Historic win for Anselmians in Cheshire Cup


St Anselmians made the short trip to Priory Park, home of Macclesfield RUFC in the Cheshire Cup. Macclesfield are comfortably in the top half in a league two above Saints who sit top of the table in North 2 West.

Anselmians were greeted by a firm pitch and bright sunny conditions, albeit with a fair breeze.

Macclesfield’s team attacked from the off, however, Saints stood firm but Macclesfield eventually broke free from a missed tackle to go over the line and open the scoring after 16mins.

Shortly afterwards a break by the Macclesfield winger resulted in another try in at the corner. With the score now at 12-0 it looked like a long afternoon for the Saints travelling support.

The Saints team then seemed to step up a gear, with Ewan Nolan making a break from his own 22 to five metres out where a scrambling Macclesfield defence held him up. A quick recycle of the ball and Liam Sadler scored between the posts.

Two minutes after the restart, James Whitehouse intercepted the ball and went the length of the pitch to score again under the posts to make it 12-14.

At this point, the game slowed as an injury to a player from each side broke the flow of the game, with Nolan going off for Saints and influential prop Robinson for Macclesfield.

Powerful Saints second-rower, Fred Clark, found himself in some space to power through a tackle and score near the posts, converted by the trusty boot of Morley.

Macclesfield responded with a converted try and score at HT 19-21.

With the Saints scrummage lead by the Salisbury brothers and Brookes dominant in the scrum and a 100% perfect line out, they started to see much more of the ball.

Yet again, Whitehouse ran another two tries with nobody able to keep put a hand on him. Tries also for replacement hooker John Bonner, bursting from the back of a maul, and Dai Morley with a quick tap penalty .

This spurred on Macclesfield and they began throwing the ball around. Having brought on fresh legs, they scored another two tries, only one of which was converted.

With five minutes left on the clock, a scramble in defence allowed Saints sub, Brian Atwine, to power through a couple of defenders and touch down the loose ball. Morley missed the conversion leaving the final score 31-54.

With a try and seven conversions plus some excellent kicking, Morley pinned Macclesfield back time after time. Tom Gilbert, Will Grebe, and Andy Cummins all had outstanding games but Man-of-the-Match went to James Whitehouse for his three tries.

Coach Degsy Salisbury said, ”I was very pleased with the commitment from the lads today. This is the biggest scalp in the club’s history so far, and we now have a semi-final against another of the areas’ bigger clubs; Lymm, this time with a home fixture.”

The referee was Jack Moorhouse, currently a Sale FC player who is retiring from the playing game at the end of the season to take up the whistle.

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Anselmians 1st XV’s next game is home to Macclesfield on Saturday 26 March for a 3pm kick-off in the league.

Image credit: Derek Salisbury Snr

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