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Loughborough Students 27 - 18 Macclesfield

Macclesfield’s recent run of success came to a grinding halt at Loughborough when a students squad on top of their game fully deserved their win.

Macclesfield’s recent run of success came to a grinding halt at Loughborough when a students squad on top of their game fully deserved their win.

The game was marred by a lengthy stoppage after Blues scrum-half Chris Townsend was injured after taking a high ball midway through the second half.

The game began well for the Blues when, after the hosts had kicked off, they turned over possession for Townsend to score wide out after just four minutes play. The Ross Winney kick drifted wide.

There were early danger signs when the speedy Loughborough backs ran the ball and it was no surprise after 14 minutes when they took the lead after full-back Jack Bird came into the line to score, George Drake’s conversion adding the two.

At this stage the Macclesfield pack were having issues with a well-drilled home eight who were making life in the set-piece very difficult with their skilled drives on the Blues put-in.

Drake followed his conversion with a penalty as the half-hour approached after a Jon Lowdon penalty attempt fell short but, as the interval approached, Winney struck a brace of penalties to take a one-point interval lead.

However, the Blues were having difficulty in the line-outs, losing two in succession, one of which cost some 70 metres of ground.

The second half began with both sides testing themselves out and making errors but it was Loughborough who went into the lead when, after a good combination move, lock David Hughes crashed over for Drake to add the conversion and give the students a 17-11 lead.

Macclesfield responded almost immediately when Fergus Mulchrone went over unopposed after a blindside break from a scrum in the Loughborough 22 to make it 18-17.

Almost from the re-start, Townsend was laid out after being clattered taking a kick in his 22.

The game was stopped for 30 minutes as paramedics treated him on the park and he was subsequently stretchered off and taken to Leicester Infirmary for treatment.

Both sides left the field while he was being treated and when the game resumed it was the students who took advantage of the situation, scoring two late unconverted tries in the last six minutes from Jon Aston and Jack Bird to gain a bonus point and leave the Blues wondering just where it all went wrong.

Team: Lowdon, Hardwick, McDermott, Hughes, Mulchrone, Winney, Townsend, Devine, Allen, Kent, Marsh, Hewitt, Jones, Baines, Keep.

Replacements: Moss, Latham, Lear, Wellock, Howcroft.

 

Journalists

Rhiannon McDowall
Education reporter
Mike Glendinning
Sport reporter
Chris Slater
News reporter
Stuart Greer
Crime reporter
Karen Britton
Wilmslow and Alderley Edge reporter
Ben Turner
News reporter
Vic Barlow
Columnist