Macclesfield travelled to the Northern Echo Arena on Saturday to face Darlington Mowden Park, the very same ground that they clinched promotion on six months ago. The Blues faced a Darlington side that had only one win so far this season. Despite an encouraging first half performance Macc left empty handed and still in search of their first win.
Macclesfield shot out of the blocks and dominated possession early on, enjoying spending time inside the Darlington half. However, Darlington very nearly took a shock early lead through what seemed to be a well-timed interception but the referee pulled the game back and judged the home side’s fly half to be offside.
The first points on the game came on 20 minutes. Darlington picked up the ball in their own half and countered Macclesfield with great pace and skill, resulting in a try for winger Callum Mackenzie. The score coming against the run of play but DMP made sure to make The Blues pay for their lack of killer instinct.
Mowden Park almost made it two in quick succession but a magnificent football-esque sliding tackle from Matt King ensure he got to the ball first in his in goal area to deny the home side.
The Blues went agonisingly close with five minutes left of the first half, Josh Fowles looked to be in after great work from Matt O’Regan but good defence from the hosts kept Macc out once again.
On the stroke of half time Darlington made it 10-0 with a penalty kicked by fly-half Garry Law. The Blues went in behind at the break but looked in with a chance of snatching something from the game.
The game turned on its head after half time, Darlington seeing most of the ball and being a lot more clinical than Macclesfield were in the first half. Although Macc got two tries of their own, Darlington added four.
The first of the home side’s four came on 45 minutes; another counter attack from deep saw Max Connon stride in for a converted score, 17-0.
Macclesfield responded ten minutes later through Matt King, creative work from the backs allowing King to finish in the corner, 17-5.
Darlington added three points on 65 minutes through another Law penalty and soon after, added another 7. The scrum bullying their way over the Blues line, Law kept up his impressive display to convert the score and make it 27-5.
It was then three scores in quick succession for Mowden who then showed their ability in the backs, substiture Lewis Johnstone speeding away from the defence to touch down, Law again adding the extras, 34-5.
Darlington added more gloss to the scoreline late on, a 90 metre break up the pitch saw Chris McTurk touch down, with Law converting it left The Blues trailing 41-5 with only a couple of minutes left to play.
Macclesfield managed to grab a late consolation through Ollie Fewtrell, another good score from The Blues showing a glimpse of what they could be capable of. It finished 41-12 at The Northern Echo Arena.
BLUES LINE UP
1 Shane Heffernan
2 Sam Moss
3 Billy Robinson
4 Dave Marwick
5 Luke Frixou
6 Max Smith
7 Phil Williams
8 Mike Finnemore (c)
15 Matt O’Regan
14 Matt King
13 Elliot Brierley
12 Ollie Fewtrell
11 Josh Fowles
10 Tom Eaton
9 Jordan Brookes
16 Ryan Jackson
17 Elliott Millar-Mills
18 Ben Jones
19 Adam Greendale
20 Greg Newton