The Blues had a tough afternoon at Priory Park against strong opposition. First up were Loughborough Students who came back after a strong start from the home side to win 12 – 18.
Macclesfield were rampant in he opening stages, personified by the run of Mike Finnemore that culminated in the winger steamrolling the opposition on his way to the whitewash.
Even though they had little ball, the visitors struck back with a penalty after 13 minutes following an infringement at scrum time. But it didn’t take the hosts long to cancel that out when Matt O’Regan picked a fantastic line and went over to send the Blues into a 12 – 3 lead after 14 minutes.
Mid way through the first half, the Students enjoyed their first spell of real possession and earned their first try. A mix of poor kicking and a strong forward effort produced the five-pointer and brought the visitors to within two.
Shortly after, new signing Mike Barlow combined nicely with centre partner Matt O’Regan who blew through the Loughborough defence only to be dragged down just short. It was all in vain as the home side gave away a penalty on the opposition line, after being slightly over eager.
Heading in to the final ten minutes, the hosts were the creators of their own downfall with a string of penalties going against them. Barlow picked up a yellow card with only a quarter of the game left, the Students took the lead from the resulting penalty and Macclesfield had it all to do.
In the final minutes the Students made the extra man count and went over in the corner to take the game away. There was a hint of forward in the penultimate pass but the referee refused and Loughborough took the victory.