Sedgley Park Tigers walked away from the top of the table clash in National Two North with five points as they recovered from a half time deficit to defeat leaders Macclesfield.
Sedgley Head Coach, Dean Schofield was very happy with his side’s win, but felt that his team didn’t capitalise on their possession during the first half, although that was largely down to stern Macclesfield defence.
“We had a lot of possession early on, that we really didn’t capitalise on. They turned over ball really well, and we didn’t react to what they were doing. We played into their hands a little in the first half, and scored from the turn over ball. We should have settled quicker and took the points when they were on offer. We changed a few things at half time and it seemed to pay off and we took our chances in the second half, we’re very happy with the win, we’ll enjoy it tonight but then we must turn our focus to the next game.”
The early possession and territory was all in favour of the visitors but Macclesfield showed heroic defence and were able to keep the Tigers at bay.
On nine minutes, Macc turned the ball over deep in their own territory and set off on the counter attack. A fine break from Elliot Mayor resulted in The Blues moving the ball wide for Rhodri Mayor to touch down out wide on his 21st birthday.
On 35 minutes the visitors got off the mark through the boot of fly half Steve Collins, 5-3.
The Blues had a dominant set piece throughout the first period and on the stroke of half time had a scrum on the Sedgley five metre line. The front five put on a shove and the referee went under the posts and awarded the penalty try to send Macclesfield in at the break 12-3 up.
Sedgley came out after the break and looked a different side. Just two minutes into the second period the Tigers ran the ball from deep the score, Andy Riley offloading to top scorer Jamie Harrison to score, and Collins converted.
Just eight minutes later, Harrison touched down again, benefitting from a Matt Riley offload to dive under the posts, and give Collins a simple conversion.
With momentum firmly on their side the visitors completed the second half rout, Danny Waddy spotted a gap and dived over, stand off Collins converted and made it 12-24.
On 71 minutes Sedgley wrapped up their win with another Collins penalty, 12-27.
Macclesfield Head Coach Giles Heagerty was bitterly disappointed with the way his side surrendered their 11 match winning streak.
“I’m bitterly disappointed; we’ve slit our own throats. They deserved to win the game, we’ve been beaten by a better side on the day. A game is 80 minutes long, having gone in at half time having just forced a penalty try. We came in with real confidence and control, but we really let that slip after the break, and they came out firing. I’m not sure whether it was complacency or not but we’ve got to be far better than that. If you give a team like Sedgley front foot ball, they’ll punish you. They’ve got finishers like Jamie Harrison in their backline who have the ability to punish you.”
15 Charlie Venables, 14 Matt King, 13 Elliot Brierley, 12 Matt O’Regan, 11 Rhodri Mayor, 10 Lewis Barker, 9 Tom Eaton
1 Tom Mantell (Marshall Gadd 61), 2 Sam Moss (Paul Millea 72), 3 Elliot Mills, 4 Dave Marwick, 5 Harrison Lewis (Max Smith 51), 6 Franky Barker, 7 Mike Finnemore, 8 Ryan Parkinson
Unused Subs – 18 Martin Kent, 20 Jamie Anthony
TRIES – Rhodri Mayor (9), Penalty Try (40)
Conversion – Lewis Barker 40
15 Andrew Riley, 14 Tom Bedlow, 13 Michael Waywell, 12 Matt Riley, 11 Jamie Harrison, 10 Steve Collins, 9 Callum McShane (Paul Urmston 69)
1 Jack Warrington (Max Ashcroft), 2 Johnny Matthews, 3 Ben Black (Harri Greville 76), 4 Robert Birtwell, 5 Ben Lloyd, 6 Jaun Crous (c) (James Lloyd 18), 7 Danny Waddy (Liam West 80), 8 Matt Lamprey
TRIES: J Harrison (41, 50) Waddy 55
CON: Collins (41, 50, 55)
PEN Collins 35, 71
Referee: Matt Turvey
HT Score: 12-3
Star Man: Matt Riley