Blues ex­tend lead at sum­mit

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - ALEX HAN­NAH

MAC­CLES­FIELD’S win on Satur­day moved them 18 points clear at the sum­mit of Na­tional Two North.

The bonus point win saw them pile on pres­sure on the chas­ing pack who now know, it will take some­thing spec­tac­u­lar for Mac­cles­field not to win the league.

As­sis­tant coach Chris Jones was pleased with how The Blues per­formed.

“I’m de­lighted with that per­for­mance, we’ve spoke all week about want­ing the five points, but we spoke about the dan­gers of chas­ing it too hard as well,” he said. “We man­aged our­selves well. The way we started to­day was key. We also car­ried hard and man­aged the break­down well, it gave us front foot ball all the time and Pre­ston couldn’t live with it.”

The Hop­pers showed signs of a late fight­back when they ran in two tries in two min­utes, and looked to have Macc on the ropes but The Blues weath­ered the storm and scored two of their own to kill the game off, some­thing Jones was par­tic­u­larly proud of.

“Pre­ston are a proud side and they don’t roll over for any­body, es­pe­cially not Mac­cles­field.

“They bought it back to 16-24 and one more try for them would have re­ally gave them mo­men­tum go­ing into the fi­nal 15 min­utes. I’m very proud of the way the boys fronted up and scored the two tries in re­sponse.”

Macc wel­comed back last sea­son’s top scorer Matt King into the side, and Char­lie Ven­ables who re­turned from in­jury, two play­ers who Jones was im­pressed by.

“Matt is a con­fi­dence player, to get his try to­day and to per­form the way he did will do him no end of good, he’s a qual­ity player.

“It’s great to have Char­lie back in, he’s a fan­tas­tic counter at­tack­ing player, he gives us a lot of op­tions.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that we lost Matt O’Re­gan to in­jury but hope­fully we’ll have him back in­volved soon.”

The Blues are once again away from home next week­end, as they travel to fourth placed Le­ices­ter Lions, a game which Jones knows will be an­other tough en­counter.

“We must con­tinue to take each game on a week by week ba­sis, we’ve got tough games com­ing up, we’ve still got to face Stour­bridge and Sedgely Park. But our fo­cus is solely on Satur­day.

“Le­ices­ter Lions are a good, proud side, they’re a good side at home.

“There are no easy games in this league, we’ll have to go and work very hard in or­der to come away with a win.”

Do­minic Sal­ter

●● Matt King re­turned with a try

●● King’s first team lifted the county sev­ens crown when they beat St Am­brose Col­lege

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