Huddersfield narrowly lose out in close fought match against Macclesfield.
Huddersfield’s failure to cash in and capitalise on a totally dominant first thirty minutes ultimately proved costly and they went down to Macclesfield 20 points to 15 in a close and dour encounter at Priory Park.
The visitors stole the first two Macclesfield line outs and controlled possession almost continuously in the early stages. They worked the ball forward, went through the phases and carried close to the line. However a combination of carelessness, hasty decision making and good defence from the home team saw at least three good scoring chances go begging.
The scoring deadlock was broken was broken on 17 minutes. With Huddersfield driving a maul powerfully following a penalty and line out Macclesfield winger James Hampson was yellow carded for coming in and collapsing it. Fly half Harry Davey took the points with a neat kick from the 22.
Macclesfield missed a good chance to level the score ten minutes later when they were awarded a penalty on their first foray forward but Tom Morton dragged his kick wide.
The scant reward for Huddersfield’s domination of the first half hour changed the complexion of the game slightly in the final minutes of the half. Macclesfield were securing a little more of the ball and starting to pose questions of their visitors defence. Full back Lewis Workman was forced into touch when he took a kick over the three quarter line but Macclesfield were penalised for not releasing in the tackle when they carried forward after the line out.
On the stroke of half time Macclesfield got the first try of the match, with Hampson going over in the right hand corner to make amends for his earlier indiscretion.
The unexpected half team lead seemed to put a bit of wind in the home team sails and they made a lively start to the second period. Four minutes in a Morton penalty extended their lead and shortly afterwards their full back Lewis Barker produced the best moment of the match. Picking up on his own 22 after Huddersfield’s grub through had failed to find touch he produced a searing 40 metre break and was well tackled by Joel Hinchliffe tracking back.
After more good play Macclesfield scored their second try half way through the half. With the Huddersfield defence stretched replacement Toby Twigg went over in the left hand corner.
Huddersfield’s strong forwards always had the edge in the arm wrestle and they put the side back in contention when Austen Thompson powered over in a well driven maul for a try. Davey added the extras. Alas this did not re-establish control of the game for them and Macclesfield answered back almost immediately. Number 8 Ryan Parkinson going in under the posts for try three which Morton converted.
The final try of the match went to Huddersfield and was almost a carbon copy of their first with Adam Malthouse being the man to dot down after the drive from the line out.
Davey’s conversion attempt came back off the post leaving Huddersfield needing another try to get back on terms with only minutes remaining. The home side pressed a little more, Huddersfield resisted and made one final thrust but when they knocked on in the process Macclesfield secured and hoofed the ball into the stand for the win.
Richard K. Sykes, Rugby Union Correspondent Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
Men of the match…
For Macclesfield, full back Lewis Barker.
For Huddersfield, open side flanker Lewis Bradley