18th January 2010
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                                        Rugby Notes from ‘Clubman’
Whilst most games in National Two were again postponed due to the effects of the long freeze it was good to be able to travel the short distance to the Houghend Crescent home of Broughton Park on Saturday where their well grassed pitch was in prime condition following an early morning check up for the Lions to resume duties in the Bateman BMW Premier League against the home side.
The 43-0 victory although comprehensive in terms of the scoreline did not reflect the effort that the home side put in and it was the Macclesfield defence that kept them out when several try scoring opportunities came their way.  The victory moves the Lions into top spot in the table on 46 points with Sedgley Park (43) and Caldy (42) the only other clubs within touching distance.
It is the first time I have visited the new Broughton Park clubhouse and I must say I was impressed with the ground design, superb electronic scoreboard (donated by a club member at a total cost of several thousand pounds) and finally a pint of beer at just £1.95 (almost Wetherspoon prices but sadly Smooth only available –a minus point in my book!!)
The game allowed Rob McDermott to get another game under his belt following injury and I was delighted to see young Prop – Billy Robinson – making his return following injury on Humberside back in September and hopefully he will be seeking his senior spot back in a game or two.
I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms since that 12 December trip to Westoe but hopefully things will be back to normal when Broadstreet make their first ever trip to Priory Park for the league encounter on Saturday – see ‘Preview’.
Around National Two North there were just three games on Saturday with the Students moving 12 points clear with a 25-13 victory over Harrogate. Hull maintained their recent progress with a 20-5 victory over Rugby Lions on Humberside and Broadstreet went down at home to Hull Ionians by 16-12 in a close fought encounter.  All other games including our trip to Kendal were postponed thus causing further headaches for the fixture planners.
For your information as I write the new dates for Macclesfield’s postponed games are as follows:
6 February v. Harrogate at Priory Park
20 March v. Preston Grasshoppers at Lightfoot Green
1 May v. Hull at Priory Park

The Kendal game has, as yet not got a date and I will notify you when it is known.

With the Six Nations almost with us and a 6 February encounter with Wales at Twickenham it was interesting to see Martin Johnsons selections for the initial squads and the inclusion of ex RL players Chris Ashton & Shontayne Hape has perhaps raised a few eyebrows but I will not comment too much at this stage as I also have very much a RL background albeit many years ago and I still believe that both codes have much to offer each other

Games for Saturday:
1st v. Broadstreet – League – Home –
2nd v. Waterloo – League – Home
3rd v. Wilmslow – League – Away
4th v. Anselmians – League – Home
Vets v. Aspull – League – Away

Saturday 23 January 2010 – Kick Off
Macclesfield v. Broadstreet

Hopefully the season can get back on track for the Blues when Coventry based Broadstreet pay their first ever visit to Macclesfield on Saturday for our first game since 12 December 2009.

Broadstreet – founded in 1929 – play their games at the Ivor Preece Field, Binley Woods and our visit there on 3 October resulted in a good 34-13 victory and a repeat of that will ensure that duties are resumed normally for the squad.

In the main Broadstreet have played out the last ten seasons in Midlands 1 with just two seasons – 02/03 played in National Three North (they were relegated to make way for us after our play off at Luctonians) and just one season in Midlands Two West after relegation in 05/06. Last season they won Midlands One comfortably with 18 Victories, 1 Draw and just 3 defeats to move back to national levels.

Within their squad they have prolific try scorer – wingman Greg Summers with 15 touch downs to his name so far this season including one against us in October and in Stand Off Dan Richards with 109 points to his name with four penalties last Saturday they also have a more than competent kicker.  Neither must be given any scope to add to their tallies this Saturday.

Broadstreet or ‘The Street’ as they are known presently sit in 12th spot in the table with 5 victories, 1 draw and 9 defeats on their record.  Let’s hope that is 10 by Saturday.

Enjoy your Rugby – I do (and after the England Cricketers dramatic collapse in Joburg today as I write I need something to make me smile again!!)


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