With Esher safe and Macc down there was little at stake today and with a number of players playing their last games for the blues they would have wanted to go out on a high. Elliot Brierley and Tom Eaton, were running out for the last time as a new era will begin at the Cheshire club next season.
The home side got off to the best possible start with Parkinson at the base of a scrum 10 mins in, but the sides proceeded to trade blows from there. A spell of scrum pens being exchanged, admittedly often controversially for both teams with Mantell often being targeted by Matt Turvey, in the macc 22 ended with a try by prop Furey.
Waters (9) was running the show for Esher and scored off a nice move from a scrum in the middle of the park before Macc rallied to hit back in the corner from Myles Hall building on a positive attack spell and finishing in bizarre circumstances as the Esher defender knocked the ball in to his Hall’s chest and into the in-goal area only for the ex-Stockport winger to pounce.
The away side led 19-12 at half time though as Waters tapped quickly from a contentious scrum pen against Mantell, and Beckett went over from half way. Our rule book may be out of date but a quick tap cannot be taken while bodies are still on the ground, can it?
The second half only saw one score in what was avery scrappy tit-for-tat affair, with both sides having strong spells in each others’ 22 and Macclesfield will probably feel they had the better of the chances, twice appeared to be racing over the line with driving mauls only for them to be scuppered by the impressive Esher back row Gentles, legally or not but only referee Matt Turvey will know what he did and did not see at the maul.
It was almost the story of this season for macc when their inability to convert red zone opportunities led to a break and try for Esher though winger Beckett.
With Elliot Millar-Mills and Paul Millea moving on, and Mike Finnemore taking a couple of years out to move to Canada, and the future of the likes of Nyle Davidson and Dave Marwick as yet unestablished, there is work to be done on the Macclesfield squad over the summer but with youngsters coming through like Joe Palmer, Sam Broster, lewis Winterbottom and Liam Parfitt, the future is bright and with a sprinkling of investment the Blues should be front runners in National 2 North next year, and with the new ground being developed there is plenty to look forward to.
Tries: Parkinson (5), Hall (28)
Conversions: L. Barker (x2)
Tries: Beckett x2 (33, 49), Waters (22), Furey (19)
Conversions: Boatman (x2)
Referee: Matt Turvey
Star man: Waters (Esher)
TEAMS (15-9, then 1-8)
MACCLESFIELD: Lomax, Hall, Brierley, L. Barker, Broster, Eaton, Allsop and Mantell, Moss, Millar-Mills, Finnemore, Marwick, F. Barker, Parfitt, R. Parkinson. Replacements: Millea, Robinson, O. Parkinson, Dr M. Smith, M. Smith
ESHER: Lloyd, Beckett, Brown, Lang, Ibitoye, Boatman, Waters and Furey, O’Connell, Zeiss, Marriott, Edwards, Gentles, Gossington, White. Replacements: Hope, Leigh, Halaufia, Wright, Garner
Referee: Matt Turvey