Macclesfield were crowned National Two North Champions this weekend thanks to a 40-12 bonus point win over Chester.
The Blues went into the game needing only a point to secure the title, but picked up five in fine style partly thanks to a fine Josh Fowles hat-trick.
Fly Half Lewis Barker was overjoyed after the final whistle, and is already excited for what next season holds.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic with the win today, not everything went to plan but we got the job done and got the points that we needed in a great win. To get promotion in my first season with a great bunch of lads is phenomenal, I just can’t wait for next season.”
We know it’s going to be a tough test and a step up but that’s where you want to be playing
Some early nerves from Macc saw them a try down after five minutes, a fine score too. Will Bown running a fine line to receive the offload and dive over, Rhys Hayes added the extras, 0-7.
It took Macclesfield nearly 20 minutes to settle down, and once they did, the hosts looked comfortable. A fine backs move was finished by winger Josh Fowles, and Lewis Barker added the conversion.
The Blues doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Some fine hands from the backs saw Charlie Venables in space and the young fullback finished well, Barker again adding the two points and the final action of the first half, 14-7.
The hosts fired out of the blocks in the second half and had their visitors under the pump. A dominant set piece throughout the game finally paid off on 47 minutes when Ryan Parkinson was the beneficiary to dot down from the back of a rolling maul, Barker again faultless from the tee.
On 55 minutes, the crucial try came. Josh Fowles grabbed his brace to secure the bonus point and the title for Macclesfield, 26-7.
The Blues loosened up after their title clinching score and really started to pick their opponents apart. Try scorer Bown was sent to the sin bin on 68 minutes.
Macc took immediate advantage of the extra man and the sensational scrummage forced Chester first backwards, and then into a foul, as the referee went under the posts to award a penalty try, 33-7.
On 76 minutes, Fowles completed his hat-trick, a fine individual score as he blitzed through Chester’s defence and under the posts, Barker converted and the celebrations began.
Chester had the final say however, a Lukas Owen-Ziegenbalg barged over from close range.
Macclesfield Head Coach, Giles Heagerty was chuffed with his teams second half performance.
“When we punched through for that fourth try I was a little bit overcome but I’m just so pleased for the boys. They have worked so hard and they deserve all of the plaudits.”
“We were a little shaky early on, but we settled and played very well. After how tough last season, some of the rugby that has been played over the course of this season, is a credit to how hard the boys have worked.”
15 Venables 14 Fowles 13 Brierley 12 Eaton 11 Mayor (King 64) 10 L Barker 9 Brookes
1 Mantell (Gadd 51) 2 Moss (Millea 58) 3 Millar-Mills (Robinson 64) 4 Lewis 5 Marwick 6 F Barker (Berry 69) 7 Smith 8 Parkinson
Referee: Jack Lewars
Star Man: Josh Fowles