Sec­ond half sees lead wiped out

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - ALEXANDER HANNAH


MACCLESFIELD played host to fourth- placed Black­heath at Pri­ory Park and per­formed like a side that does not rep­re­sent their lowly league po­si­tion.

The Blues had held a three-point lead at the break but a fail­ure to add to their tally in the sec­ond half saw them fall to a 25-13 de­feat.

The first score came on 12 min­utes when Macclesfield turned the ball over deep in their own half.

Cen­tre El­liot Bri­er­ley spot­ted space on the blind side and sent full-back Matt O’Re­gan away on the left wing. The sup­port­ing Matt King then took the off­load and although he was stopped short of the line, he man­aged to re­turn the ball to O’Re­gan, who touched down. Tom Eaton con­verted for a 7-0 lead.

The hosts were re­duced to 14 men shortly af­ter their score, how­ever, with prop for­ward Billy Robin­son be­ing sent to the bin for tak­ing his man out in the air.

The vis­i­tors took im­me­di­ate ad­van­tage, kick­ing to the cor­ner and se­cur­ing good li­ne­out ball, driv­ing over the Blues’ line for flanker Dave Allen to touch down for his first score of the af­ter­noon.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter that un­con­verted score the Blues ex­tended their lead, Eaton calmly slot­ting a penalty.

And with Macclesfield back to the full com­ple­ment an­other Eaton penalty in front of the posts made it 13-5 af­ter 27 min­utes.

Black­heath pegged their hosts back on the halfhour mark, the li­ne­out again prov­ing dom­i­nant to drive a maul over the line, Allen again the man to ben­e­fit from his hard­work­ing pack. The score again went un­con­verted and the Blues turned around 13-10 up.

The Blues showed strong de­fence but re­lent­less at­tacks from the vis­i­tors in the sec­ond half meant it was just a mat­ter of time be­fore the blue wall would be breached.

The first score of the sec­ond half came on 54 min­utes from winger Richard Squires who ben- efited from a clever kick by fly-half Joe Carlisle, col­lect­ing and touch­ing down in the cor­ner.

Twelve min­utes later Allen com­pleted his hat­trick. Sam Ey­d­mann col­lected a Tom Trot­ter box kick to then off­load to Allen who touched down as they be­gan to put the game out of Macclesfield’s reach.

It took just six min­utes be­fore they crossed again.

Re­place­ment Seb Na­gleTay­lor touched down from an­other pow­er­ful catch and drive li­ne­out to put the game to bed as they ran out 25-13 win­ners.

Macclesfield head coach Giles Hea­gerty was very dis­ap­pointed with his side’s sec­ond-half per­for­mance and felt his side gifted Black­heath the win in the sec­ond half.

“The first half was re­ally good,” he said. “We knew what their threat was and we failed to deal with it in the sec­ond half and gifted them field po­si­tion by giv­ing fool­ish penal­ties away.

“We cut our own throats in 25 min­utes of the sec­ond half.”

Black­heath as­sis­tant coach Simon Whatling, on the other hand, was de­lighted with the grit his team had showed to come back from that half-time deficit.

“We knew we were go­ing to be tested here, Pri­ory Park is a tough place to come but we re­ally came through in the last half hour,” he de­clared.

“This league is about mo­men­tum and we’ve built on the last seven games to­day.

“You very rarely get a bad game from Dave Allen. He wears his heart on his sleeve ev­ery week and it’s tes­ta­ment to how long he has been play­ing the game of rugby.

“He scores crit­i­cal tries for this club – at times we need them through­out the sea­son, but he was very im­pres­sive to­day.”

James Bal­four

●● Matt O’Re­gan scored the open­ing try against Black­heath but the Blues fell to de­feat

●● The Blues’ mas­cot on Satur­day was Un­der-10 player Joseph Moor­croft (pic­tured with cap­tain Mike Fin­nemore)

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