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Your News National League 1 review
24
APR

While the winners of SSE National League One were decided last week, with Ealing crowned champions, the relegation battle between Wharfedale and Macclesfield threatens to go right down to the wire.

Following narrow defeats for both teams at the weekend Wharfedale find themselves one point adrift of the Blues. Wharfedale, though, have a game in hand on their rivals, and two of their three remaining games are at home.

Wharfedale appeared to have secured four precious points away to Tynedale until Harry Mountain kicked a last-minute penalty for the home side. In a dramatic finish, Mountain kept his nerve to win the game by the narrowest of margins, 32-31. In doing so, he also made sure Tynedale will be playing at this level next season.

Macclesfield, meanwhile, were beaten at home against Old Albanians despite holding a narrow half-time lead. In the end missed kicks at goal proved costly, the Blues only managing to convert one of their four tries while Richard Gregg improved all four of the visitors’ scores in a 28-22 victory for Old A’s.

Ealing turned in a first-half performance worthy of champions away to bottom-of-the-table Cambridge, scoring six tries, one by Tom Wheatcroft who was successful with five of his conversion attempts, to lead 40-11.

The second half was much more evenly contested affair with Cambridge adding three tries to the one they managed before the break to take a losing bonus point from the fixture. Own Bruynseels scored a hat-trick for Ealing and there were try doubles for Andrew Henderson and Sam Shires in a 64-32 success.

Esher cemented their runner-up spot with a 36-17 bonus-point win away to Richmond, which means Blaydon now have to get maximum returns from their final game against Macclesfield on Saturday to stand any chance of claiming second place. Blaydon fell to a 34-27 defeat at Rosslyn Park who completed their home programme unbeaten. Full-back Sam Katz kicked 19 points as Park gave departing Head Coach Jan Bonney the perfect send-off.

Cliffie Hodgson enjoyed a day to remember for Coventry against Sedgley Park, his 31-point haul in a 61-7 win – including a hat-trick of tries – took him to 309 points for the season, a new club record.

Two other players scored hat-tricks at the weekend: Ollie Brennand (Fylde) and George Evans (Loughborough Students) in high-scoring wins for their sides over Blackheath and Cinderford respectively.

Round 30 results

Coventry 61 – 7 Sedgley Park

Fylde 44 – 28 Blackheath

Macclesfield 22 – 28 Old Albanians

Richmond 17 – 36 Esher

Tynedale 31 – 31 Wharfedale

Cinderford 36 – 41 Loughborough Students

Rosslyn Park 34 – 27 Blaydon

Cambridge 32 – 64 Ealing Trailfinders

Round 31 fixtures

Blaydon vs. Macclesfield

Cinderford vs. Cambridge

Sedgley Park vs. Rosslyn Park

Blackheath vs. Loughborough Students

Ealing Trailfinders vs. Coventry

Esher vs. Fylde

Old Albanians vs. Tynedale

Wharfedale vs. Richmond

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