Whilst the long trip to Cornwall didn’t produce maximum points the two gained from the 17-17 drawn game against relegation haunted Redruth ensured that the Blues retained a firm grip on fourth spot in National One despite Blackheath gaining a narrow victory over Wharfedale to edge a couple of points closer in fifth spot we still have a healthy eight point cushion and a couple of games in hand over them and sixth placed Rosslyn Park who gained a maximum in beating Coventry 43-26.
With five games still to be played by Macclesfield – three at Priory Park – starting this Saturday when Otley visit and we have a score to settle with them after an unconvincing outing at Cross Green in February. This game in preceded by a pre match dinner which, I understand, is well patronized so come along to support this and the England Under 16 v. Italy Under 17 game which follows on Wednesday 20 April at 3.pm. This important International game is another feather in the hat for the organization at Priory Park and to attend on the day it will cost you but a fiver with concessions at £2 along with the Under 16’s at the same concession price so please make the effort to see the future of our International side. A few seasons down the line you will see some of these lads at the top level in the Six Nations and there will be a bit of local blood in the England Squad. Six Cheshire players are included in the England Squad with Macclesfield being represented by Tom Hudson & Jonny Kenny – all the more reason to come along and support.
Around National One on Saturday both Barking & Scottish gained maximum to maintain their positions but with a game in hand methinks Barking have it in their hands to lose. The game between those sides on 7 May will be pivotal. Launceston were all but relegated despite making Barking fight all the way for a 29-25 victory at Polson Bridge. Cinderford surprisingly beat Tynedale up North by 33-20, Sedgley Park moved nearer the mire in losing 33-8 at Stourbridge and Saturday’s opposition Otley made Cambridge fight all the way for a 31-29 victory in the Dales. Scottish saw off the Blaydon challenge by 38-7 and Blackheath beat Wharfedale 23-22 in a thriller.
Whilst promotion/relegation issues will still take a few games to sort out one can now look forward to Birmingham Solihull, Fylde, Ealing or Jersey and any one of Leicester Lions, Loughborough Students or Westoe joining National 1 come next season and already the talking is starting with clubs eyeing up possible new talent for the season if you believe the Rugby Paper. It all makes for an interesting finish to what has, for Macclesfield Rugby, been a pivotal first at this level of national rugby.
Around Priory Park the Lions, after qualifying for the Raging Bull Cup Final following their 36-13 win at Preston Grasshoppers mid week, saw off the local challenge of Stockport 36-13 at Priory Park but the Fourths went down heavily at Marple Thirds. The Third team play their league game at Stockport on Wednesday evening. The Lions will play Birkenhead Park in the final which will be played on 7 May next. Park having beaten Lymm 30-18 in their semi. The final, I believe, will be at Stockport but watch this space for confirmation. On Saturday the Lions have a chance to put the record straight when Vale of Lune visit Priory Park after that bad day at the office on
Pride of place this week however must go to our Colts who have won their way through to the Senior Plate Final against Sandbach Colts which will be played at Bowdon Rugby Club on Sunday 17 April – kick off 1.30.pm. To get there following the Quarter Final victory over Marple they overcame Birkenhead Park Colts 26-22 last week and after the dire beginning to their campaign it is pleasing to report success and possibly some silverware to end the season. These lads also deserve your support so do make the short journey to Bowdon to support them.
Games for Saturday: 1st v Otley, League, Home, 3pm; 2nd v Vale of Lune, League, Home; 3rd v Kendal 2, League, Away; 4th v Old Bedians 2, League, Home; Vets v Manchester, League, Home
Enjoy your Rugby – I do despite the happenings at the Galpharm last Friday!!