Blues los­ing ground in bid for sur­vival

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

NA­TIONAL LEAGUE DI­VI­SION ONE ROSSLYN PARK ............. 59 MAC­CLES­FIELD ............ 28

MAC­CLES­FIELD have put their long­est trips be­hind them but this one to the cap­i­tal was cer­tainly one of the fur­thest re­main­ing on the fix­ture list.

For the first 15 min­utes it seemed as if they were a lit­tle slug­gish from the trip, pegged back in their ’22 and un­der pres­sure un­til, what seemed like the in­evitable award of a penalty try, con­verted by Harry Leonard for 7-0.

But as we have seen in re­cent matches, Mac­cles­field heads didn’t drop and equalised on 19 min­utes, af­ter some good work by the for­wards, with a try from Tom Man­tell con­verted by Lewis Barker.

A large amount of mid­field play and kick­ing ping pong fol­lowed for the next 10 min­utes, with nei­ther side giv­ing much away.

The Blues de­fended the home side’s phases for long pe­ri­ods with rel­a­tive com­fort, but even­tu­ally Cen­tre Andrew Hen­der­son man­aged to find a gap out wide on 31 min­utes, again con­verted by Leonard to re­store the lead at 14-7.

Then Mac­cles­field tem­po­rar­ily im­ploded un­der the in­ces­sant pres­sure, five min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val, with Man­tell yel­low carded for kick­ing away the ball af­ter a penalty was awarded to Park, and af­ter the re­sult­ing 25 me­tre maul ended in a penalty try, Blues cap­tain Ryan Parkin­son was also sent to the bin.

Park took full ad­van­tage of the two-man ad­van­tage, with a fur­ther try from debu­tant Rhys Crane straight from the restart and a fur­ther three points were added on the stroke of half time by Leonard who would end up eight from eight for the day, for a half time lead of 31-7.

Al­most from kick off for the sec­ond pe­riod, back rower Nwakor shook off Liam Parfitt, broke through and off­loaded to flanker Jamie Har­ris who scooted in for the Lon­don­ers, fol­lowed five min­utes later by Harry Leonard, who con­verted both ef­forts for 45-7. It was look­ing like an­other long af­ter­noon for Mac­cles­field but what seemed like a rare at­tack in the sec­ond half, for the vis­it­ing team, was stopped by a de­lib­er­ate knock on by Boyle, who was yel­low carded and scrum­mag­ing against a re­duced pack Mac­cles­field gained a penalty try, al­though it should be pointed out Macc had the edge in the scrum all day, win­ning four pens to two.

Back row sub­sti­tute Joe Palmer made the most of a strong spell of ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion, sup­port­ing Ryan Parkin­son’s line break off the scrum for 45-21.

Vis­it­ing fans may have eyed an un­likely come­back but hope were quashed by Russ Weir who stead­ied the Rosslyn Park ship with a try on 67 min­utes, be­fore Mac­cles­field fly half Barker in­ter­cepted a Park pass one me­tre out and went over for the Blues fourth try bonus point.

Park scored again on the stroke of full time for 59-28 but home fans ad­mit­ted that the Cheshire side had given a very good ac­count of them­selves, if only in spells.

De­spite pick­ing put the try scor­ing bonus, the boys have lost ground on the other two north­ern sides in front of them in the league, with Bray­don pick­ing up a win, that’s three in their last four, and Hull io­ni­ans nar­rowly los­ing to Fylde but pick­ing up two points.

When asked if scrap­ping for ev­ery point, even bonus points, in lost games was go­ing to be im­por­tant in Macc’s bid for sur­vival, di­rec­tor of rugby Giles He­garty was re­main­ing typ­i­cally fo­cused, re­spond­ing: “We are just fo­cus­ing on next week.”

MAC­CLES­FIELD BLUES:

15. Mor­ton, 14. Win­ter­bot­tom, 13. Bri­er­ley, 12. Smith, 11. King, 10. L. Barker, 9.Ea­ton, 8. Parkin­son (c), 7. Parfitt 6. Red­fern, 5. Mar­wick, 4. F. Barker, 3. Robin­son, 2. Moss, 1. Man­tell 16. Mil­lea, 17. Mil­lar-Mills, 18. O. Parkin­son, 19. Palmer, 20. Broster

Giles Hea­gerty

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