Blues comeback to secure final slot
MACCLESFIELD Blues go into the Cheshire Cup final after winning away at Sandbach on Saturday.
The Blues made it three weeks in a row that they have overturned a half time deficit to end up victorious.
Sandbach play a league below The Blues in National Three Midlands and found themselves 26-3 up at half time – but Macc ran out 26-32 winners.
Sandbach got off to a quick start with Stewart Butters slotting over an early penalty which was cancelled out five minutes later by Macc’s fly half Dan Lomax. Butters added a couple more in quick succession and the hosts found themselves 9-3 up by the 20-minute mark.
Butters then scored a try of his own to back up his good work from the kicking tee. The full back finished off a fine counter attacking move to make the score 19-3.
Sandbach continued to defend well throughout the first half and despite some pressure from The Blues they held out.
The hosts added to a fine first half display with a score in the final play, scrum half Nick Allsop the provider for Jack Leech to score.
The Blues came firing out the traps in the second half, looking to prove a point to their Cheshire rivals.
Early in the half, Blues full back Jake Evens intercepted a Sandbach pass and looked to be clear, only to be tripped by his opposite number Butters. The referee had no choice but to send him to the bin.
The Blues took advantage of the extra man immediately as Franky Barker powered over.
Despite Sandbach being back to 15, the Blues grabbed another score and got themselves right back into the contest. The prolific catch and drive lineout again proving fruitful for Franky Barker to grab his second of the game.
Sandbach then saw yellow again with 15 minutes remaining and Macc took full advantage as they looked the fitter side – they also were able to bring a lot of strength and experience from the bench.
However, it was two scores in quick succession for returning Ireland Sevens international Matt O’Regan that secured the spoils for The Blues. The Irish flyer touched down twice in five minutes to save any Blues blushes.
Replacement fly half Lewis Barker added a penalty late on to extend the lead to six, and secure the game.
The Blues face Otley at Priory Park this weekend where they hope to make it eight league wins in a row and consolidate their place at the top of the pile in National Two North.
●● Matt O’Regan dives in for a try during Macclesfield’s victory against Sandbach in the Cheshire Cup