Fight­back falls short for Blues

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE - NA­TIONAL 2 NORTH

MAC­CLES­FIELD staged a brave come­back bid from 38-0 down at home to Tynedale on Satur­day – but their fight­back fell ag­o­nis­ingly short.

Tynedale were rid­ing high af­ter a cou­ple of in­dif­fer­ent sea­sons in Na­tional 2 North while the Blues ap­pear to be hav­ing a tricky spell of their own but hav­ing given sec­ond in the league Hinck­ley a good ex­am­i­na­tion last week, de­spite the score­line, and a win the week be­fore, Blues’ fans may have thought their side were turn­ing the corner.

In truth, if they held that view they cer­tainly didn’t by half time. The home side found them­selves 38-0 down at the break.

De­spite hav­ing a good pro­por­tion of the early pay and their de­fence de­flect­ing the ad­vances of the vis­i­tors from their ’22 twice early on, a se­ries of mis­takes made sure it would be a near im­pos­si­ble sec­ond half task to get back in to the game.

Firstly, Tom Mor­ton’s high cross field kick was fielded by Oliver Walker who stepped the ad­vanc­ing Char­lie Reed and set up the open­ing score run­ning in from half way, for hooker Jamie Blamire, on nine min­utes.

The home side had an op­por­tu­nity in the op­po­si­tion ’22 but the set piece was squan­dered, be­fore ill dis­ci­pline let Tynedale in and a line break off the back of a maul al­lowed the back three to com­bine again for a score in the corner 17 min­utes in.

Two more strong at­tacks were re­pelled be­fore the lively Rob Parker chased down his own kick on 27 min­utes and things went from bad to worse when an in­ter­cep­tion in the Tynedale ’22 was run in.

On the stroke of half time it ap­peared the game was done as Tynedale made their pres­sure pay.

What the team talk must have been at half time one can only imag­ine but it ap­peared to do the trick. Af­ter the break the Blues’ for­wards gave a ‘How to’ les­son in set piece rugby.

Tynedale fluffed the first li­ne­out in their own ’22 and the home side’s scrum went into over­drive, re­peat­edly march­ing back the North Eastern­ers and win­ning a penalty. Cap­tain Ryan Parkin­son gave the home crowd their first taste of some­thing to shout about, the big man push­ing over on 45 min­utes (38-7).

A lot of the ac­tion was played be­tween the ‘22’s but when the Cheshire side’s for­wards dis­man­tled the Tynedale scrum again they put in the corner and used their su­pe­rior mus­cle to maul over with Parkin­son at the base again.

The lads then ‘scrummed’ their way over and must have won­dered if they could en­gi­neer enough scrums to ter­ri­to­rial march over that way all day, while the crowd dared to dream with the score now 21-38 with an hour gone.

The for­wards lay the plat­form again in the next at­tack, a huge maul from half way into the Tynedale ’22 set up a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure and the quick think­ing of scrum half Nick All­sop from a quick tap penalty set up winger Myles Hall who only had to drop over the line from All­sop’s off­load.

This was an un­be­lie­ve­able come­back and the hosts hadn’t given their guests a sniff in the sec­ond pe­riod. The next score came from a fa­mil­iar source, a huge spell of scrum­mag­ing where again the Blues just took penalty af­ter penalty and Franky Barker even­tu­ally touched down at the base.

With seven min­utes to go there were only three points in it. The two sides ex­changed blows and Tynedale ac­tu­ally had a li­ne­out in the Blues’ 22 but af­ter snaf­fling it, Lewis Win­ter­bot­tom made the break that for a mo­ment seemed as if it would lead to a mag­i­cal mo­ment. But he couldn’t keep hold of it in con­tact and the North Eastern­ers held the ball from the scrum to the end.

What a fan­tas­tic game of rugby and an ex­cel­lent fight­back from the The Blues in the sec­ond half. Just to have the chance to win at the end hav­ing been 38-0 at half time shows they have tremen­dous grit.

The for­wards cer­tainly dug the side out of a hole with their tremen­dous set piece ef­fort while Tom Daven­port dragged the team for­ward at times along with Lewis Barker and Tom Mor­ton both con­trib­uted a cou­ple of good breaks.

The Blues re­ally need to pro­duce an 80 minute per­for­mance though and with the next three fix­tures be­ing against sides lower than them in the ta­ble, there is an op­por­tu­nity to put a run to­gether and build some con­fi­dence go­ing into the fes­tive break.

King’s 1st XV run out on The Close against Rugby School

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