NEW-LOOK Stourbridge were denied an opening day victory as league newcomers Macclesfield held on for the spoils.

But it made for a scintillating finale as Stour roared back into contention in the closing stages.

The visitors took an early lead through a Ross Winney drop goal but Stourbridge hit back in emphatic fashion with the opening try of the game on 14 minutes.

It was Andy Short who made the initial break and when the ball was worked across field, some excellent work from the forwards resulted in scrum-half Ollie Frost scything through the visitors to score beneath the posts, Luke Cozens adding the extras.

A Winney penalty two minutes later edged Macclesfield to within a point and they regained the upper hand with a second penalty soon after.

The string of Stourbridge infringements finally brought a yellow card for flanker Rupert Cooper, Winney adding further punishment by slotting over another three points.

Cozens and Simon Frewin combined well only for Tom Jarvis to miss out on the final pass and the visitors made them pay when winger Josh Fowles ran in their opener, Winney adding the conversion.

With Cooper poised for his return, Stourbridge found themselves reduced to 13 men six minutes before the break when centre Charlie Hayter was shown a yellow card.

Facing a 19-7 deficit at the start of the second half, two changes soon after the restart injected renewed vigour and a calming influence.

Louis Silver replaced his Worcester Warriors teammate Frost at scrum-half with the experienced Liam Wordley stepping in at hooker in place of youngster Jordan Page.

The Saxons were instantly on the offensive with winger Jamie Hearn going close after a solo run half the length of the field.

A fourth Winney penalty saw them go 15 points clear but it was far from game over.

Flanker James Rodley twice dived in for tries, his second converted by replacement stand-off Cameron Brown, and only some desperate defending from Macclesfield along with a knock-in a metre short of the line denied the home side a match-winning fourth score deep in injury time.

Saxons: Jarvis, Frewin, Short, Hayter, Hearn, Cozens (Cameron 66), Frost (Silver 60); Davis, Page (Wordley 50), Ruwers (Pickard 55), Hughes, Betts, Cooper, Rodley, Freeman (Thomas 77).