Broadstreet and Luctonians take huge strides towards survival

It was another weekend all about the relegation battle in National Two North and once again it delivered as Broadstreet and the Luctonians picked up crucial wins as their survival hopes are still very much alive.

The same can’t be said for the other side that sits in the bottom three with them and that is Huddersfield. Defeat to Sedgley Park in Round 23 leaves 14 points from safety and things are starting to look bleak at Lockwood Park.

At the top of National Two North, Macclesfield continued their charge towards the title with Sedgley Park still not giving up the chase while Caldy’s ambitions of a play-off place are now hanging by a thread.

Elsewhere, Leicester Lions remain the only side unbeaten at home across National Two, Otley and Harrogate are starting to find consistency while Tynedale, South Leicester and Sale FC have been dragged further into this relegation scrap.

Sandal 7-31 Macclesfield

Macclesfield increased their grip on top spot in National Two North thanks to a bonus-point victory over Sandal.

Marshall Gadd, Ryan Parkinson and Josh Fowles scored tries to help Macclesfield into a 21-0 half-time lead at Milnethorpe Green.

Lewis Barker and Matthew King added tries number four and five while Sandal grabbed a consolation try through Simon Frewin.

This was Macclesfield fourth successive win and it leaves the Blues 15 points clear at the top ahead of Sedgley Park while Sandal’s recent poor form continues.

Huddersfield 13-21 Sedgley Park

Sedgley Park maintained second position in National Two North with victory over bottom of the table Huddersfield.

Thomas Bedlow’s early try and scores from James Lloyd and Juan Crous set Sedgley on their way.

The hosts did respond through two Chris Bell penalties to go in 6-21 down at the break and did set up a nervy final nine minutes when Liam Parifitt crossed.

However, Sedge held on to inflict a 17th defeat on Huddersfield this term while the Tigers continue to hunt down Macc at the summit of this division. This defeat for ‘Field leaves them 14 points from safety with eight games to play.

Stourbridge 12-6 South Leicester

Stourbridge fly-half Chris Scott kicked all 12 points as his side edged out South Leicester at Stourton Park.

After a penalty and a drop goal from his opposite number Ricci Aley in the first half, Scott was deadly from the tee in the second 40 as he nailed four kicks to clinch his side back to back victories.

Stour remain third in the table, level on points with Sedgley Park, but they have played four games more than them.

As for South Leicester, they were unable to build on their win over Broadstreet last weekend, but a losing bonus point against their fellow Midlands side leaves them four points clear of the relegation zone.

Leicester Lions 19-14 Chester

Leicester Lions bounced back from their defeat to Segdley Park as they beat Chester to maintain their unbeaten home record this season.

The hosts, who have now won 11 of their 12 matches at Westleigh Park this term, took an early 12-0 lead after tries from Benjamin Spokes and Devon Constant.

The Lions carried that lead into the break, but after the restart, Chester got their first points on the board as Llion Jones touched down for the visitors.

A Samuel Benjamin try saw Leicester pull clear again before the talented Rhys Hayes dotted down for Chester with seven minutes remaining to cut the margin to five points, but the hosts held on and stay fourth in the table.

Luctonians 17-3 Caldy (video)

The Luctonians’ revival continued on the weekend as they made it six wins from their last nine games with victory over Caldy.

The Lucts are now just five points from safety as they lie 15th in the table, but they do have a game in hand over South Leicester – who sit in the final spot above the relegation zone.

Luctonians’ scrum-half Louis Silver broke the deadlock after seven minutes with a penalty and that was backed up with a try just before half-time from Owen Davies to put the Herefordshire side in control at the break.

Fly-half Richard Vasey got the first points of the day for Caldy from the tee soon after the interval, but flanker Daniel Smith crossed over the line to extend the Luctonians’ lead and ultimately seal them another vital win on their quest for survival.

Otley 15-8 Preston Grasshoppers

Preston Grasshoppers’ seven match unbeaten run came to an end in Yorkshire on Saturday as Otley secured their fourth straight home victory.

The Hoppers pushed Otley all the way, but two tries either side of half-time were crucial in the outcome of this game.

Declan Dunn crossed for the only try of the first half for Otley after Sean Taylor had given Preston an early lead from the tee.

After the break, Michael Coady stretched the home sides’ advantage with their second try of the afternoon before Jack Walker responded for the visitors on 51 minutes.

Josh Cruise landed a penalty to increase Otley’s lead further just after the hour and that proved to be enough as Otley saw out the win.

Harrogate 17-6 Sale FC

Three tries in seven first half minutes was enough for Harrogate to secure their third straight win as they beat Sale FC at Ruddling Lane.

Tries from Callum Irvine, Alex Nesbitt and Samuel Bottomley at the end of the first period earned Harrogate their 11th win of the campaign.

Sale FC could only respond with two second-half penalties from fly-half Liam McGovern.

This is the first time we have seen consistency in results from Harrogate this term as they sit seventh in the table while Sale’s woeful away form continues as they lie in 12th place and six points off the relegation zone.

Tynedale 34-40 Broadstreet

Broadstreet responded to their defeat to relegation rivals South Leicester with a vital victory over Tynedale at Kingston Park.

‘Street lost in the final minute of the match to South last weekend, but reacted brilliantly in the north-east as this win now leaves them just four points off safety.

The away side were in control at half-time as they led 10-19 and seemed to be cruising to victory going into the final quarter of the match only for Tyne to battle back strongly.

A brace from Benjamin Haigh put Broadstreet under real pressure, but forward Chris Idehen ensured an away win with a late try with Adam Redman going over for Tynedale a minute from the end to secure a losing bonus point. This defeat for Tyne leaves them seven points above the bottom three in 11th place.

National League Rugby