Ed Stobart scores two tries as Macclesfield beat top of the table rivals Stourbridge 16 – 19 at Stourton Park on Saturday.
Both teams had their unbeaten records on the line in a game that began in very cagey fashion. Play largely took place between the 22’s with the momentum swaying between the two sets of players, eventually the hosts struck the first blow.
Half an hour in Stourbridge broke out from their own half through a move in midfield that had a hint of obstruction to it. However play went on and the hosts raced away from the scrambling Blues defence to go 5 – 0 up.
Macclesfield then enjoyed a good spell of pressure in the Stourbridge 22 and it told when Tom Davenport coasted through a gap. The outside half was baring down on the last defender when he handed the ball to Stobart who went under the sticks to score his first of the game. The Tom Eaton conversion meant that the visitors took the lead.
That wrapped up the scoring in the opening 40 minutes, meaning the score at oranges was 5 – 7 in Macclesfield’s favour.
Five minutes after play resumed, Stobart was at it again and crossed for his second try to extend the Blues’ lead. Just when it looked as if Macclesfield were going to kick on and put the game to bed, two Stourbridge penalties reeled them back in to within striking distance heading in to the final quarter.
The game was being played at an incredible intensity and the strong running from the Blues forwards demanded physicality from the Stourbridge defence which resulted in some thunderous collisions.
With 10 minutes to go Jonny Kenny came on to the field and with his first touch of the ball he was going over in the corner. The back row forward found a gap in the defence and just about made it to the line from 30 metres out. That try opened up a two score gap but it didn’t last long.
The hosts hit back straight away with a try of their own which meant that the gap was just three points heading into the final stages. The Blues defence was getting stretched on their own try line but refused to break and they held on to win 16 – 19 and extend the gap at the top of National Two North to six points.
Macclesfield’s attention now turns to Birmingham Solihull who visit Priory Park this Saturday. The Bees have had a steady start to the season winning five from 10 games including last weeks 70 – 12 thrashing of Dudley Kingswinford.