Glimpses of what Blues are capable of
Karl Braband over the try line to secure the bonus point.
Macc were struggling to make much happen in attack by this point and Ampthill were powering over the gainline with increasing frequency but at times they really didn’t need to as the increasing penalty allowed the boys in burgundy and yellow to stay in the visitor’s half.
The referee had his work cut out in this game, as at times it was fairly bad tempered, Thomas Davis handing out multiple warnings for back chat from both sides and breaking up numerous scuffles after the whistle.
Eventually, the penalty count pegged Macc back in their own ’22 a couple of times too many with lock, and former Tongan international, Hehea going over twice from set piece platforms.
So, game over? Done and dusted? Well, maybe as far as Ampthill were concerned but it was at this point something interesting occurred.
The Blues had lost scrum half Nick Allsop to a suspected broken wrist in the first half and number 10 Tom Eaton had filled his Allsop’s position and full back Barker, who is returning from long term injury having been highly impressive in last year’s National 2 title winning season , slotted in at fly half.
He hadn’t had much ball to work with since the break but what Macclesfield produced in those last 10 minutes cannot be described as anything other than swashbuckling rugby.
The pace, intensity and frequency of ball movement had not been this high at any point this season, since the home win against Fylde in week 2, and Barker was at the centre of everything.
Playing from everywhere, the boys in blue, or black and grey as is the Priory Park Club’s away kit, were finishing strong and replacement hooker Paul Millea’s 74th line break lead to Lewis Winterbottom scoring in the corner.
If Macc can replicate the first five and last 15 minutes of this game, their may just be light at the end of the tunnel, the sobering thought will be the fact no points were collected again.