Blues stay top de­spite de­feat

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NA­TIONAL LEAGUE NORTH TWO CALDY ............................. 29 MAC­CLES­FIELD ............ 24

MAC­CLES­FIELD ex­tended their lead at the top of Na­tional 2 North de­spite fall­ing to de­feat away at Cheshire ri­vals Caldy.

The Blues came away with two bonus points which meant their lead at the top turned to 14 points af­ter Sed­g­ley Park fell at home to Le­ices­ter Li­ons.

The first score came on 15 min­utes, clever kick­ing from Caldy winger Nick Royle saw him get in be­hind his op­po­site man, Matt King and touch down to score, Gavin Roberts be­gan his im­pres­sive day with the boot and added the ex­tras, 7-0.

The hosts grabbed their sec­ond score just five min­utes later when an ini­tial break from Roberts saw winger Forbes Ed­wards score in the cor­ner, the kick was un­suc­cess­ful this time though.

The Blues got them­selves on the score­board thanks to last sea­son’s lead­ing scorer Matt King, the winger fin­ished in the cor­ner on the half hour mark af­ter strong Macc set piece al­lowed them to move the ball wide, fly half Lewis Barker added the tough con­ver­sion.

The dom­i­nant Mac­cles­field set piece once again al­lowed the backs to have the free­dom to move the ball wide, this time Josh Fowles was the ben­e­fi­ciary as he found his way into the cor­ner to fin­ish, the missed con­ver­sion meant Mac­cles-

1 Mac­cles­field 16 13 0 3 538 280 66

2 Sed­g­ley Park 15 10 0 5 439 313 52 3 Stour­bridge 16 10 1 5 369 258 52 4 Caldy 15 9 1 5 370 298 48 5 Le­ices­ter L 15 9 1 5 310 275 44 6 San­dal 16 9 0 7 281 279 42 7 Ot­ley 16 8 0 8 321 336 41 8 Ch­ester 16 7 0 9 310 326 35 9 S Le­ices­ter 15 6 1 8 377 407 35 10 Har­ro­gate 14 7 0 7 280 292 34 11 Pre­ston G 15 6 2 7 270 292 33 12 Sale 16 6 1 9 322 419 33 13 Tynedale 15 6 0 9 308 385 31 14 Hud­dersf’d 16 5 011 283 399 24 15 Luc­to­ni­ans 14 4 1 9 261 363 22 16 Broad­street 16 4 012 284 401 21 field went in level at the break.

Caldy once again started the brighter of the two sides, the hosts came out and forced pres­sure onto The Blues which re­sulted in Gavin Roberts added six points from the kick­ing tee be­fore 50 min­utes was on the clock, 18-12.

Mac­cles­field then took the lead through an in­di­vid­ual mo­ment of bril­liance from scrum half Jor­dan Brookes.

The il­lu­sive num­ber nine left de­fend­ers for dead af­ter he sniped from the base of the scrum to score a fan­tas­tic try, Barker added the ex­tras to give The Blues the lead at 18-19.

With Caldy re­duced to 14 men, Macc took full ad­van­tage.

The for­wards once again pro­vid­ing the foun­da­tion for the backs the move wide and score, with Fowles again pro­vid­ing the ex­pert fin­ish, Barker missed a tough con­ver­sion, 18-24.

With 70 min­utes on the clock, the host’s mounted the start of their come­back.

Macc lost their own li­ne­out deep in their own ter­ri­tory and fol­lowed it up with poor dis­ci­pline to gift Caldy 10 me­tres, Caldy then moved the ball wide and Nick Royle dived in for his sec­ond of the game, the con­ver­sion was missed how­ever and The Blues car­ried a slen­der one point lead go­ing into the fi­nal stages.

More ill dis­ci­pline how­ever meant Caldy took the game out of Blues reach. El­liot Bri­er­ley was sin binned for a no arms tackle and Roberts took the chance to add three points and take the lead, four min­utes later, Roberts found him­self with an­other op­por­tu­nity for three and duly obliged to earn his side vic­tory over the league lead­ers.

Mac­cles­field face Pre­ston Grasshop­pers in what is sure to be an­other tough test away from home. But Head Coach Giles Hea­gerty is sure to be look­ing for a re­ac­tion from his play­ers.

Do­minic Salter

●● Matt King scored Mac­cles­field’s open­ing try at Caldy on Satur­day

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