Macclesfield made it 8 bonus point wins on the bounce thanks to a last gasp try from number eight Ryan Parkinson. The Blues ran out 29-3 winners at Priory Park in a tight encounter against newly promoted Sandal.
Sandal boasted the tightest defence in league prior to kick off but they found themselves a man down on 10 minutes after full back Simon Frewin was sent to the bin. Macclesfield fly-half Lewis Barker gave The Blues the lead from the resulting penalty.
On 16 minutes Macclesfield scored the first try of the game, Macc secured quick ball from the line out, Elliot Brierley made the initial line break, he found Dave Marwick who offloaded to second row partner Harrison Lewis just short of the line to finish, Lewis Barker added the extras, 10-0.
Sandal got themselves off the mark on 32 minutes when fly half Greg Wood took full advantage of the opportunity awarded to him from the kicking tee.
On the stroke of half time Macclesfield extended their lead, setting up the driving maul from the lineout and crashing it over, Ryan Parkinson the man to dot down from the back of it, meaning Macclesfield went in at the break with a 15-3 lead.
It continued to be a tight encounter in the second half and it took 17 minutes of play for a try to be scored. Macclesfield making the most of turnover ball and breaking quickly down the right flank through Charlie Venables, Elliot Brierley was the man to score the try for his ninth of the season.
Sandal spent large periods of the second half camped in The Blues’ half but stern defence kept the visitors frustrated and at bay. A fresh Macc front row helped them retake the game by the scruff of the neck as they went in search of the bonus point score.
It finally came with the last play of the match, number 8 Ryan Parkinson broke from the back of the scrum and showed a terrific turn of pace to race through and score, Barker again added the extras, 29-3.
Simon Worrall, Sandal Head Coach was proud of his team’s second half performance against what he believes to be the best side they have faced so far at this level.
“At half time we felt we were behind due to our errors, we were turned over too much and we were not dynamic enough to our standards to test them in defence. We were much improved in the second half, we managed territory and possession a lot better in the second period. We weren’t bad defensively, Macclesfield had limited opportunities but they took their chances, and I take my hat off to them for that.”
Macclesfield Head Coach Giles Heagerty was very pleased with his team’s performance, which kept them top of the pile in National Two North.
“I’m thrilled with that performance, its probably the best we’ve played all season. Sandal really came at us, especially in the first 20 of the second half. To be able to score four tries today against the strongest defence in the league was testament to how hard the boys worked. Being able to change a whole front row was very helpful, it allowed us to play at a high tempo throughout the whole match. Our priority is to win games, but to get bonus points in consecutive games has been very pleasing.”
15 O’Regan, 14 Venables, 13 Brierley, 12 Eaton, 11 Mayor (Newton 77), 10 L Barker, 9 Brookes, 8 Parkinson, 7 Smith (Moss 73), 6 F Barker, 5 Lewis, 4 Marwick, 3 Kent (Millar-Mills 40) 2 Moss (Berry 67), 1 Gadd (Mantell 40)
Unusued Substitution – 19 Mike Finnemore
TRIES – H Lewis (16), R Parkinson (36, 80), E Brierley (57)
CON – L Barker (16, 56, 80)
PEN – L Barker (11)
Man of the Match – Max Smith