Macclesfield 14 Preston Grasshoppers 50: Hoppers enjoy big victory

Ally Murray contests possession at Macclesfield.'Picture by Noel Patterson
Ally Murray contests possession at Macclesfield.'Picture by Noel Patterson

A young, inexperienced Macclesfield side had no answer to the visitors’ power and pace as Hoppers pulled off back-to-back away wins and posted their biggest points total of the season.

A young, inexperienced Macclesfield side had no answer to the visitors’ power and pace as Hoppers pulled off back-to-back away wins and posted their biggest points total of the season.

After some early forward pressure, Luke Procter’s try opened the scoring in the 9th minute, Tom Davidson converting, but the home side then enjoyed some 15 minutes of possession but failed to break down the defence.

Hoppers got their hands back on the ball and a break from centre Alex Hurst saw Scot Jordan tackled just short of the line but, from the ensuing ruck, the fullback regathered to dive over and the kick was good.

The visitors kept the pressure on as Ally Murray finished off a 5-metre lineout drive to make it 19-nil but, as half time loomed, Macclesfield replied in kind, lock Redfern getting the touchdown and Morton’s conversion made it 19-7 at the break.

At the restart, Davidson increased the lead with a penalty after Murray’s drive deep into the 22 while, after more forward pressure, the ball was released for James Fitzpatrick to stroll over and the kick gave Hoppers a commanding 29-7 lead.

Hoppers rang the changes from the bench with devastating effect as replacement wing Conor Trueman used his pace and a pinpoint chip and chase to run in two tries, both converted, in a five-minute spell.

To their credit, the home side refused to roll over and influential stand-off Morton at last pierced Hoppers’ defence producing a try for full back Davies and then adding the extras.

But Hoppers were to have the last word as Trueman again raced through again and replacement full back Nathan Pope was up in support to touch down and Davidson’s conversion brought up the half century.

Head coach Paul Arnold was happy with putting 50 points on the scoreboard: “These games against teams in the lower regions of the league can always be banana skins but our defence was good to keep them out in the first half and after the break we showed our class.

“Good performances all round with Luke Procter producing turnover ball and impressive debuts for prop Tyler Sloane and Alex Jobson on the wing.”