It was a fine spring day at Paton Field as the Blues kicked off in what was sure to be a spectacle of fine rugby. The Blues exerted immediate pressure which led to Stobart putting Brierly in for what looked to be a certain score in the corner, only to be denied by an exceptional covering tackle by the Caldy defender.
However, the pressure did tell and the mighty Blues pack laid down the marker with a scrum five metres from the Caldy line, which allowed number 8 Ryan Parkinson to score his 30th try for the season. Eaton kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.
The Caldy response was immediate and they gathered the ball from the kick off and were working their way deep into the Macclesfield 22 when skipper Tom Eaton saw yellow for not rolling away. The Caldy 10, Vasey stepped up to convert the penalty 7-3.
The Blues then turned the screw as they looked to react to the decision; however a turnover in the Caldy 22 followed by a long cross field kick saw Kohler touch down in the corner for Caldy to make it 7-8.
The Blues quickly replied and Wappett’s usual prescription of possession and territory allowed Finnemore to barrel over in the loose under the posts. Eaton converted to make it 14-8.
The Blues then went over again when Jordan Brookes sniped through the guard defence from a 5 metre ruck; Eaton made it 21-6 with the conversion.
When the Caldy flanker saw yellow for a technical offence, Macclesfield were quick to continue the relentless dominance. A show and go from Eaton allowed him finally to open his account for the season as he slipped through from 5 yards out. The Captain then continued his flawless kicking display having secured the scoring bonus point and the Blues led 28-8 at half time.
Macclesfield were first out of the blocks in the second half as scrum half Brookes’ try was very timely when he picked off his second following more powerful scrummaging from the front row. Eaton continued his top kicking form with 5 from 5 conversions.
The Blues were continuing to dominate in all areas of the game and it looked like a cricket score was imminent. However, a number of chances went begging due to a lack of precision and to their credit, the Caldy side never gave up in defence and were still determined to throw the ball around.
The Caldy perseverance paid off and a forced error at the base of a Macc ruck lead to Caldy replacement Craig Ross running in from the 22 to make the score 35-15.
The Blues replied with yet more forward dominance as elite referee Karl Kirkpatrick awarded a penalty try from an attacking scrum. Top Scorer Eaton converted to take his personal tally to 17 for the day.
Despite taking a battering in defence, Caldy continued to please the crowd with some delightful running rugby which was rewarded with a second try for Ross when the ball was superbly offloaded numerous times before he touched down. Vasey was on target to make it 22-42.
More industrious scrummaging paved the way for no.8 Parkinson to break from the base as he stepped and faded his way around defenders to touch down in the corner. Eaton hit the woodwork with the conversion.
It was Caldy who had the last word as their spirit was rewarded when hooker Dowridge was on the end of more fast paced play to take the final score to 29-47.
Speaking after the game stalwart second row Jonny Kenny said “We are satisfied with the win and 5 points but we have got to be more clinical when it comes to finishing chances. Against quality sides there is a dearth of opportunities so your execution has to be precise when they come.”
In the top of the table clash between Darlington and Stourbridge, it was Stour who took the spoils 14-5 in a closely fought battle which keeps things very interesting over the next month!