On a breezy chilly day when we saw all four seasons in one afternoon, Macclesfield were looking to put back to back wins together for the firs time this season, but the North Easterners who sit mid table were not in generous mood.
The opening phase of play last 5 minutes and 40 seconds as both teams looked to build phases rather than kick in the howling wind, the home side in particular had built 33 phases by the time the first stoppage came.
Tynedale had an early chance snuffed out after a 20m maul into the visitors’ ’22, and Macc had gone through 20 phases in midfield across 3 possessions, before the first try came on 16 minutes, a break by Pike the short side winger wrapping round the corner to isolate the guard and ran it home from half way.
Minutes later Tynedale took their second score after 25 phases from the restart with Wearmouth powering over fro close range but Parker bizarrely missing from under the posts (12-0 after 22 mins).
Macc were having some joy at the scrum though and it is from that platform that they hit back on 24 minutes, with a brilliant solo break and finish from outside the home ‘22 by the pacey Sam Stelmazsek who has been prolific since joining from Sale in December (12-5).
Both teams were exchanging turnovers as the high amount pf phases being played led to scrappy ball retention at times. Macc built on their score and forced their way into the red zone but a handling error after the maul dropped to the Tynedale backs who had space in front of them and ran it in from 78 metres (Parker try and conversion to make it 19-5 on 30 mins).
Again Macc built phases in midfield but with penetration and did well to go in at the break still at 19-5 after some resolute defending on their own line before Joe Palmer managed to get over the ball and force the turnover with the assistance of Dan Matthews.
After the break, Macc were playing into the wind and roles were reversed with the men in blue building phases due to a lack of a kicking option. Territory was hard to come by and more resolute defence was required to stay in the game. MAcc had plenty of the ball early on it that second period with a nice break coming from Jordan Simpson who just powered through, setting up a 22 entry for the Cheshire side who after forcing 2 penalties put to the corner. The backs joined in on the maul to the line with centre James Hampson peeling off the back, and was unimpeded by the Tyendale defence to score, converted by Morton. 19-12 after 51 minutes and its game on.
Unfortunately, this comeback as short lived as the ball was spilled by Macc from the restart and 4 phases later a break down the blind side by the home team saw Passman score on 56 minutes.
The Priory Park outfit fought hard to get back into the game, if they could at least rescue a try and losing bonus from this point it wouldn’t be a bad trip on a day when Sheffield Tigers who they need to chase down won. But as Morton’s men tried to play from deep they were pegged back by a strong home defence and mistakes from trying to find a way through, but were largely stuck in their own 22 for the remainder. A handling error led to Passman scoring again to put the result beyond doubt on 72 minutes and meant there would be no bonus points for the visitors.
The sense of euphoria created by the Sheffield Tigers win is something the lads will need to use to motivate themselves in 2 weeks against bottom side Peterborough in another do or die game. There are 5 games to play and Macc trail safety by 19 points. The Blues will need to better Sheffield’s results in all 5 games to give themselves any chance of survival.
To view photos from match Click Here (courtesy of John and Barbara Austin, Tynedale)