Rosslyn Park ended their National One losing run on Saturday as they beat Macclesfield 19-17.
If one had looked at the teams respective recent records the visitors looked favourites to take the points with Park desperately needing a win after their form had dropped post the titanic struggle at Jersey.
The clock had ticked to 10 minutes without the scoreboard operator being troubled, but then a huge kick by No10 Will Robinson saw Park advance 60 metres to a lineout on the visitor’s line from whence Robinson struck a good penalty after the visitors sinned.
Notable in the early exchanges was that Park were stealing opposition lineout ball and the resultant pressure led to Robinson adding a second penalty to put the home team into a 6-0 lead.
On 26 minutes, Macclesfield had their first bit of concerted pressure and Gower was unlucky in nearly making an interception but just could not hold on.
A minute later, after a try saving tackle by Nev Edwards at the corner flag, Macclesfield’s huge second row Dean Williams eventually got over the line and the conversion gave the visitors the lead for the first time.
Encouraged by this, Macclesfield turned the screw and Park were desperate in defence until the ball was stolen and a huge relieving kick downfield brought play to an end in the first half.
Park were back under the cosh from the restart and a missed tackle on centre Fergus Mulchrone on 45 minutes allowed winger Josh Fowlds over in the corner and an excellent conversion stretched the lead to 6-14.
Four minutes later, Nev Edwards caught a kick downfield and returned it, the Park full back followed up and the Macclesfield player was caught in possession, a bit of unwanted advice to the referee on the finer points of the laws of the game led to the visitors being marched back 10 metres from which Robinson made it 9-14, but as so often happens a penalty gained leads to one being conceded and full back Charles Winney kept his 100 per cent kicking record for 9-17.
With Park not having seen much ball in the second half this looked a serious development and there ensued a sterile midfield battle where neither side could exert control.
With a quarter of an hour’s play left, Dom Shabbo made the break on halfway that brought Park right back into it, streaking down the left wing to 10 metres from the line, the inside pass hit a retreating Macclesfield player and Charlie Gower collected and dived over. Referee and touch judge conferred to ensure that all was in order and the try was correctly awarded. Mike Baxter who had taken over kicking duties from the withdrawn Robinson duly converted to make a one point game at 16-17.
Hero became villain when Macclesfield’s Dean Williams was sin binned for preventing the ball being released and Baxter stepped up to add three points to give Park a two-point lead at 19-17 and a consequentially desperate finale.
Park won and lost possession, won it back and then threw it away with a kick direct into touch.
Macclesfield tried to grind the ball downfield with little return for their efforts. In defending, Park conceded at least three penalties in non kickable range but with time expired, the ball had to be run. The almost inevitable knock on occurred with play being forced and the referee blew no side. Not a classic game by any means but after a run of defeats that win for Park was important.
Park: Edwards; Mantella (Shabbo 58m), Parsons, Gower, Rudd; Robinson (Edgerley 58m); Baxter; Ovens (Marfo 52m), Richmond (Gotting 66m), Ward: Anderson, Lloyd-Jones (Trayfoot 61m); Lock, Campbell, McKeen.
Park Scorers: Gower(T), Robinson (3P), Baxter (P,C).