Blues 42 – 28 Harrogate

The Blues scored four second half tries to run out 42 – 28 winners against Harrogate at Priory Park on Saturday, sending them to the top of the league.

The home side controlled the opening stages. Macc were carrying the ball well and dictating the pace of play well having worked their way into the Harrogate half, the early signs were ominous for the visitors and eventually the cracks appeared.

A penalty from captain Tom Eaton got the Blues off the mark and shortly after the opening try came. Back in the side after missing last week, Ryan Parkinson found a gap around the fringes to break through, he offloaded to Dave Marwick who set the ball up nicely. It was then shipped to Tom Mantell who crashed over in the corner taking a few defenders with him.

A try from Elliot Brieley rounded off a perfect opening quarter for the hosts, thanks to a lovely cut out pass from captain Eaton. That score meant the hosts gained an early 15 – 0 over their counterparts.

The momentum then swung the way of Harrogate. A converted try from Oli Denton got the visitors ticking over before Macclesfield captain Eaton picked up a yellow card. Shortly after that Jordan Davies went over to bring the hosts to within striking distance.

Two Joe Rowntree penalties sent Harrogate into the lead, giving the visitors took a 15 – 20 lead in at half time.

After the break Macclesfield got back on the accelerator and a try from Mike Barlow within the first minute of the second half brought the hosts level and set the tone for the second 40. Ed Stobart scored the bonus point try for the Blues after a cracking break from Matt King and the hosts were back in the lead.

Stobart then crossed for his second in five minutes to extend Macclesfield’s lead to 12 points and they looked to have found their groove. Openside flanker Parkinson got back to business this week and scored his seventh try in six games put the result beyond doubt heading in to the closing stages.

The clock was winding down but there was still time for Noel Minikin to score a consolation try for Harrogate and one last Eaton penalty finished the scoring, meaning the result ended 42 – 28.

Top of the table rivals Stourbridge won 7 – 0 at home to Sedgley Park, they didn’t pick up a bonus point for the second week running, this result means that the Blues go top of National 2 North.

This week Macclesfield travel to Leicester to take on the Lions, they recorded an impressive 14 – 0 victory over a strong Chester team and they currently sit mid table with four wins from seven. That result is proof that the Leicester team is not to be taken lightly and the Blues will have to be on their toes.

Elsewhere in the club, the Lions lost away at Preston Grasshoppers 31 – 8 whilst the thirds won 19 – 22 against Northwich and the fourths didn’t have a fixture

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