Kirkby Lonsdale 24

Macclesfield 54

A POWERFUL Macclesfield side saw off Kirby Lonsdale on Saturday and showed just why they are targeting a return to National 2 North from where they were relegated last season.

Kirkby were never overwhelmed but could not quite match a side who were as efficient as any they have met in a North Premier game this term.

Weatherwise it was a pleasant enough day at Underley Park but the home side suffered a pre-match blow when influential number eight Harlan Corrie had to pull out due to a family illness.

A late reshuffle saw Alex Briggs come in at 1, prop Dan Thompson drop into the second row, James Thompson go to 6, Craig Galbraith to 8 and prop Jacob Young join a bench made up entirely from the development squad.

The visitors opened the scoring with a try in the corner after 10 minutes, but Kirkby hit back in style as full back Chris Ramwell fed left wing Harry Huddleston just inside his own half and his pace and running skills left the defence clutching at air as he scored near the corner flag.

Macc restored their lead as they went in under the posts then extended their advantage with another try following an interception.

The home side struck back just before the break when Mike Fearon touched down after Scott Armstrong ‘s grubber kick, but the try came at a price as Armstrong was injured in the move and had to leave the field with a heavily strapped knee, a huge blow for Kirkby.

The second half was a tough one for the home side, Macc scoring a converted try after only two minutes to stretch their lead to 10–28 and followed it up soon after with three more tries as a string of injuries took their toll on the home ranks.

With 10 minutes left, Kirkby finally struck back with their third try thanks to more magic from home man of the match Huddleston.

Another converted try made it 17–54 but though the game was beyond them, Kirkby to their credit battled on and grabbed a fourth try for a bonus point when Craig Galbraith forced his way over.

Kirkby have a free date this weekend and return to action with a trip to Blackburn on February 1.