Blues 29-33 Darlington Mowden Park

Macclesfield Blues took two bonus points from a defeat to Darlington Mowden Park, a game which at one point could have certainly turned into another heavy defeat as they faced ten minutes of the second half with 12 men after three yellows in three minutes.

A nightmare start for The Blues saw them 5 points down after five minutes, an early lack in discipline lead to the visitors gaining good field position and a set piece ended in a well taken try from wing Lewis Johnston.

The Blues responded shortly after through a penalty kick from fly half, Tom Morton.

On 21 minutes the visitors added another score and extended their lead. Lock forward Ben Gledhill getting the score, 3-12.

On 21 minutes, Mowden Park added another try. after building up pressure against The Blues’ defence, they spotted the gap and coasted in under the posts.

The Blues responded with a score of their own five minutes later, Macclesfield dominating the play and eventually the DMP defence gave way, Elliot Brierley pouncing on a loose ball in behind to touch down under the posts. The score converted by Tom Morton, 10-12.

Macclesfield took the lead with half an hour on the clock. Some fantastic rugby from The Blues ended in Matt O’Regan diving over for The Blues, Tom Morton again adding the extras, 17-12.

Darlington stole the lead on the stroke of half time; a special try from Grant Connon who danced through countless Macclesfield tackles to put DMP 17-19 ahead going into half time.

There was little action in the second half until when on 60 minutes, The Blues discipline was again called into question when they received three yellow cards in three minutes. Captain Mike Finnemore was the first sent to the bin, he was followed by Billy Robinson.

Then on 62 minutes, The Blues suffered as penalty try which also resulted in Matt King being sent to the sin bin, 17-26.

Macclesfield, whilst with 12 men, defended heroically and dominated proceedings to ensure they survived the period of being three men down without a scratch. 

Despite the dominance, Darlington managed to get the next score as soon as Macc were back to their full compliment. A strong driving maul from the set piece seeing them coast over the line, 17-33 with just eight minutes to play.

Darlington were then reduced to 14 men for an infringement at the breakdown on 75 minutes, awarding the momentum to The Blues for the closing stages.

On 75 minutes Elliot Brierley got his second of the game. The Blues playing attacking rugby at a pace the DMP defence could not handle, fantastic creative work from Tom Morton to put Brierley into a space he could only score from, 24-33.

On 78 minutes, The Blues set up a grandstand finish. The backs combined brilliantly to create space out wide for leading try scorer Matt King to grab his 11th try of the season and put The Blues within four points of their opposition.

Despite this, Darlington held out for the five point win and Macclesfield take a proud two.

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