19th November 2016

Macclesfield were denied a memorable against second placed Birmingham Moseley win due to a penalty try at the death.

The game started off as a scrappy affair. The opening stanza consisted of scrums and lineouts, meaning that neither side was able to carve out a foothold to play some attacking rugby. The first opportunity came from the visitors, driving a maul dangerously close to Macc’s try line, however the Blues were able to shunt them into touch. The deadlock was finally broken on the 15th minute as James Williams slotted a penalty from inside the 22. Macc responded in the 17th minute. Elliot Brierley crossing over in the corner after some slick hands, especially from Tom Mantell. Moseley could have had a try of their own, however some stout Macc defending eventually won the hosts a penalty, allowing Macc to clear.

The Blues were then required to go on the defensive one again, and again they held firm, causing the turnover, this time through a knock on. With 25 minutes gone the game still retained its scrappy nature, with The Blues frustrating Birmingham at every turn. As the half went on Macc started to see more of the ball, this was rewarded when Myles Hall crossed after hitting a great line with 10 to go in the half. Macclesfield’s defence held firm, continually winning penalties, causing slow ball and turnovers. Meaning that the half ended 12-3 to the Blues.

Macc started the brighter of the two teams after the break, again frustrating Birmingham at every turn. The kicking game from Macc proving to be key in pinning back and holding Moseley in front of a hostile crowd at Priory Park. However the Blues were required to perform some more goal line heroics 10 minutes into the half, eventually forcing the knock on. Like the first half the game was very scrappy with the forwards of both teams dominating the play. The visitors were camped on Macc’s five-meter line for a good five minutes, however, once again The Blues steel and persistence paid off as they won the penalty, allowing them to clear.

With 15 to go Josh Redfern was sent to the sin bin. The visitors capitalised, scoring under the posts with 10 to go. Macc were awarded a penalty with seven minutes to go, which Morton dispatched to widen the margin to five points. With one minute to go Josh Redfern was sent off as Birmingham elected to scrum the following penalty. The referee awarded a penalty try as Birmingham snatched the win in the final second