News from the blues 18 Mar

Saturday proved to be another crucial game won in Macclesfield’s campaign to avoid relegation, and once again the difference came in the final few minutes from a converted try.

This knack of winning late in the game that the Blues have picked up certainly seems to be working, and with six wins in a row Macclesfield are keeping hot on the trail of Wharfedale in 13th place who must be feeling the pressure of staying in front.

Also, as President Clive Hammond mentioned in his notes in Saturday’s programme, Macclesfield are unbeaten at home since mid November, a very impressive record for a side in the relegation zone.

The Coventry game was a very tense affair, the Blues trailing for the majority of the game until Matt O’Regan’s try gave Macclesfield the win much to the delight of the home crowd.

However it was the kickers who were the stars of the show. Blues Captain Tom Eaton converted all his chances, and his ability to score under pressure in the closing moments of the game paid off once again as he converted O’Regan’s try.

Clifford Hodgson, Coventry’s full-back and main kicker, scored all 13 points for the visitors on Saturday, and his final penalty took him to an astounding 254 points for the season, a record any kicker would be envious of.

The victory brings the Blues to a total of 11 wins so far this season, only three wins less than next week’s opposition Fylde who are up in fifth place.

Fylde’s 17 bonus points, compared to Macclesfield’s 8, have helped keep the side from Blackpool close to the top of the table, an area of the Blues game that has let them down this season.

Fylde travel to Macclesfield on the back of two very impressive results, a 22-15 win at home against Ealing last week, and a 35-10 victory against Rosslyn Park the week before, however, with returning no. 8 Frankie Barker, winger Ed Stobart and the towering Alan Marsh back into the second row, the Blues will be looking to make it eight out of ten wins for 2013.

Elsewhere in the league, Wharfedale managed to pick up a bonus point after they were beatean 15-12 at home against Old Albanian, while Tynedale won 64-14 against Cambridge.

Loughborough Students narrowly beat Rosslyn Park, 36-35 at home, as Sedgley Park were beaten 53-17 by Blackheath.

2s Coach Paul Bartle spoke of his disappointed at their 19-12 cup loss against Caldy: “We scrimmaged well but failed to make anything of our chances in the first half with mistakes at crucial times.

“The second half was not much better and we lost 19-12. Dom Sheratte was the pick of the team and played well on his debut.”

In the only other Macclesfield game, the Vets lost 33-12 against Frampton Cotterell.

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