Macclesfield secured a hard fought bonus point away to Preston Grasshoppers. The Blues were made to work extremely hard for their win at Lightfoot Lane.
It took 12 minutes for the first score to come and it was the home side who scored. Macclesfield infringed at the breakdown after a period of impressive defence within their own 22. The home side’s fly half slotted the penalty from just outside of the posts.
The Blues took a while to settle into the game and made a few errors when there could have been scores. The Hoppers showed some heroic defending at times and to keep the visitors out who came very close to scoring on a few occasions, including a well worked backs move which saw Greg Mellor into the corner but for a fantastic saving tackle to take him into touch.
Preston could only withstand the pressure for so long and the Blues finally got their score in the 38th minute when second row forward Jonny Kenny rumbled over after some dominant forwards play around the fringes. Tom Eaton converted, marking the start of his faultless kicking display.
Macclesfield found it in them to get another score before the half time break and the resolute Preston defence could do nothing to stop a superb move that went blind including winger Matt King and scrum half Jordan Brookes, the two Blues players showing too much pace for the home defence who were just bystanders for the score. Eaton converted once again meaning Macc went in at half time 14-3 up.
The Blues came out after half time looking to secure the bonus point early on and kill the game off. A spanner was thrown into the works very early on however when the league’s leading try scorer was forced off with injury to be replaced by Josh Degroot. However, it didn’t take long for the fresh man Degroot to have an impact on the game as in the 46th minute when he found himself on the ball as the Blues got over the line from good work once again from the pack. Captain Eaton converted on what was an impressive day with the boot for him.
The Grasshoppers then gave a good home crowd something to cheer with an impressive counter attacking try. The home team’s kicker scored a difficult conversion to make it 10-21 with 20 minutes still to play.
A few minutes later the home team were down to 14 men when a yellow card was shown for a awful shoulder charge on Tom Davenport, some were left feeling that the Hoppers man was lucky to get away with just a yellow.
Macclesfield took advantage of the extra man immediately when and secured the important bonus point when back row Mike Finnemore went over the line, The Blues forwards may not have dominated the scrums as usual but they were happy to make yards and score tries around the fringes. Tom Eaton completed a perfect kicking display to convert the try.
The rain began the come down and the Blues began a long period of defence in which they were tested well and will be seen as good preparation for the visit to Darlington. Macclesfield showed impressive defence until the 78th minute when the Hoppers managed to score a deserved try from some exciting running rugby.
This completed the game and the Blues will feel happy to come away with five points. The final score 17-28.