Leicester Lions 22 Macclesfield 7
It was a Halloween Horror Show for the Blues at Lutterworth Road where the home side maintained their stranglehold by winning the fifth successive home encounter between the sides and in the process knock Macclesfield off their perch at the top of Two North in what was a reality check for all to acknowledge.
Lions kicked off on a perfect autumn afternoon and immediately applied pressure on the Macclesfield defence and it was almost five minutes into the encounter before the Blues got a good touch of the ball.
After the early pressure it was no surprise when Lions opened the scoring and it came to the outstanding Full Back – Jonathan Boden – who kicked over the Blues defence and had the pace to outrun them to gather the ball and touch down for the try which he converted to open up a lead that the Lions were not to surrender.
Just four minutes later the home side increased their lead when, after another kick through was knocked on by the Macclesfield defence, Lions winger – Gareth Collins – got the touch down for Boden to add the two and a penalty by the same player after 18 minutes gave the home outfit a seventeen point cushion.
While the bounce of the ball was not favouring the Blues it was also their errors & turnovers which kept the home side in good attacking positions and the Blues rarely got into gear and when they did the errors kept Lions in control.
On the half hour a golden opportunity was wasted when, with line beckoning, the ball was lost and a try scoring opportunity was gone. At this stage the Lions were in control and well marshalled by Boden – who’s kicking kept the Blues on the back foot throughout – and but for some good scrambling defence they might have scored more first half points. As the interval approached Lions stand off – Gerhard Boshoff (ex of PGH) attempted a long range drop goal which sailed just wide.
Macclesfield kicked off the second half knowing that to score first was essential but that score came to Lions after just two minutes when Boden capped an impressive display by chasing yet another kick through to get the final touch as the ball was about to exit the in goal area. The conversion went adrift but at 22-0 the game was for Lions to lose rather than Blues to win and the visitors had a mountain to climb.
Another Boshoff drop went wide just before Macclesfield wing man Josh Fowles set off on a scintillating run down the left flank only to be tackled into touch as the line beckoned but this heralded what was probably Macclesfield’s best spell of the game when a superb interpassing movement involving several players ended when Flanker – Chris Jones – was given a free run to the line to touch down by the sticks to give Ross Winney an easy conversion and also give the visitors a sniff of a chance to get back into the game with still half an hour left for play.
However, it was not to be as more turnovers and on one occasion a forward pass prevented progress and it was the home side whose defence held out despite some aggressive Macclesfield play.
As injury time beckoned a good break by the Blues was ended when a poor pass stopped the move and the game ended with Leicester Lions deservedly taking the spoils and denying the Blues even a bonus point thanks to a splendid fifteen man performance which leaves Macclesfield to pick up the pieces before the visit of Fylde on Saturday.
Team: Eaton, Simpson, Hughes, Howcroft, Fowles J, Winney & Townsend Mantell, Moss, Kent, Marsh Jones, Baines, Stewart & Keep. Replacements: Devine, Allen, Lear, Sayce & Fowles L