Lions’ home record falls to lead­ers

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK - NA­TIONAL TWO NORTH

AHEAD of the week­end’s im­pres­sive win at Ot­ley, Mac­cles­field had main­tained their charge to­wards pro­mo­tion with an equally eye-cac­thing vic­tory at Le­ices­ter Lions.

As­sis­tant coach Chris Jones was de­lighted with The Blues’ win as they came from be­hind to strip the Lions of their un­beaten home record.

Jones was full of praise for the way his side fought back from a seven-point half time deficit.

“I’m de­lighted with the win. It was a mas­sively tough game, but we’ve been in this kind of po­si­tion be­fore this sea­son. We asked the lads for a re­ac­tion at half time and I be­lieve we did that, so I’m very happy.

“Le­ices­ter are a great side at home, it’s a re­ally tough place to come. We showed what we can do, what we want and we showed a lot of re­silience to come back and get the re­sult.

“I was al­ways con­fi­dent in the way that we’re con­di­tioned that if we can stay in the game go­ing into the last 20 min­utes that we can push for the win, and be there or there abouts of get­ting it.”

The ta­ble top­ping Blues got off to a sloppy start and looked shell shocked by the host’s blis­ter­ing open­ing pas­sages of play. It took just two min­utes for Le­ices­ter Lions to get on the score sheet, a li­ne­out move fin­ished off out wide by pow­er­ful winger Devon Con­stant.

Mac­cles­field sprung back and sparked into life on 15 min­utes, a fine move was fin­ished in the cor­ner by winger Matt King, Lewis Barker missed the con­ver­sion, 7-5.

A fran­tic first half con­tin­ued to in­volved with an er­ror stricken Mac­cles­field side look­ing un­der pres­sure from the Lions who were very much giv­ing the league lead­ers a game.

On 25 min­utes, the hosts made their pres­sure pay with an­other score, trou­ble­some winger Con­stant again tram­pling over his op­po­site man on his way to the try line, 12-5. The score was the last of the scor­ing ac­tion un­til half time.

The first fif­teen min­utes of the sec­ond half were just as fran­tic as the forty be­fore it and saw three yel­low cards and seven points scored.

On 44 min­utes, Ben Spokes was sent to the bin for The Lions, he was fol­lowed five min­utes later by Blues lock Har­ri­son Lewis, and then the ref­eree de­cided it would be 13 against four­teen when he sent Le­ices­ter’s lock Will Roach to the bin.

Macc man­aged to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra man im­me­di­ately as il­lu­sive fly half Lewis Barker spotted gaps in the de­fence to dance through and score un­der the posts, con­vert­ing his own score to bring the scores level, 12-12.

The home side re­gained the lead on the hour mark, fly half John Bo­den adding three points from the kick­ing tee.

The lead was very much short lived for the Lions though, as Mac­cles­field re­sponded within a minute with what turned out the be the cru­cial score, El­liot Bri­er­ley put a clever kick in be­hind the on rush­ing Lions de­fence for Josh Fowles to col­lect and score, Barker missed the con­ver­sion, 15-17.

The Lions con­tin­ued to pile the pres­sure on The Blues but fine de­fence and ter­ri­tory play from Macc meant they kept their hosts at bay.

On 70 min­utes, some clever play from the league lead­ers forced a penalty which was within range of the boot of Lewis Barker, Barker calmly slot­ted the three points and se­cured the Mac­cles­field vic­tory and a first home loss since April 2015 for Le­ices­ter Lions.

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