AFTER a shaky start, Tynedale eventually got down to business to put the skids under old rivals Macclesfield on Saturday.

The previous league encounter between the sides was a remarkable one, with Tynedale cruising to a 38-0 half-time lead with all the grace of a swan sailing serenely down the Macclesfield canal.

Forty minutes later, they looked like bedraggled ducks as the Cheshire side came storming back with 35 unanswered points, leaving Tynedale hanging on grimly at the end.

And it was Macclesfield who picked up where they left off at Priory Park in November, putting Tynedale under endless pressure, and starving them of any kind of possession.

What scraps of ball which were picked up by Tynedale were hoofed aimlessly away, and it was something of a surprise that Tynedale were only 7-0 down after 10 minutes to a converted try by prop Brendan Berry.

But Tynedale weathered the storm, found some sort of form, and finally ran out comfortable winners on a very heavy pitch.

Tynedale welcomed back skipper Matty Outson for his first start since injuring his knee before Christmas, but fly half and kick Ash Smith was missing, giving youngster Jake Rodgers a chance to impress in the number 10 shirt.

He perhaps kicked too much early on, but settled down to enjoy a fine game, scoring a try and landing four conversions - one from close to touch.

There was also a good display from full back James Spencer, who helped himself to a couple of tries, but the Tynedale backs once again demonstrated tremendous pace and vision.

After Macclesfield’s third minute score, Tynedale discovered the benefits of not kicking the ball away, and good running and handling saw Spencer dart in for his first try on 10 minutes, converting it himself to bring the scores level.

And on 14 minutes, a line out brought more fine play to send the excellent Will Miller in for a try, the conversion by Rodgers making it 14-7.

The remainder of the first half was a turgid affair, with little action in either 22, so the half time whistle was something of a relief.

It took only four minutes of the second half for the scoreboard to start moving again, a good line-out take by Graeme Dunn launching the line again, and sending Spencer in wide out for his second try, well converted from touch by Rodgers.

Tynedale were well on top now, but Macclesfield defended well until number eight Ryan Parkinson was sin-binned. Then Tynedale were able to clinch the bonus point try through prop Ben Wilkinson on 67 minutes after patient driving.

Rodgers converted, and then added a try of his own from another line-out, converting that one too to take the score to 35-7 with eight minutes left.

Little had been seen of the Macclesfield attack in the second half, but they summoned up one last effort which brought a try in the corner for winger Charlie Reed.

The win leaves Tynedale fifth in National League Division Two North, but they now face three consecutive away games in Yorkshire - the rearranged game at Wharfedale tomorrow, then Otley and then another rearranged game at Sheffield on Easter Saturday.

The next home game isn’t until April 7, when Luctonians are the visitors.