Blues 32 – 13 Blackheath

Macclesfield have climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after beating Blackheath 32-13 away on Friday.

Two tries from Ryan Parkinson and top try-scorer Elliot Brierley, as well as one for full-back Ed Styles helped secure the five-point victory to make it seven wins in a row.

Blues captain Tom Eaton and Blackheath fly-half David Dunne exchanged penalties early into the first half to bring the score to 3-3 after ten minutes.

Brierley, Ed Stobart and Matt O’Regan then linked up well to gain 30 yards up the left wing after quick passing made it difficult for Blackheath to take back possession.

Ryan Parkinson was able to score from a scrum in the top left corner to take the lead, Eaton’s conversion making it 10-3.

Blackheath enjoyed a spell of possession in Macclesfield’s 22 after the restart, however David Bonner’s drop-goal attempt went wide and the Blues went back on the offensive.

Macclesfield’s next try came after 28 minutes, as winger Matt King’s sensational run through the centre gained 50 yards of field position and five yards from the goal line offloaded the ball to Elliot Brierley who was free to score.

Ryan Parkinson then added his second five minutes later as he capitalised on another scrum high up the field, the conversion off target to bring the score to 20-3.

A missed penalty for Blackheath summed up a frustrating first 40 minutes as the referee blew for half-time, Macclesfield holding a comfortable lead and only one try away from a bonus point.

Dunne was able to add another three points with a converted penalty minutes into the second half, while Eaton’s attempt narrowly missed the target.

Dunne then decided to try his luck once again as he lined up a penalty on the half-way line, however the ambitious attempt fell short and wide of the posts.

Macclesfield took back the ball and came close in several phases high up the field after a successful lineout; Brierley was then able to add his second after receiving the ball in space on the right to go 25-6.

With 20 minutes remaining and Blackheath staring at defeat, a high tackle from Martin Kent on Geoff Griffiths resulted in a yellow for the prop, and subsequently winger Ed Stobart saw red for an alleged head-butt on Dave Bonner, reducing the Blues to 13 men.

Blackheath were able to capitalise on the resulting scrum to force a penalty try, the conversion well taken to narrow the gap to just 12 points.

However the Blues were able to hold on until Kent returned to the field, and could even produce one final try as Ed Styles scored under the posts after receiving the ball from Matt Owen, the conversion on-target to bring the final score to 32-13.

Director of Rugby and Head Coach Geoff Wappett was delighted with the result: “We were a very good side in every phase; we scored five tries and possibly could have scored another five.

“We got ourselves out of a difficult situation when we were down to 13 men, we overcame that and when you do that you know you’re firing on all cylinders.

“I thought Ed Styles’ try to put us really out in front was a relief to see, I also thought Ryan Parkinson had an outstanding day, as well as Dave Marwick.

“I thought one of the key notes of the team was our over-bounding enthusiasm, I thought we looked really enthusiastic about everything we did.

“It was a really good team performance, everyone wanted to get in the play as often as possible, and nobody was hiding.”

When asked about next week’s opposition Esher, Wappett added: “They were a good side when we played down there but they won’t be looking forward to coming to us.

“They certainly know that they’ll be in for a difficult afternoon, and they’ll have to brace up. You never know what you’re going to face, but we’ll be at home, and we haven’t lost at home since the middle of November.”

Next week the Blues face Esher at home for a 3,00pm kick-off, if you can’t make it to Priory Park follow the twitter updates here: https://twitter.com/MaccRUFC

15 – Ed Styles, 14 – Matt King, 13 – Elliot Brierley, 12 – Matt O’Regan, 11 – Ed Stobart, 10 – Tom Eaton, 9 – Matt Rhodes, 1 – Tom Mantell, 2 – Tom Cruse, 3 – Martin Kent, 4 – Matt Owen, 5 – Dean Williams, 6 – Dave Marwick, 7 – Ryan Parkinson, 8 – Frankie Barker, Bench 16 – Dave Blackwell, 17 – Gavin Woods, 18 – Chris Jones, 19 – Tom Davenport, 20 – Chris Townsend

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