Macclesfield suffered their first defeat in three games after an enthralling encounter against Wharfedale in North Yorkshire. The home side ran in 6 tries to take victory 43-24.
The Blues travelled north in confident mood after a superb win against Blaydon last week and were looking to secure their third victory in a row, in contrast Wharfedale suffered a heavy defeat at Cambridge last weekend and were looking for a response in front of an expectant home crowd.
Coach Geoff Wappet made a number of changes to Macc’s starting fifteen, with club captain Ross Winney returning after a long injury lay-off, Jack Stott-Sugden was in at lock for the unavailable Matt Owen, and Ben Coulbeck returned to the bench after missing last week’s game with a hand injury.
Wharfedale made a superb start to the game and didn’t give the visitors a chance to settle in to their stride, constant pressure and ball possession made it tough for Macc to establish themselves and they were soon 14-0 down after just fifteen minutes.
The Blues were finding it hard to cope with the movement of Wharfedale’s forward line and the impressive Talete Vaioleti was dominating the middle of the field. Though Macclesfield did begin to make their mark on the game and after a period of sustained pressure they got their reward, Matt Simpson went over to score though Winney failed to add the extras, 14-5.
This should have been the platform for a Macclesfield comeback but an instant response in the form of Wharfedale Winger Andrew Hodgson and conversion from Tom Davidson made the score 26-12 after just half an hour played. It was to get worse for the Blues as four minutes later Vaioleti scored his second try of the game and increased the lead to 33-12.
Just before half-time Macclesfield suffered a double blow, firstly Davidson continued a fine kicking game converting a penalty and then they lost scrum-half Charlie Mulchrone to injury, Wharfedale went in at the break leading 36-12.
The second half began in much the same way as the first, the home side continued to pressure and were looking to kill off the game, they were unlucky not to score two more tries, the referee adjudged the ball to have gone forward on both occasions.
Macclesfield rallied late on with tries from Tom Eaton and Josh Fowles, but the killer blow came after 75 minutes when a missed tackle in the Blues defence allowed Andrew Lovatt to carry the ball over, Luke Gray converted and Wharfedale sealed their victory.