Blues’ fate sealed by a two-try flurry
NATIONAL LEAGUE ONE MACCLESFIELD .......... 23 ESHER............................ 30
MACCLESFIELD played host to seventh- placed Esher as they looked to kickstart 2015 and get their season on track.
Against an Esher side who looked a very strong side when the Blues faced them in London Giles Heagerty’s men did at least take a bonus point from a 30-23 defeat.
A close game at Priory Park in wet conditions was ultimately decided by two second-half tries in quick succession from the visitors.
Esher opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock. They caught the Blues napping and took advantage when they won a penalty to kick it to the corner.
The resulting lineout was driven over and the score converted for a 7-0 lead.
Six minutes later, Esher added another try and Macclesfield looked up against it. A kick in behind was pounced upon by the winger Joseph Brown and Esher were 12-0 up.
But on 16 minutes, the Blues got themselves into the game with a try of their own.
They built up pressure on the Esher line and it took a big ball carry from prop Billy Robinson (right) to crash over the line and get the score, which was converted by loan signing Tom Morton.
Twenty minutes later, Macclesfield hauled themselves to within two points of their visitors as Morton kicked three points from the tee.
Esher responded on the stroke of half-time with a penalty of their own, from fly-half Ian Cross.
The Blues came out after half-time and looked to get themselves back into the game, and three points from the boot of Morton two minutes after the restart looked to set Macc up for a strong second half.
Minutes later, Cameron Zeiss crossed for Esher to establish a seven-point gap between the two sides and put a setback on a Blues comeback.
Just five minutes later Esher scored again and put 14 points between the two sides with half an hour to play.
Sam Moss crossed for Macc with 18 minutes left on the clock to set up an exciting finish and set the home side up for a losing bonus point at the very least.
However, Cross seemed to have snatched it away from the Blues with a long distance penalty five minutes from time.
A last-gasp opportunity was handed to Morton, who slotted a penalty with the last kick of the game to secure a losing bonus point for Macclesfield.
It was a game they could have had more from, but Morton’s three points at least ensuring that the Blues had some reward for their efforts.
Macclesfield return to Priory Park on January 17, when they host top-ofthe-table side Ealing Trailfinders, but first they have this weekend’s trip to Hartpury College to negotiate.
●● Macclesfield began 2015 with defeat but they gained a losing bonus point from their match at home to Esher
● U11 player Charlie Warr (pictured with captain Mike Finnemore) was Saturday’s mascot