Park show struggling Macclesfield no mercy

Rosslyn Park maintained the pressure on the National League One leaders with a convincing seven-try win over struggling Macclesfield.

Steve Parsons (two), Hugo Ellis, Paul Mackey, Luke Campbell, Harry Rowland and David Vincent got the tries, while Sam Katz kicked 11 points, for a 46-10 scoreline.

The early stages were all belonged to Park, although good runs by Parsons and Charles Broughton came to nothing, and a terrific run from full-back Nev Edwards ended with his side penalised for not releasing.

Enjoying a penalty advantage, an audacious long kick to the right wing for Broughton to run onto nearly came off, but play was brought back for fly half Katz to kick Park into a 3-0 lead on 10 minutes.

If Macclesfield did not look like breaching Park’s solid defence, they were certainly good enough to spoil Park’s own early efforts, but were undone by a superb move.

Edwards flung a wide pass to winger Vincent inside his own 22, for him to fly up his wing and, when he was stopped, there was Edwards in support.

He was stopped almost on the line but the powerful Ellis could not be prevented from getting over for an unconverted score.

Ellis briefly turned villain when blatantly offside in his own 22, but the visitors turned down an almost certain three points to kick to the corner, and they simply could not find a way through.

When Park broke out, a tackle - the clumsiness of which probably made it look worse than it was - saw visiting flanker David Marwick sent to the bin.

The penalty was kicked to touch for a line-out inside the 22, and as the ball was worked across the field, centre Mackey came onto it, sold a dummy and went over for 15-0 after Katz had added the conversion.

From the kick off, the visitors enjoyed their best period of pressure, camped inside the Park 22 for fully five minutes. 

Twice more they spurned kickable penalties to gain attacking line-outs, but they simply could not crack a superbly drilled defence.

Eventually Edwards broke out for Park, and only a penalty for ‘not releasing’ prevented a likely score.

The second half was barely a minute old when Edwards put in a superb run up the wing from deep in his own half, found Vincent in support and, while the defence managed to stop the winger just short of the line, tireless flanker Campbell was on the spot to get over for a try that his efforts richly deserved.

Campbell followed up with a powerful sprint through the middle, eventually finding centre Parsons in support at a distance from which he is simply unstoppable to register the bonus point try - another Katz conversion made it 27-0.

Park’s tails were well and truly up, and a super run by Broughton went right to the heart of the Macclesfield defence. They weathered that storm, but when lock Richard Boyle powered through to pass on to skipper Rowland they had no answer, Katz’s conversion taking the score to 34-0.

The visitors never gave up, and few begrudged them the try when a scrum near the Park line saw replacement George Baxter skip round it to snipe a try for 34-5.

With less than 20 minutes to go, Park made multiple substitutions but it did not stop the wave of home attacks.

Callum Grant tried to announce his arrival at scrum half by darting and dummying his way over from close to the posts, but it led instead to Park being pinged for not releasing.

Steve Hamilton, in the unfamiliar role of full back, soon had his side back on the attack, making a run that set up Steve Parsons to go over for 39-5.

Macclesfield saw a glimmer of light when Park were reduced to 14 men after a high tackle by Boyle.

It became clear that it was not Macc’s afternoon when almost straight away an attempted clearance kick thumped into a colleague and the ball looped back behind the kicker, where Vincent had just picked himself up – yards offside if his own player had kicked it – and found the ball in his hands with no one to beat. He went behind the posts to give Katz an easy conversion.

Macclesfield pluckily got up-field and centre Elliot Brierly got over for an unconverted try to the right of the posts for the final points of the day.

Park, lying fourth in the table – 11 points off leaders Ealing Trailfinders – go to Coventry this weekend in a re-arranged fixture.

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