Both these teams came down from national One last season and appear to be having differing fortunes so far. Our visitors had a tough encounter with a resurgent Tynedale and our beloved Blues were cruelly denied a last gasp win by the referee for a forward pass, but in reality the game should have been won long before then.
Blaydon are without a win this season and win found themselves 20-3 down at half time despite having had plenty of the ball, the Blues repelling all advances while at the other end Chris Townsend took an intuitive line based on his long experience to score latch onto Tom Davenport’s offload after a series of powerful gainline carries by the home forwards, to score under the posts. The team’s number 10’s traded penalties before Lewis Barker added a second and after another fruitless visit to the Macclesfield 22, Blaydon were cut open in midfield on the kick return by Dan Lomax (released by Franky Barker) resulting in Lewis Barker stepping round the statuesque defender to score under the posts, before adding the extras himself.
Blaydon brought a third strong spell to the Cheshire side’s red zone just before halftime but the Blues were in enthusiastic mood for defending.
The Blues would have hoped to have added more points straight after the break kicking to the corner from their first penalty, but the visitors were having none of it and managed to come out of a 5 minute spell in their own 22 to score at the other end on 51 minutes through Bell (20-10) off a smart lineout move in the 5m channel. Director of Rugby Giles Heagerty looked concerned about the decision to go for the corner back up in the North Easterner’s ’22 and thus it proved justified as what could have been a 20 point game at 23-3 was looking liking a more dicey affair at 20-10 and had to weather a storm from a rejuvenated Blaydon who suddenly had their tails up. Error compounded error as the home fans saw their side waste another attacking opportunity at the Blaydon end, perhaps youthful exhuberance made the boys anxious to chase the bonus point. A break down the middle of the pitch saw Macclesfield camped on their own line for almost ten minutes with the loss of Franky Barker to the sin bin not helping although no points were scored.
Time and again the home side appeared to waste possession and attacking field position, until in the 72nd minute the most creative player on the park Lewis Barker rounded his opposite number after his forwards had beaten up the lads from Northumbria for 24 phases, making it 25-10. The last 10 minutes were a rout with 3 more tries being run in helped by the injection of pace of Charlie Reed who was little short of electric and provided a decisive kicking game from deep that had been lacking. The introduction of Rhodri Mayor also added to the composure shown towards the end as the visitors tired. Barker broke again helped by his variety of options running off him and showed lightening pace to finish again, while he certainly had hic kicking boots with him, converting all his kicks for the day tallying up 31 points for the day.
Charlie Reed created the last try, dropping a shoulder to sithe through the advancing defensive line and combining with substitute hooker Nico Nyemba who gave Tom Burden the simplest of finishes to grab his first try for the first team. The Israeli international impressed with the seconds last season and has made a seamless transition into the squad.
Job done and another bonus point achieved and with the hosts under strength surely this is just the beginning for the Priory Park side this season. It loos like being a very open and competitive league with Sale FC already losing to Sedgley and Hinkley winning all their matches.
Max Smith and Tom Davenport’s partnership in midfield continues to mature and Brendan Berry’s move to Loose Head Prop looks to be going well but Giles Heagerty will hope to get the likes of Tom Mantell, Ryan Parkinson and Lewis WInterbottom back from the injury table as soon as possible.
Tries: Townsend (10), L. Barker (34, 72, 75), Burden (75)
Pens: Barker (19, 23)
Cons: Barker (11, 35, 73, 76, 78)
Tries: Bell (51), Appleton (79)
Pens: Whyman (13)
Cons: Whyman (52)
Macclesfield (15-9, 1-8): Lomax, Broster, Smith, Davenport, Hall, L. Barker, Townsend and Berry Moss, Robinson, Jones, Marwick, Palmer, Parfitt and F. Barker.
Replacements: Nyemba, Burden, Thorp, Mayor, Reed.
Blaydon: Bailey, Marshall, Cooney, Small, Appleton, Whyman, Miller and Beckwith, Thompson, Allison, Charlton, Little, Borthwick, Lenderyou, Laughlin
Replacements: Dodds, Bell, Tindle-Hames, Reed, Foreman
Referee: Jonathan Cook
Half-time: Macclesfield 20 – 3 Braydon
Star man: Lewis Barker