IN one of the most bizarre games in many years, Tynedale somehow returned from Macclesfield with maximum points.

But they had some very sticky moments in Treacle Town before pulling off a win that seemed a nailed on certainty at half time.

In a sublime first half, Tynedale put the struggling Cheshire side to the sword, running in six excellent tries without reply to open up what should have been an unassailable 38-0 lead in 40 minutes.

When a seemingly shell-shocked Macclesfield tottered out for the second half on a wet, heavy and uneven Priory Park, the Tynedale faithful sat back waiting for more of the same.

But the Cheshire side suddenly found a spark, which they fanned into a roaring flame for the rest of the game, burning away Tynedale’s lead with a totally dominant display by their forwards to register five tries of their own.

The gap was down to three points with nine minutes left, and it took all of Tynedale’s resolve to keep the ball away from the rampant home pack.

Despite the win, Tynedale dropped a place in the league to third, again on points difference from Hinckley, who were 38-15 winners at Tynedale's next opponents, Otley.

But with leaders Stourbridge losing for the second week in a row, the league is once again wide open, with only four points separating the top five teams.

Macclesfield were relegated at the end of last season, and have been finding the going tough for the past couple of months, winning just one of their eight previous games.

Tynedale were without centre Will Miller, but welcomed back free-scoring winger Guy Pike, with the equally formidable Ash Smith and James Spencer both starting on the bench.

It took Tynedale just nine minutes to get off the mark, with skipper Matty Outson picking up a Macclesfield clearance kick in his own half before breaking up the left wing into the Macclesfield 22. An inside pass sent hooker Jamie Blamire over for an unconverted try.

The second try came nine minutes later when a line-out on the Macclesfield 22 ended with Pike celebrating his return with another unconverted try.

Full back Rob Parker missed both conversion attempts, but made amends on 27 minutes when he put through a perfectly weighted grubber and won the race to touch down a try he converted himself for 17-0.

An up and under from the Tynedale 22 was knocked back on half-way, and once again the ball was flashed along the line for Oli Walker to get in on the scoring act with the bonus point try, converted by Parker.

Alas, soon afterwards Parker landed awkwardly after a tackle, and he had to leave the field with a chipped bone in his ankle, Spencer taking his place. The resulting penalty was kicked to touch and more pressure inside the 22 led to a try for fly half Dan Taylor, which he converted himself.

A quickly taken tap penalty by Outson 35 metres out on 39 minutes caught Macclesfield asleep and flanker Joe Mills was able to stroll in for the sixth try without being touched.

Taylor slotted the conversion and, at 38-0 at the break, Tynedale seemed home and hosed.

Macclesfield came out as though resigned to a hammering, but their forwards suddenly found their feet, and, for the rest of the half, it was one-way traffic.

Tynedale had lost lock Jonny Cousin with a shoulder injury early on, replaced by Nick Cairns, but the Tynedale pack were shoved all over the pitch for the rest of the game.

In the opening five minutes of the second half, the home forwards camped in the Tynedale 22 and, on the fourth re-set, captain Ryan Parkinson crossed for their opening try, converted by fly half Lewis Barker.

On 55 minutes, another scrum penalty was kicked to the corner and an unstoppable driving maul led to a second Parkinson try, again converted by Barker.

The faint alarm bells became a clamour on the hour when Tynedale knocked on from a line-out on their own five metre line. The resulting scrum saw prop Ritchie Elliott yellow carded, and during his enforced absence, Macclesfield grabbed three more tries.

A penalty try on 61 mins was followed five minutes later by a try from winger Myles Hall following another impressive 20 metre drive by the forwards, and, on 71 minutes, Frankie Barker got the home side’s fifth try, the conversion taking the score to a staggering 38-35.

Tynedale had to survive nine further minutes, and they did it well, keeping Macclesfield in their own half until the final whistle brought huge relief.

Tynedale now have a week off to recover, with their next game at home to Otley on November 24.