Tries galore as Macclesfield’s Women win again

By Annie James


Macclesfield Women’s rugby team took to the pitch against Ashbourne at home; the visitors had made amazing progress since Macc played them last, 3 weeks ago, with lots of good progression in all areas of the game.

Before starting the match, Macclesfield and Ashbourne had a joint training and warm-up practice session, with the Macclesfield Coaches, working with both teams on handling and clearing-out, to make ready for the game. This week’s squad was missing a couple of players, in particular Katie McCree out still with injury and Capitan Mel Bramley. However, it was a brilliant debut for two of the team’s newest recruits, Amy Brunt and Grace Forbes.

Starting Sunday’s match Macclesfield received the ball from an Ashbourne kick-off, and as practiced in training, it was shipped out quickly, through the hands of the back line to Chloe Newbigging, who was able to make a break outside of the Asbourne Winger, scoring near the posts which was successfully converted by scrum-half Annie James, who was later named player of the match. Macclesfield were soon on the attack again, and ran a couple of crash-balls through the forwards, making good ground for the back line to get into a strong position to attack; Chloe Newbigging broke through the Ashbourne defensive line again, giving Macclesfield a two-score lead, Annie James got the extras.

Hannah Green making a run for the try line from halfway

Ashbourne took a quick restart, Macclesfield were caught napping and not able to keep possession of the ball, they had to work hard, and test their defensive skills, looking to apply pressure. Flanker Hannah Green shot out of the line, and was able to disrupt an Ashbourne pass and gather the ball to make a strong sprint from half-way to score underneath the posts. Green was later named both forward and opposition’s player of the match. This outstanding play was quickly challenged by Ashbourne, however it was not enough to stop Sarah Naden crashing through, popping the ball mid-tackle to Annie James who sent Pip Wyer diving for the line, putting her on the score sheet once again for Macclesfield.

From the restart, Fly-half and Captian, Mary Thorp, gathered the ball and made a run attempting to break through the Ashbourne defensive, line with Sarah Naden on her shoulder making a break from half way to the 22”. Macclesfield’s determined forwards set up camp, working their pods until a call from the back line sent Newbigging over the try line once again, completing the first 20 minutes of the match, and giving Macclesfield a strong lead.

The game restarted with returning player Angela Aggersbury coming onto the pitch, Annie James kicked into Ashbourne’s 22”, where the clearance was quickly charged-down and turned over by a forward pod disrupting the Ashbourne ruck. A scrum followed allowing Newbigging, to show her power and pace to get over the Ashbourne try line, once again. This was shortly followed by a line break from Mary Thorp, giving Inside Centre, Tiegan Shaw, the opportunity to put herself on the score-sheet, successfully converted by Annie James.

Mary Thorp making a break down the wing

After play was stuck in the middle of the pitch, Pip Wyer found herself at the back of a ruck, quickly gathering the ball she set off, darting through the Ashbourne defensive line, putting herself on the score sheet once again with a try directly under the posts, converted by Annie James. This was followed by an impressive interception from Louisa Mackintosh, and with a couple of passes gave Tiegan Shaw the chance for another amazing beak down the middle of the pitch, for her second try of the match, converted by Annie James to finish the second third.

Macclesfield set again for the final 20 minutes of the match; Ashbourne kicked-off only to find Fly-half Mary Thorp, who took advantage with a run down the wing, handing off defenders, giving her a try in the corner. This was soon to be followed by Pip Wyer hitting a hard-line, fending off defenders, and scoring her hat-trick. With not long left and some heavy-legs Macclesfield pushed hard to keep going, defending tight at the rucks and stretching Ashbourne’s defence in attack. Mary Thorp created a gap in the defensive line, and with it, scored her second try of the match. Finally to finish off the match Tiegan Shaw couldn’t help but join the hat-trick-club, by crashing through the defensive line from only five meters out, scoring for a final time for the Macclesfield side.

Coach Paul Jakubowski commented later saying “it was very pleasing to see how well the side distributed the ball and supported breaks in the last two thirds of the game. A strong win, with their final match of the season at home this Friday taking on Stockport.”

This Friday will be Fly-half Mary Thorp’s last match for Macclesfield for a while as, she goes off on her travels, with first team Flanker, Tom Burden; it will also be her 50th Cap for Macclesfield!


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