Macclesfield began their National 2 North campaign with a defeat away at Stourbridge. The Blues went down 22-5 in a game they will feel they missed far too many opportunities.
Fly half Lewis Barker made his debut from the start, whilst PJ Millea and Marshall Gadd were the other new signings to come on from the bench. Tom Mantell played his first competitive game in over a year since returning from injury.
Macc enjoyed the lions share of the possession in the first half but failed to make time on the ball convert into points on the board.
Stourbridge took the lead 20 minutes into the first half, heavily against the run of play. A fine break down the wing saw flanker Tatenda Mukarati cross the whitewash. The score seemed to settle the hosts into the game and they began to enjoy a little more possession.
The increased possession was soon converted into points, something Macclesfield could not do. Stour Fly-Half Chris Scott.
The hosts were then reduced to 14 when full back Rodney Petty deliberately knocked on when the Blues were through.
The Blues took advantage immediately and scored what resulted to be their only points of the game. Some solid line out work from the forwards resulted in clean ball for the backs, and Josh Fowles who impressed in the first half crossed the line out wide.
Still down the 14 Stourbridge bounced back immediately. A quick tap from scrum half Jacob Nash saw them storm through and set up the score just before the break.
The Blues came out after half time knowing that they would need to take their chances if they were gifted as much possession in the second period.
However, Stourbridge showed fantastic game management in the second half to keep the ball away from The Blues and limit Macclesfield’s danger towards them.
Stourbridge scored the only try of the second half on 65 minutes through their giant substitute Robert Hurrell, the big man found himself within touching distance and managed to touch down, the score was converted to make it 22-5 to the hosts.
Macclesfield had to defend for much of the second half and fell foul of the referee’s whistle on various occasions. The Blues go into next week’s opening home game with much to improve on but will be sure to up the levels for the Priory Park faithful.
Stourbridge: 15 R Petty, 14, J Bridger, 13 J Heatley, 12/22 R Othuha, 10 s Christopher, 9 J Nash – 1 S Thorp, 2/23 W Harding, 3 M George, 4 N Murphy, 5 L Mather, 6 T Mukarati, 7/21 R Pennock, 8 C Nicholls – 20 L Sinukas
Macclesfield: 15 Matt O’Regan, 14 Josh Fowles, 13 Elliot Brierley, 12 Tom Eaton, 11 Matt King, 10 Lewis Barker, 9 Jordan Brookes – 1 Elliot Mills, 2 Sam Moss, 3 Tom Mantell, 4 Dave Marwick, 5 Ben Jones, 6 Mike Finnemore, 7 Ryan Parkinson, 8 Franky Barker – 16 PJ Melia, 17 Marshall Gadd, 18 Matt Thorp, 19 Phil Laing, 20 Rhodri Mayor