SSE Top of the Table Clash

SSE National League 2 North Round 24 review

Last Updated: Mar 6, 2014 04:19pm
Kinver, South Staffordshire
By Nicol McClelland
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Saturday's top-of-the-table clash between Macclesfield and Stourbridge at Priory Park produced the first draw of the SSE National League Two North season.

Stourbridge will no doubt be the happier of the two sides though, having had to come back from being 10 points down on two separate occasions to level the match at 20-all.

Macclesfield dominated the first 50 minutes scoring three tries to nil through giant lock Dean Williams, who used every inch of his 7 foot tall frame to reach over and score the first try of the afternoon, No.8 Ryan Parkinson and scrum-half Jordan Brookes.

Trailing 19-9, Stourbridge hit back through Ben Barkley's 58th minute try, which Jamie Hearn converted to add to three earlier penalties to bring the Saxons within three points of the Blues. Brookes' second score looked to have taken the game away from them again only for replacement Niles Dacres to set up a grandstand finish with the Saxons' second try. Then, with five minutes left, Stourbridge were awarded a penalty inside the Macclesfield 22 and the nerveless Hearn stepped up to earn his side a share of the spoils.

Darlington Mowden Park moved ahead of Stourbridge and into second place on points difference after a hard-fought 17-13 win at home to Sedgley Park. Replacement scrum-half Zylon McGaffin was the Mowden Park match winner with the only try of the second half.

At the other end of the table, a 36-0 home loss to Birmingham & Solihull – their 24th straight defeat of the season - now makes it mathematically impossible for Dudley Kingswinford to stay up. After losing flanker Matt Squires to the sin bin after only 90 seconds, DK's day went from bad worse as the Bees ran in six tries despite themselves losing two men to a yellow card. Lock Chris Goddard and fly-half Adam Canning, who also kicked three conversions, scored a brace of tries apiece.

DK's local rivals Bromsgrove and Sheffield Tigers look favourites to join them at a lower level next season. A 29-13 defeat at home to Preston Grasshoppers leaves Bromsgrove 18 points from safety with only seven games remaining. For Hoppers, the four-try victory was their first with a bonus point since the end of November.

Sheffield Tigers, meanwhile, lost further ground in their battle to avoid the drop after slipping to a 39-16 defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Hull. A brace of tries apiece for Dominic Lespierre, James Kirk and Ben Sullivan saw Hull move 16 points clear of the bottom three.

There were wins too for Yorkshire duo, Otley and Harrogate. Otley overturned a 15-3 deficit to beat Leicester Lions 25-15, while Harrogate's comeback was even more spectacular as they scored 33 points without reply in the final 22 minutes against Caldy to win 38-24. Luctonians enjoyed the narrowest of victories, 21-20, over Chester at Mortimer Park.

Photo: File pic


Round 24 results 

Bromsgrove 13 Preston Grasshoppers 29

Darlington Mowden Park 17 Sedgley Park 13

Dudley Kingswinford 0 Birmingham & Solihull 36

Harrogate 38 Caldy 24

Hull 39 Sheffield Tigers 16

Luctonians 21 Chester 20

Macclesfield 26 Stourbridge 26

Otley 25 Leicester Lions 15



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