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Tynedale 25 – 24 Macclesfield

A late drop goal miss from Blues Captain Ross Winney saw his side slip to a 25-24 defeat away at Tynedale.

Macc did earn a 14th try bonus point of the season though, thanks to tries from Ryan Parkinson, Billy Robinson, Richard Hughes and Franky Barker.

Having won so well last week against Cambridge, confidence was high in the blues camp despite the North-East being a notoriously hard place to go.

The confidence soon diminished though as Tynedale got off to a dominant start, retaining possession with ease.

Dale scrum half Harry Peck almost opened the scoring when he blazed down the left wing, only to be bundled into touch by a desperate Macc defence.

Peck didn’t have to wait long for another chance though, and he made no mistake second time round, collecting the ball from an attacking lineout and darting through the middle to score well.

 The lead was stretched further on 10 minutes, winger Peter Cole finishing a good attacking move by his side, as they switched the ball out wide to stretch the visitors defence too far.

Having been dominated for the opening stages of the match, Macc finally found their footing in the game and started to string periods of possession together.

In form flanker Ryan Parkinson got his side onto the scoreboard as he collected the offload from Charlie Mulchrone and ran through to score.

Winney converted to reduce the arrears to just three points as Blues began to dominate their hosts.

The Macc fly-half then saw a penalty hit the post as the home side were reduced to 14 men when Alistair Murray was sent to the sin-bin for persistent offending.

Blues made the man advantage count almost immediately when Barker picked up the ball at the back of an attacking scrum and ploughed over to give his side a deserved lead.

Macc stretched their lead even further on the brink of half time as Hughes battered through the dale midfield to blitz down the middle of the field to score under the posts.

Winney made it a seven-pointer with the simple conversion as Macc took a nine point lead into the break.

Tynedale looked like a revitalised side after the interval and the home side would have cut the deficit, had it not been for some outstanding defensive work by Macc.

Blues’ defence began to creak though, losing a scrum against the head which allowed Graeme Dunn to score in the left corner.

Dale seemed to retain possession with ease and took the lead through Andrew Murray as the pressure took its toll on the visitor’s tired defences.

The game looked to be over when Dale drove a maul into their opponent’s 22 all the way to try line to stretch their lead to six points.

Macc reduced the arrears to a single point with six minutes remaining, Robinson bundling over only to see Winney’s conversion pulled agonisingly wide of the left hand upright.

Macc were in the box seat and advanced through phase after phase of punishing, relentless attack.

The skipper Winney then dropped into the pocket looking to seal a dramatic victory but saw his drop-goal attempt grub horribly under the posts.

The defeat is Macc’s first since November and despite two points being picked up, Blues will see this as three points lost, rather than two gained, and will look to bounce back in a fortnights time against Rosslyn Park.

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