Winnington Park (h)
By Dan Mead
Visit of league leaders
Top of the table Winnington Park were the visitors on an emotional afternoon at Marple.
Marple Rugby Club paid its respects to former player & club president Mark Stott who sadly passed away recently. Stotty’s family and teammates were in attendance to pay tribute to a top club-man.
The visitors were quick to gain the upper-hand with the home side’s customary slow start, a 3 week lay-off not helping, with a well worked move down the right. Marple hit back with some decent possession & good field position. Some great defence kept Marple-out and 3 points were kicked by Gregg when awarded a penalty bang in-front. The Home side then took the lead when a long kick from Howarth was well chased down by the back 3, the pressure applied forcing the visiting winger to make a hash of the pick-up, Nunn was on-hand to collect a pass & score in the corner.
This is as near as it got. The unbeaten visitors are probably not the most skilful team faced this season but certainly the most committed. They scored 4 un-answered tries in the next 20 mins both through good hands & a good driving maul but also through slack defending & inviting pressure through the penalties conceded in the Marple half. Half-time 10-31
The 2nd half was a more even matched affair with the Winnington winger, evasive all-day, scoring under the posts early-on. Marple then began to gain some concerted field position but again the away-team first-up & scramble defence was excellent. A moment of magic from No. 10 Howarth was the only time the defence was breached, inside the 22 an audacious chip & collect on the full to score himself under the posts - a lovely piece of skill.
Full–time score 15-38
Positives from the match were the glorious return to 1st team action from captain marvel (his exact words)
MoM goes to Nunn.