JANUARY 2019 24 Independent LOCAL SPORT We sell some of the leading electric bike brands on the market, top German brands including Haibike, Focus and Kalkhoff NOW OPEN! Wood Street Mill, Wood Street, Macclesfield SK11 6JQ . 01625 426333 Picture: MACCLESFIELD RUFC picked up five valuable points with a 22-21 win against then third placed Hinkley in their bid to move away from the bot- tom of the National 2 North table. That win lifted them to second bottom and gave sup- porters heart for the rest of the season as the Blues fight for league safety. And there was more cause for optimism when the side travelled to table toppers Hull Ionians and produced another storming display before losing out narrowly 18-16. The Blues looked to have a shock win under their belts but suffered late heartbreak, with the home side clinching victory in dramatic style on the 39th phase of possession and in the 95thminute of play. Head coach Marshall Gadd took the positives out of the Hinkley victory. He told the club’s official website: “We did the basics really well, we won the collisions and we stayed on the front foot and that allowed us to play. “It was a complete perfor- mance one to 20, the boys who came off the bench made an impact and matched the intensity on the pitch.” Meanwhile, Macclesfield under-12s have started their fundraising drive as they look towards April and a tour of Barcelona. Jake is on the right route MACCLESFIELD schoolboy Jake O’Donnell was victorious in the British Schools’ Orienteering Championships and is nowmapping out an international future in the sport. Older brother Ben, left, is also making strong strides. Full story page 15 NEW Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell has declared “Its cup finals for us all the way” as he works to move the Silk- men away from the foot of League Two. The former Arsenal and Spurs defender is calling on his players to be up for the fight. Speaking after the Silkmen recorded their first victory under his charge he said: “We have a fight on our hands. “I want fighters who can play football at the same time and who understand that we want to get off the bottom and get momentum going. “We have to make our home a fortress, we have to be on the front foot and impose ourselves. For us to stay up and move up the league we have to win our home games and nick some wins and draws on the road.” Campbell, 44, who was capped 73 times for England, saw Town move to within four points of safety with a 2-0 win against Crawley. It was their third win in four games as they look to close the gap with the teams above them. Campbell said of his play- ers: “I think for me they have started to respond to how I want to play, it was a good performance. “Overall we really con- trolled the game. We need to play a little more in certain scenarios and that will come Every game’s a cup final with confidence. This win will do the lads a world of good.” The boss has insisted that every game will be crucial as Macclesfield look to pull away from the relegation places. Speaking before the game he said: “For me it’s been really good to see the guys respond to what we’re trying to do, our philosophy and to roll our sleeves up and keep going; it’s cup finals for us all the way.” Mark joins backroom staff FORMERManchester City, Wolver- hampton Wanderers and Republic of Ireland international Mark Ken- nedy has joined the Silkmen as first team coach. And he brings a wealth of experience fromhis playing days as he links up with new boss Sol Campbell at theMoss Rose. Kennedy described it as a “unique opportunity” to join the club and work with former England interna- tional Campbell. He began his career at Millwall and from there moved to Liverpool in a deal which made him the most expensive teenager in British football history. At home either at left back or on the left wing, Kennedy made 16 appearances for The Reds, before moved to Manchester City after several loan deals. He helped City return to the Premier League in his first season at the club and wouldmake 66 appearances in light blue before switching to Wolverhamp- ton Wanderers. Once again, he enjoyed promotion to the Premier League – scoring the open- ing goal in Wolves’ 3-0 Play-Off Final victory over Sheffield United in 2003. Kennedy made 174 appearances at Molineux over a five year period, before turning out for Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town towards the end of his career. He was capped by the Republic of Ire- land on 34 occasions, although he was unfortunately ruled out of the 2002 World Cup through injury. The Irishman retired from the play- ing side of the game back in 2012 and since hanging up his boots has pursued a coaching career within the game. STRIKER Jordan Ponticelli is looking forward to showing what he can do in a Macclesfield shirt after battling back from three months on the sidelines through injury. On loan from Coventry City he has recovered from the broken metatarsal he suffered in his first 30 minutes on the pitch for the Silkmen. The 20-year-old told the club’s official website:“I’ve done my recovery now, I’m back, nearly fully fit which will come in time with games but I’m happy to be back here and push to get some game time and some points. “It was my first proper injury in football, it was very disheartening when you turn up to training every day and you can’t kick a ball. “But I had to crack on and deal with it, and I have, and I’m back now because I had that strength and mentality to keep pushing and keep strengthening up. He also says that that he is looking forward to learning fromthenewman in charge at Moss Rose. Speaking about boss Sol Campbell he said: “You can just tell with his experience, he’s such a big character, it’s a credit to him with how far he has gone in the game, and let’s hope that he can push that on with the managerial role here. “It is exciting times here, especially with a big appointment like that. “It’s a great time to come back, a great appointment in Sol Campbell and the lads are starting to pick up some points as well and I’ve always said it’s a great bunch of lads, a great standard of football here, so I can definitely see this picking up soon.” He added: “I always pride myself on being a hard-working player, I’ll chase anything down, and when the chances come, I’d like to think I can take them, which I’ve proven in the past so I’mhoping that my style of play will help Macclesfield to get some more goals in the back of the net.” Exciting times ahead Blues continue to battle hard Keeper Craig’s hat-trick CONGLETON Town keeper Craig Ellison has lifted his third Goalkeeper of the Month award in the Premier Division of the Hallmark Security League. Hot on the heels of being pre- sented with his October award by League Management Committee representative Gary Johansen prior to the game against City of Liverpool – he was announced as the November winner. During the month he main- tained the high standards he set over the opening three months, and kept five clean sheets out of six matches played and only conceded one in the other game. James Kirby of Sandbach United won the Macron Player of the Month award for Division One South in October, for the second month in succession. He was presented with the award by League Statistician Paul Cowburn prior to the game against St Martins. The draw for the Quarter Final ties in the Macron Challenge Cup has been made. City of Liverpool will play Northwich Victoria or Cheadle Town while Congleton Town will host Cammell Laird 1907 or Rylands. The ties will be played on Saturday February 16. Winsford United became the first Hallmark Security League side to clinch a place in the final of a local cup competi- tion this season. A penalty shoot-out win over local rivals Witton Albion in the Mid Cheshire Senior Cup Semi Final gave some revenge for the Blues, as Albion halted their hopes of picking up the trophy last season when they defeated them 1-0 in the final. Now, in the New Year, the Blues have the opportunity to lift the Mid-Cheshire Cup for the first time since 2014.