Macclesfield suffered their first defeat of the season in National League One this weekend after losing 35-22 against Blaydon.
The Blues travelled to the North East in optimistic mood having made a perfect start to their campaign, winning all three of their previous games and taking a maximum fifteen points to leave them top of the league.
Though it was Blaydon that made the brighter start to the game and immediately put the Blues under the pressure, they drove the ball to the Macc five metre line and the away side were on the back foot.
Having conceding two penalties in quick succession as a result of the home side’s pressure Macclesfield were struggling to keep Blaydon out. It was the referee that made the decisive call and after just four minutes Blaydon were awarded a penalty try. Fly half Andrew Baggett converted from close range and the score was 7-0.
The situation could have been worse for Macc just minutes later but centre Jack Moorhouse intercepted a pass to prevent a certain try. The Blues eventually found their rhythm and gained string field position after a superb drive from the forward pack.
Scrum half took full advantage of the situation and displayed quick thinking when he broke through the Blaydon defence to score Macclesfield’s first try of the afternoon. Ross Winney failed to add the conversion and the Blues trailed by two.
Macclesfield seemed to be growing in confidence and began to take the game to the home side and they were rewarded for their efforts on 19 minutes when full back Fergus Mulchrone finished a fine a passing move and touched down in the corner. Winney again missed his kick but Macc had a narrow 10-7 lead.
Though Blaydon reacted well and immediately went on the attack. Having moved the ball well in the midfield lock Shaun English broke free to score arguably the try of the game on 28 minutes. English collected the ball 30 yards from the goal line and evaded a number of Blues defenders to score, Baggett converted and the lead was now 14-10.
Winney was given the opportunity to bring Macclesfield within one point with a penalty but was unable to take the chance. Blaydon made the visitors pay on the stroke of half time when Jason Smithson scored their third try of the afternoon.
Baggett once again added the extra points and Blaydon went in at half time leading 21-10 and left Macclesfield with it all to do in the second half.
It was vital that Macc pegged Blaydon back early in the second half if they were to have any chance of turning the game round. Though they couldn’t have wished for a worse start when on 41 minutes winger Frazer Wilson darted down the left hand side and scored yet another Blaydon try. Baggett converted and the home team looked comfortable at 28-10.
The Blues did all they could to get back in the game and never gave up, it was only Blaydon’s determined defence that stopped them from scoring. The home team’s final try of the afternoon came very much against the run of play, David Clark ceased the ball and took advantage of some poor defending and carried the ball over the line.
Baggett completed a fine afternoon’s kicking by converting the try and victory was now secured for the home team.
Credit to Macclesfield they continued to attack and two late tries from Jack Stott-Sugden and Charlie Mulchrone ensured a bonus point and meant they did not come away empty handed.