1st XV Match Preview V Macclesfield (A) Sat 19/11/2016 

by Glyn Barlow

This Saturday Birmingham Moseley visit another new opponent as they travel north to Cheshire to take on Macclesfield.

Formed in 1877 the club has led a somewhat nomadic existence before settling at Priory Park in 1980. In 2002/3 the club won promotion to National 3 North (later to become National 2 North on restructuring of leagues). The club won promotion to National 1 in 2010/11 a position they maintained until relegated in 2012/13.

Promotion was achieved for the second time in 2014/15 but it only lasted for the one season before they were again relegated winning only three of their thirty games. Not deterred they managed to win promotion last season, topping the league with twenty five wins from twenty nine games (the last fixture against Harrogate being cancelled).

This season the club have again found life in the higher league tough going, currently sitting in sixteenth place with just two wins and a draw from their eleven outings to date. Success has come against Fylde (44-22), Darlington Mowden Park (43-16) and Blaydon (24-24). Last weekend the team suffered their worst defeat to date going down 76-30 to Loughborough Students, conceding eleven tries in the process. To date Macclesfield have conceded 54 tries at an average of nearly five a game.

Clearly following this result Macclesfield will have a point to prove on Saturday so Birmingham Moseley can expect to come up against a very motivated team, determined to make amends to their supporters. To prevail they will need to also contain the exploits of back row Ryan Parkinson who has crossed the try line 6 times to date.

In preparation for their latest foray in to National One the Blues brought in a number of players with experience of playing at higher levels including forwards Ollie Parkinson and Josh Redfern from Rotherham, back row Liam Parfitt from Sale Sharks and centre Lewis Winterbottom from Leicester Tigers. In addition fly half Tom Morton and hooker Curtis Langdon are on loan from Sale. As well as the players new to the team travelling fans will recognise prop forward/forwards coach Marshall Gadd who made nineteen appearances for Moseley in 2011/12.

For Birmingham Moseley this match represents an opportunity to get back to winning ways after the disappointment of their second defeat of the season away at Plymouth Albion last week. Never an easy place to go, particularly with an early morning start to travel arrangements, the challenge was compounded by missed opportunities and allowing Albion bask into it in the dying minutes rather than closing out the game.

Tries on eighty minutes and into injury time saw an important away win evaporate. A lack of game management saw the team playing out the last few minutes at the wrong end of the field. Add to this a maddeningly frustrating lineout performance again and the team could only look inwards at what might have been.

The loss underlines the need for one hundred percent focus and concentration through the whole game with no opportunity to switch off. If they are to continue to challenge the top of the table this week should be a marker of how capable they are of delivering a complete performance.