STOURBRIDGE'S poor form continued as defeat at Macclesfield handed them a fourth successive loss.

Stour lost 27-22 last Saturday but did pick up a bonus point in the process to stay 12th in National Two North.

They will now be reflecting on a first half performance where they conceded 17 points in as many minutes through a series of unforced errors. They gifted a five-point win to the hosts who lie in 15th place with just four wins to their name.

The visitors were down to a bare minimum of twenty players after their main clubs recalled Mike Penn and Gareth Simpson. James Seabrook, George Morgan and Mark Harrison were still carrying injuries and Sam Wilkes was unavailable due to family commitments. Adam Shaw also pulled out early on Saturday morning.

The hosts struck after just three minutes when Stour knocked on just 30 metres from their own line. Former Sale man Sam Stelmaszek broke through some weak tackling to score under the posts before fly half and captain Tom Morton converted.

Another Morgan penalty soon made it 10-0 as Stour's slow start continued.

Tom Burdon then crashed over for the hosts, again converted by Morton, as the scoreline got worst for the visitors.

Ricky Aley and Morton then swapped penalties as the score moved to 20-3.

Stour finally started to gather momentum approaching the half hour mark before tries from Nigel Mukarati and Stef Thorp, the second converted by Aley, put them within five.

However, the second half started badly as hooker Sam Moss seized on Stour's lost throw-in to bag their only try of the half, with Morton again adding the extras.

Jack Lea bagged his 10th try of the season after Macclesfield went down to 14 players.

Rickie Aley converted what were to be the last points of the game but still with 13 minutes left to play. Unfortunately for Stour, the Macclesfield yellow card was given to a front row player meaning that the game went to uncontested scrums. This negated the pressure that Stourbridge forwards were exerting on their opposite numbers.

Macclesfield played an intelligent game, keeping as much close possession as they could and denying the ball to visiting hands.

Whilst Stour’s league position remains unchanged, they are now just three points clear of Leicester Lions and nine points away from the relegation zone.

They now take on Sheffield Tigers at Stourton Park this Saturday looking to get back to winning ways.