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Macclesfield 27-15 Leicester Lions

Leicester Lions were left to rue their indiscipline at Priory Park as Macclesfield continued their winning ways to maintain their challenge at the top end of Two North.

Leicester Lions were left to rue their indiscipline at Priory Park as Macclesfield continued their winning ways to maintain their challenge at the top end of Two North.

The crucial points came when the visiting Lions were down to 14 men after two successive binnings gave the Blues opportunities that they did not turn down.

Macclesfield opened the scoring when skipper Ross Winney slotted over a sixth minute penalty, but the early period saw both sides guilty of scrappy handling and misdirected kicks.

The Blues repelled a five-minute period of severe pressure on their own line as the Lions pressed for a score.

They should perhaps have found it when, after a kick through and with the line at their mercy, a knock-on saved the day for Macclesfield. The visitors levelled the scores after 18 minutes through Jon Boden’s penalty.

It was not long afterwards when the first try of the afternoon came as Macclesfield entered the home 22 for almost the first time of the afternoon.

A penalty and the subsequent lineout saw a concerted 20-metre drive towards the whitewash and, with a penalty beckoning, a second phase drive saw Tom Mantell driven over and Winney’s conversion made it 10-3.

As the interval beckoned it was the visitors who scored the second try of the afternoon when winger Scott Morris was on hand to finish off a good handling move.

However, it was Winney who had the last say of the half when he slotted over his second penalty to put the home side 13-8 ahead.

Both sides were evenly matched after the break with the turning point coming on 53 minutes when Lions hooker John Williamson was sinbinned for killing the ball.

In his absence Macclesfield’s second try came from a five-metre scrum when they pushed forward and Tom Eaton found the supporting Dan Baines to score, Winney’s conversion making it 20-8.

Lions responded by taking play into the Macclesfield half but they were to be let down again on 66 minutes when they lost a second player for 10 minutes as replacement hooker Dale Ager – who had only been on the field for seven minutes – received a yellow card for another technical offence.

Again, in his absence, the Blues capitalised by scoring their third try when Matt Simpson collected a Lions clearance 30 metres out and set about a jinking run to the line.

He bounced off players en route to the line for a try, again converted by Winney.

As the game approached its conclusion, only an excellent textbook tackle by Matt O’Regan prevented a likely try for the visitors.

As the game entered injury time though, Leicester scored a consolation try when outstanding full-back Gareth Collins finished off a good move to touch down for Boden to convert.

Team: McDermott, Simpson, Hughes, Howcroft, O’Regan, Winney, Eaton; Mantell, Moss, Kent, Marsh, Owen, Jones, Baines, Keep.

Replacements: Robinson, Latham, Lear, Sayce, Coote.

 
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