Second half sees lead wiped out
NATIONAL LEAGUE ONE MACCLESFIELD .......... 13 BLACKHEATH .............. 25
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.”
●● 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)