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Home > News > Fylde 17 - Macclesfield 24
Your News Fylde 17 - Macclesfield 24

Macclesfield took away Fyldes unbeaten record at the Woodlands with a typically streetwise performance. The Cheshire side always play well to their limitations. Their strong pack had muscled their way to a win in the first game between the two well matched sides at Priory Park in October and this was more of the same. They dispensed the same medicine once again, risking little, and ultimately out thinking the Lancastrians.

Fylde started in their usual dynamic way. From the first scrummage of the day Fylde scrum-half Craig Aikman danced through the Macc defence before popping up a lovely pass to the supporting flanker Dan Palmer who made the line with a 10m dash. Fylde had suffered a major blow with the late withdrawal of influential playmaker and fly-half Steve Nutt with a ankle injury. Neil Hunter was given the hard job of stepping into this pivotal role at the last minute to replace him and also to be the goal kicker. He was to have a very difficult afternoon in that department and started it by missing a relatively straightforward conversion.

On 13 minutes it got worse as his clearance kick on his own 22m line was charged down by Macc flanker Dan Baines who picked up and scored behind the posts. Skipper and fly-half Ross Winney converted easily and his side had a 7-5 lead.

By the end of the first quarter Fyldes powerful front row was seriously disrupting Macclesfields scummages which were going backwards at a rate of knots. Sam Simpson and tyro Irish U18s tighthead prop Kieran Brookes, a tremendous young talent in only his third national league game, were driving back their opposite numbers and proving a handful in the loose too.

On 21 minutes Aikman was at it again, twisting through and past the Macc defence for a fine try. Hunter added the extras and Fylde had a 12-7 lead. A neat Winney dropped goal two minutes later reduced the deficit. Hunter missed three kickable penalties during the second quarter and Fylde failed to nail down their territorial advantage. The break was reached with Fylde still only 12-10 ahead. They would seriously regret this wastefulness by the final whistle.

The crucial period of the game was between the 42nd and 49th minute in the 2nd period. Firstly, Macc right winger Peter Hardwick found space out wide in an under populated Fylde defence and skipper over. Fullback Jon Lowden kicked the conversion and Macc were back in front. They extended this seven minutes later when following a series of drives near the Fylde line scrum-half Chris Townsend squeezed over for the try. Winney converted and his side were clear at 24-12 up.

The Fylde pack were combative throughout but Macclesfield now played a very tight game to defend their lead. Their backrow was outstanding and no 8 Jonathan Keep was always making yardage.

But Fylde didnt panic and tried desperately to get more ball to their match winning wingers Nick Royle and Oliver Brennand. Royle was marked tightly all afternoon but on 58 minutes they worked the ball left and centre Richard Kenyon cleverly timed his pass to free Brennand. The young flyer, top scorer in the division, needs no second invitation and breezed past a defender to score a good try, his 17th of the season. Hunter missed the kick but Fylde had at least got back to within one score.

Huff and puff as they might, Fylde simply couldnt escape the stranglehold the Macc forwards by now had on the game in the last quarter. The delight of the Macclesfield players at the final whistle showed how much they wanted the win. Fyldes consolation losing bonus point was scant reward for a gritty though ultimately disappointing performance by this injury hit squad. Alistair Atkinson had a hard working game on his return to league rugby after a couple of years' break and was his side's main lineout ball winner. Mark Stephenson, in the unusual position of no 8, also did well in a rather unbalanced backrow of three natural openside flankers. The loss of Nick King, Sam Beaumont, Grant Ferguson and Oliver Atkinson, for different reasons, has strained the Club's back five pack resources.

FYLDE: Wallwork, Royle, Kenyon, Wiseman (Albinson 50), Brennand, Hunter, Aikman (Waywell 74), Simpson (Lewis 50), Holmes (Darlington 50), Brookes, Atkinson(A), Banks, Palmer, Wilks (Bowman 60), Stephenson.

Tries: Palmer 1, Aikman 21, Brennand 52. Conversions: Hunter x1

MACCLESFIELD: Lowden, Hardwick, Hughes, Howcroft, (McDermott 74), Mulchrone; Winney, Townsend; Devine (Latham 60), Allen, Robinson, Lear, Hewitt, Smithson (Jones 39), Baines, Keep. Non-playing replacements: Moss, Needham.

Tries: Baines 13, Hardwick 42, Townsend 48. Conversions: Winney x2, Lowden x1 DG Winney x1

STAR MAN: Jonathan Keep.


Fylde Macclesfield

3 Penalties conceded 6

9 Lineouts won 7

4 Lineouts lost 2

10 Scrums won 8

1 Scrums lost 3

- Sin bins -

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