Macclesfield Blues unfortunately opened their National One campaign with a loss. The Blues went down 22-35 to London based, and established Nation One side Richmond.
The Blues took an early lead through a try straight from the training ground. A line out taken and given to the backs, the ball was shipped wide and Matt King provided a sublime offload for fellow winger Josh Fowles to score. Last year’s captain Tom Eaton added the extras, Macc 7-0 up after just two minutes.
Macclesfield had the momentum and the possession in the opening exchanges and looked to have Richmond on the ropes, however strong Richmond defence kept The Blues at bay, although they did lose a man to the sin bin.
Richmond nicked a penalty and registered a score on ten minutes through their full back.
Richmond then enjoyed a spell of possession and got a well-deserved try after putting some real pressure on the Macclesfield try line. Just moments before this Richmond score, The Blues lost talisman and impressive lock forward Dean Williams to injury.
The game became scrappy for a short period after this score and Richmond were on the scoreboard seemingly out of nowhere, a chip in behind was landed on first by a Richmond body and the Blues were 7-15 down with just a couple of minutes to play of the first half.
The Blues pegged Richmond back on the stroke of half time through Captain Mike Finnemore, the Blues attacked with pace and accuracy with saw Finnemore crash through a gap in the away side’s defence. The conversion from Eaton meant Macc went into half time trailing by a point.
Macclesfield took the lead early on in the second half through a penalty from Eaton, however they could not hold the lead for long as the Richmond goal kicker soon gained his side three points of their own.
Richmond added to their lead on 55 minutes through sub Joseph Burton, scoring a try through some strong play from their forwards. The try wasn’t converted and the Blues were still within a score.
Richmond then made it two tries in quick succession as they crossed again through a strong rolling maul from their pack pushed over and put the game seemingly out of Macclesfield’s reach.
15 minutes later, Richmond confirmed the win and secured the bonus points. Substitute Joe Burton adding to his tally for the day.
Macc got a late consolation, and a beautiful try it was. Some fantastic work from the backline and a sublime finish from Josh Fowles meant that Macclesfield ended with a loss but could take plenty of positives from an encouraging display.
Macclesfield host Fylde this Saturday and will be hoping for another bumper crowd at Priory Park as they look to get their first victory of the season.
Blues Line Up
1 S Heffernan
2 S Moss
3 E Millar – Mills
4 C Jones
5 D Williams
6 M Finnemore
7 M Smith
8 F Barker
9 J Brookes
10 T Eaton
11 M King
12 M O’Regan
13 E Brierley
14 J Fowles
15 G Newton
16 R Jackson
17 S Travis
18 J Degroot
19 M Thorp
20 A Greendale