At last we saw a game of Rugby and on a cold but sunny afternoon at Priory Park the Blues began 2011 with what, in the end, was a hard fought victory over a Cinderford side that looked anything but a side languishing at the wrong end of national One and, having had long conversations with their travelling support, I sincerely hope that they are with us next time round as their club, like Macclesfield is a true Rugby Club with few, if any pretentions otherwise.
The five points gained kept the Blues in fourth spot in the table with a nice 8 point gap between us and fifth place Blaydon although they do have a game in hand after the last couple of month’s inactivity. Results elsewhere meant that London Scottish overtook Cambridge, who we visit on Saturday (see Preview), after beating Rosslyn Park 34-23 in a London Derby. Cambridge lost out at West Renault Park to table topping Barking by 21-14 and they will be looking to get more than a bonus point when we visit on Saturday. Note now please that Kick Off there is 2.pm. and NOT the usual 3.pm. so organize your travel accordingly.
Elsewhere in national One Wharfedale beat Tynedale (27-10), Launceston beat Otley (25-15), Coventry beat Sedgley Park (25-19) Blaydon moved up a spot by beating Stourbridge (31-10) and finally Redruth scored a good away victory at Blackheath by 18-14 so its still all to play for both at the top and bottom of the table.
All other Macclesfield sides had a good afternoon in their respective leagues with the Lions travelling to Birkenhead Park and coming back with a 43-7 victory, their second of the week after a 60-10 demolition of Altrincham Kersal on Monday at Priory Park. The Premiership is now divided into the top seven and bottom seven who will play each other in separate leagues until the end of the season.
The Thirds travelled to Leigh and beat their Second string by 23-3 while the Fourths drew 10-10 at Toc H against their Third XV. The Vets, in a hastily arranged game against Metrovic Thirds won at Priory Park but I have no details of the final score there.
Last Sunday week the Colts – who have had few successes this season – entertained Preston Grasshoppers Colts who turned up with only 12 players but in the spirit of the game Macclesfield loaned them two players and they played fourteen a side to ensure an even game and the Blues youngsters won well in the end but both sides gained praise from the match officials for their attitude and I add my name to that praise as this, in the end, is what our great game is all about and long may those attitudes prevail in the highly ‘professional’ attitude of many at senior level in our sport.
Hopefully the winter weather will stay on hold for this weekend as we travel to Cambridge for our next league encounter. As already mentioned kick off there is 2.pm. and directions to their West Renault Park ground are as follows:
Leave the M11 at Junction 12 and go towards Cambridge on the A603. First right into Granchester Road and after 300 yards ground is on your right. Post Code CB3 9ED.
1st v. Cambridge – League – Away – 2.pm.
2nd v. Not Yet Sorted as I write !!
3rd v. Burnage 2 – league – Away
4th v. Northwich 3 – League – Home
Vets v. Lymm – league - Away