Macclesfield’s League Final v Penrith

A result on Saturday against Cumbrian visitors Penrith will put Macclesfield back into the fourth tier, National Two rugby; it would be a welcome return after 5 years in the fifth tier. Macclesfield could have made an early return, but for Covid 19 putting a premature end to the season; the RFU applied a computation for the remaining games that took no account of form, denying the team of promotion. When rugby finally returned, post Covid, several of that team moved on, or retired, with the squad then having a very young look about it. It was the worst season for injuries, at one stage Head Coach Andy Appelyard was close to conceding a game as we were without a front row.

The following season 22/23 did not start well, resulting in changes to the coaching team, but in October 22 Macc turned the corner with a last-gasp win away at Stockport. It didn’t go all their own way from then, but by the end of the season Macclesfield were the in-form team in the league, beating Lymm on their 4G pitch, the first team to do so in two seasons, also winning the Cheshire Cup, and in May beating Maidenhead at Sixways to win the Pappa Johns Cup, Plate Competition. By this time the squad was in the sole hands of Coach Darren Lamond, and playing a brand of rugby that was a joy to watch. Several new players had joined the squad adding experience in key areas. The form and style of rugby then brought players back to the Club; Tom Morton returning from Sandbach and Ollie Longmore from Sale FC, with Harry Blackwell back from university, plus John O’Donnell and Sam Adu from Sale FC. With Rhys Davies and Terence Babarinsa committing themselves to Macclesfield and Tommy Taylor joining as Assistant Coach Defence and Breakdown, the squad was set to challenge for the league.

The brutal encounter at Rossendale

Macclesfield’s form continued into this season winning the 7 seven games with bonus points, it all came to a crashing halt against Rossendale. Perhaps some of the players were star-struck, but their internationals were able to amass an early lead that we could not claw back. A further 8 bonus-point wins would follow until the Rossendale return challenge. The game was the most attritional seen by many Macclesfield supporters with neither side prepared to give-an-inch; the bonus-point draw was a fitting result. It was now a two-horse race until Stockport managed to turnover a weakened and ill-disciplined Rossendale team, putting Macclesfield in the box-seat.

The October ’22 win at Stockport would be Macclesfield’s turning-point

Macclesfield have every right, to now go into the last game of the season, confident of a win, why shouldn’t they, besides the two games against Rossendale, they have won every game with a bonus-point. But the confidence will be tempered with a realism that any team can be beaten, if you’re not 100% up for the game. The Easter break has given the boys a day’s rest from training last week and no game on Saturday, but this week will be full-on, with full two sessions and a game plan to ensure victory and promotion. The other side of the coin is Penrith, they will now their part in the contest, and the importance in coming with a real fight to topple the league leaders, and it’s what the game deserves. It will be a very big day at Priory Park, 180 of the Macclesfield faithful will be in attendance at the President’s Lunch before the game. Speaking at the lunch will be ex England Captain Dylan Hartley, who will present the winner’s trophy, should Macclesfield be fortunate enough to succeed.

Macclesfield’s power, guile and pace has been too much for most teams this season

Any kind of scoring result will be sufficient, bar a loss, and although Macclesfield will show Penrith utter respect, it is difficult to visualise them being beaten. They are solid in the set pieces with a structured defence that can absorb considerable pressure, and when they pull the trigger, which can be from anywhere, they can put together rapid phases that will open up a defensive line. There are no weaknesses in the squad; as such selection for Saturday will be difficult, as it has been all season. It will be a day to remember, so get their early to soak up the atmosphere, parking may be difficult as there is also a Fair on site, but there are arrangements to park also at Fallibroome School, kick-off is the usual 3.00pm – be as loud as you like!

The last league trophy to be raised at Macclesfield


WEEKEND ROUNDUP - and what a weekend. The 2nd XV took on Rossendale's 2nd XV and whilst not getting the win another FIVE senior colts made their debut and did themselves proud on the field against a huge opposition.Meanwhile, Macclesfield Womens Rugby continued their unbeaten streak against Ashbourne Women's Rugby , and the Colts put in a good shift in a 'Cup Preparation' friendly against Heaton Moor. Away from Priory Park the U10s smashed Kirkby Lonsdale Festival and the U14s were crowned Bowl Winners over at Sandal Festival.Even further afield the U15s were enjoying the sunshine and some rugby over in Barcelona - with a narrow defeat to Rugby Castillon (43 - 38 but some great memories made! ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨BOOK NOW FOR THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN🚨Fancy a laugh? Book in for our ‘Stand Up for your Mental Health Comedy Night’ taking place on 26th April 2024. Featuring a host of fantastic comedians from RockCentral Promotions 🎭Once booked start thinking of your prize for the NAFFLE, which will take place on the night. There will be a prize for the WOERST NAFFLE Prize on the night!!!All money raised on the night will go towards LooseHeadz amazing work in the Rugby community. #MentalHealthMatters #TackleTheStigma #rugby ... See MoreSee Less
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🚨SUNDAY FUNDAY🚨 get on down for a Double Header of live Rugby as the Colts take on Heaton Moor Rugby Club Colts followed by Macclesfield Womens Rugby .v. Ashbourne Women's Rugby .Bars open from 11:00 🍻 🏉 ... See MoreSee Less
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All the action THIS WEEKEND at your Macclesfield Rugby Club!Saturday the 2nd XV head over to Rossendale Rugby Club with THREE more colts making their debut. Live scores on our X account (@MaccRugby) from 🕒3:00. If you're not heading over why not come down to the 🌀Spiral Bar 🍻from 🕑2:00 as England Rugby Red Roses take on @Rugby Scotland in the Guinness Women's Six Nations.On Sunday we have a #doubleheader as our Colts host Heaton Moor Rugby Club in a Friendly pre-cup final game, followed by our Macclesfield Womens Rugby taking on Ashbourne Women's Rugby - bars open from 11:00.Come on down and let's ... See MoreSee Less
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Annie James - Macclesfield Womens Rugby 1st XV player is WELL on her way with her challenge of doing a 10K a month for a year!!! She is raising money for The Alzheimer's Society and of course this week is 💜 Alzheimer's Awareness week 💜!!! Don't forget whilst Annie does these 10Ks - she is now doing Trek26 (Alking Marathon), and she STILL finds the energy to play for Sheffield Hallam University AND Macclesfield Womens Rugby!!! A true athlete and formidable sports person.If you can donate to Annie's cause please donate using the link below!! ... See MoreSee Less
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