Top two falter in first game of the New Year

Caldy v Macc
Nicholas Royle dives over to seal Caldy's win over league leaders Macclesfield
©Derek Sailsbury & Caldy RUFC

Macclesfield and Sedgley Park may have been suffering from festive hangovers as both sides began 2016 with a defeat as the title race took another twist in National Two North.

Caldy and South Leicester were their conquerors while Stourbridge moved level on points with Sedge after their win over Sandal.

Elsewhere, Westleigh Park is still a fortress for Leicester Lions, Sale FC left it late to snatch a draw against Preston Grasshoppers while Chester and Tynedale both secured crucial wins.

Caldy 29-24 Macclesfield

Caldy became only the third team to beat Macclesfield this season as the league leaders slumped to defeat at Paton Field on Saturday.

Nicolas Royle and Forbes Edwards both touched down to give Caldy an early lead before Matthew King and Joshua Fowles bundled over to level the scores at 12-12 at half-time.

Gavin Roberts added two penalties inside the first 10 minutes of the second period for the hosts before Macc went ahead for the first time in the game.

Jordan Brooks crossed first before Fowles scored his second of the afternoon to give the away side a 18-24 lead with 18 minutes to play.

The revival than began for Caldy. Royle darted over for his second try of the game and soon after, Macclesfield’s Elliot Brierly was sin-binned and the hosts took full advantage of the extra man.

From the tee, it was Roberts who dealt the blow to Macclesfield as two penalties with five minutes remaining was enough to secure their third straight victory.

In terms of Macclesfield, they are 14 points clear at the top.

Sedgley Park 17-39 South Leicester

Sedgley Park lost further ground in the title race as they were stunned at home by South Leicester who secured their sixth win of the season.

Under the rain and lights, Sedgley were unable to recover from South’s electric start as tries from Callum Gunn, William Sutton, Gareth Kerr and Chris Gibbs opened up a 0-26 lead after just 22 minutes.

Matthew Lamprey and Daniel Waddy both dotted down before half-time for the home side and when Matthew Riley darted over two minutes into the second half, Sedge could sense a comeback.

However, a Blane Howe score and a penalty from William Cave ensured the five precious points for South who are now 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

Stoubridge 33-15 Sandal

Stourbridge made it six wins from their last seven matches as they earned a bonus point victory over Sandal at Stourton Park.

Stour went ahead via two tries from Tobias Handley and Connor Nicholls before Joseph Carpenter and Ashley Elvers wrapped up the bonus point before the break as the home side led 26-3 at half-time.

Sandal’s only points of the first period came through the boot of Greg Wood and it got worse for the Yorkshire side after the interval as Elvers doubled his tally for the afternoon.

The home side then took their foot of the gas and settled for the 33 points while Sandal fought back to score two tries before the game was up as Luke Norbury and Simon Frewin dotted down.

Leicester Lions 33-12 Otley

Leicester Lions began 2016 with victory over Otley as they stretched their unbeaten record at Westleigh Park to nine matches for this season.

The Lions were ahead 19-0 at half-time thanks to tries from Devon Constant, Josheph Collingham and Luke Veebel.

Veebel was then yellow carded after the break and was joined by team-mate Charlie Beckett a minute later which allowed Otley to get themselves back into this contest.

Declan Dunn and Kristian Sharples both crossed in the absence of the two Lions players, but that was as good as it got for the men from Cross Green.

Instead, Leicester went on to run in two more tries to secure the bonus point as Collingham added his second before flanker Oliver Povas rounded off proceedings for the Lions who are now eight points behind Sedgley Park,

Chester 12-10 Broadstreet

Tries from Rhys Hayes and James Preston was enough for Chester to secure only their third home win of the season against relegation threatened Broadstreet.

The home side took the lead on six minutes through the impressive Hayes before ‘Street’s Nicholas Thatcher levelled proceedings as he crossed on 12 minutes.

Halfway through the first half, Preston dived over to restore Chester’s advantage before Lee Champan landed a penalty to reduce the deficit to two points heading into the break.

After the interval, neither side could find a decisive to score to make certain of victory as the home side saw the game out to move into the top half of the table while Broadstreet remain bottom of the league and are now 10 points from safety.

Sale FC 22-22 Preston Grasshoppers

Sale FC and Preston Grasshoppers shared the points in their first game of the New Year at Heywood Road.

A late try from Sale FC’s Jake Pope tied the game up but fly-half Liam McGovern agonisingly hit the post with his conversion which would have won the game for the hosts.

A strong crowd in Greater Manchester enjoyed an entertaining second half where four tries were scored after Preston led 7-10 at the break.

Hoppers’ Scott Jordan added to his first half score and was joined by Sean Taylor, while Joe Kelly and Pope grabbed the tries for Sale.

Both sides went away with two points on a day where either team could have moved into the top half of National Two North with a victory.


Preston Grasshoppers Head Coach Garth Dew: "That’s one that slipped away. It’s the first game back after the Christmas break and not many teams have won here so we’ll take the draw but we should have closed it out.”

“We conceded three late penalties that threw the game away and we should have handled the last ten minutes better than we did but it shows how far we’ve come that we have a disappointed set of players after an away draw.”

Huddersfield 17-20 Tynedale

Tynedale picked up back to back victories for the first time since relegation into National Two North as they claimed a vital win over Huddersfield at Lockwood Park.

Both sides are down at the wrong end of the table, but this win for Tyne means they are now seven points clear of the bottom three.

The scores were level at half-time after a penalty by Ashley Smith and a try from Daniel Taylor were cancelled out by Huddersfield as a Lewis Bradley score and a penalty via Chris Bell made it 10-10.

Smith added to his penalty just two minutes into the second-half as he converted his own try before landing what would be the decisive penalty on 48 minutes.

‘Field hit back on the hour as replacement Thomas Kanouras darted over, but they could not find that clinical edge once again as they fell further behind in the fight for survival.

Harrogate v Luctonians was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and has been rescheduled for 12th March 2016.

National League Rugby