Hart at­tacks prove to be Blues’ down­fall

Mac­cles­field have no an­swer to free-scor­ing Col­lege team in lat­est loss

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

MAC­CLES­FIELD trav­elled south to face a fel­low newly-pro­moted side in Hart­pury Col­lege.

The col­lege had been in fine form of late, pick­ing up a big win against Rich­mond and they fol­lowed it up with a 54-10 thump­ing of the Blues.

This is the col­lege team’s first sea­son in English rugby’s third tier and the reign­ing Na­tional Two South cham­pi­ons ran riot over their north­ern di­vi­sion coun­ter­parts, who are find­ing life back in League One tor­tur­ous.

The vis­i­tors got off to a blis­ter­ing start, as lead­ing try scorer Matt King pounced onto a clever kick that had been put be­hind the de­fence by cen­tre Matt O’Re­gan to put Macc in front with barely two min­utes on the clock.

But Mac­cles­field couldn’t hang onto their lead as the hosts re­sponded im­me­di­ately from the kick-off, re­gain­ing pos­ses­sion and shipping the ball out wide for winger Steph Reynolds to score.

With the Blues fail­ing to take ad­van­tage of the strong winds and keep good ter­ri­tory, they found them­selves un­der pres­sure as Hart­pury dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion, and a ris­ing penalty count.

On 25 min­utes, prop Shane Hef­fer­nan was sent to the sin bin and just mo­ments later, scrum-half Jor­dan Brookes fol­lowed him.

Hart­pury took ad­van­tage of two ex­tra men im­me­di­ately as they had a five-me­tre scrum which soon ended in a de­served try and a 14-5 lead which they took into the break.

A very one-sided sec­ond half was to follow in which Hart­pury would run in six tries.

The first of th­ese came within a minute, as they col­lected the kick-off deep in their own half but us­ing pace and cre­ativ­ity were soon un­der­neath the Blues’ sticks to ex­tend their lead.

The next Hart­pury try came seven min­utes later, again with con­fi­dence to run the ball from their own half, the hosts carved up the Mac­cles­field de­fence to score and se­cure their bonus point, 28-5.

With just their third visit to the Macc half of the sec­ond pe­riod, Hart­pury added their third score, keep­ing the ball alive and ex­haust­ing a stag­gered Mac­cles­field de­fence to go over once again and make it 35-5.

A mo­ment of in­di­vid­ual bril­liance from young re­place­ment fly-half, Matt Protheroe took the hosts’ score past 40.

What was in­tended to be a blue wall of de­fence proved no ob­sta­cle to the young man who weaved in and out of the on­rush­ing Mac­cles­field tack­lers to dive in un­der the posts for a 42- 5 lead.

On 73 min­utes, Hart­pury scored another fan­tas­tic team try to make it 49-5, run­ning the ball from deep and work­ing it wide to by­pass the Blues’ tir­ing de­fence.

Hart­pury’s fi­nal score of a painful af­ter­noon for the Blues came on 77 min­utes when the Hart­pury skipped charge down a clear­ance and pounced on the loose ball.

Billy Robin­son grabbed a late con­so­la­tion for the be­lea­guered Blues, charg­ing over from a few me­tres out to make the fi­nal score 54-10 on another tough af­ter­noon for the Blues.

The Blues host the di­vi­sion’s other pro­moted side this week­end.

Tenth-placed Dar­ling­ton Mow­den Park travel to Pri­ory Park as Mac­cles­field con­tinue to search for their first home win of the sea­son.

Do­minic Sal­ter

●● Mac­cles­field’s Billy Robin­son scored a late con­so­la­tion at Hart­pury Col­lege but Mac­cles­field were once again beaten and they re­main bot­tom of the League One ta­ble


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