly chased down by Pip Wyer and Annie James regaining Macclesfield possession, with a quick tap-and-go from quick thinking captain Mel Bramley, Macclesfield edged closer and closer to the try line, sending Sarah Naden storming through the Stormskirk defensive line, and over the try line once again for the Macclesfield. Stormskirk reacted positively at the restart scoring a quick try on the wing.

Outside Centre, Chloe Newbigging, took little time to respond, sprinting from halfway to score her second try of the match, which was successfully converted by Mel Bramley. With only 20 minutes left of the match Stormskirk pushed Macclesfield’s defence back to within 15 meters of the try line challenging the Macclesfield defence to fight, and with Hannah Green coming onto the pitch Macclesfield managed to hold them back, but with a couple of quick passes Stormskirk made a dive for the try line scoring for the third time.

Macclesfield looking to put the pressure back on Stormskirk, pushed up quickly from the restart, gaining possession quickly from a knock-on, and getting themselves set in their attacking shape,  pulling their defence wide and allowing Pip Wyer to make a sprint for the try line from a quick pass from Louise Anderson. With not long left on the clock, Macclesfield were determined to get over once more! Sticking with their pace, Mary Thorp made a quick call for another backs ball and with a pass from inside centre Tiegan Shaw, later named back of the match, Pip Wyer was yet again sent flying through Stormskirk’s defence and to the try line!

Stormskirk responded quickly in the last play of the match, although Macclesfield’s defence held them back well putting strong tackles round the pitch, they unfortunately couldn’t get over the ball for a turnover and Stormskirk crashed though the Macclesfield side finishing the match with one last try.

Coach Simon Dempsey giving feedback behind the posts

This season Macclesfield Women’s team have recruited and retained more players than ever before, with more supporters each match coming to watch. One supporter told Coach Simon Dempsey “It was a real testament to how determined, physical and committed they all were”. Coach Paul Jakubowski also commented “In difficult weather conditions and on a heavy pitch, the team continued to play their attacking brand of rugby resulting in some well crafted tries. The combined team of Stormkirk proved to be a tough challenge and the home side had to work hard in defence against a physical opposition; overall a satisfying performance!’

Macclesfield Women’s Team are now the only team playing at home starting next Sunday 2pm taking on Ashbourne.


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