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Bad weekend for Wirral rugby
IT was not a good Saturday for the leading Wirral rugby union clubs last weekend.
Caldy in National Two North League fell to a 10-29 reverse at the hands of Luctonians while Birkenhead Park in National Three North were on the wrong side of a 7-50 scoreline against leaders Chester.
Caldy were ahead 10-7 at the halfway stage at Mortimer Park but then the home pack took control in the heavy conditions.
Matt Van Vertima went in for Caldy in the first quarter with Rich Vasey converting and later landing a penalty. Luctonians managed a converted try before the break and went on to post 22 unanswered points via two touch downs, a penalty try, two conversions and a penalty.
Birkenhead had to settle for a converted try as they were outplayed by Chester and with some very tough games in the immediate future face a relegation battle.
Dave Ibbotson breached the Chester defence with Danny Rich converting to briefly make it 7-7. But the visiting backs were too strong and pacy. It was 7-38 by the interval but in a more even second period Park restricted the opposition to two more tries.
On a brighter note Park have now been awarded the Cheshire Cup semi-final after Chester twice failed to honour the tie and will meet Caldy in the final stage on a date to be finalised.
Wirral recorded an excellent 22-19 victory at second placed Sale in North One West but Anselmians continued on a losing run in an 11-48 finish at Widnes.
Wirral opened well at Sale and built up a 22 points lead by the 26th minute thanks to tries via Joe Murray (2) and Craig Harvey who also struck two of the conversions and a penalty.
Sale clawed their way back in the second-half and Wirral held their breath when a penalty which would have levelled the scores went wide deep in the final quarter.
New Brighton posted an excellent 17-11 success over second placed Broughton Park at Hartsfield in South Lancashire/Cheshire One but Hoylake found visiting Warrington too strong and fell 6-28 to the league leaders with just a couple of kicks to show for their efforts.
It was only a second defeat in seven outings for Broughton and the Blues are now fourth in the table although some way behind the top two.
Wallasey took the Division Two derby at Oldershaw 14-5 but are still second bottom.
In Division Three Prenton posted a crushing 62-0 win at Linley. Port Sunlight were also in good form away to Liverpool University as they triumphed 35-19.
Oxton Parkonians again found themselves kicking their heels as their fixture at Manchester Medics was a weather casualty.
Sunlight head the table by one point from Prenton but Manchester Medics who are nine points from the top have three matches in hand.
Caldy face Hull at Paton Field this Saturday whilst Birkenhead Park take the road to Percy Park.
Wirral have a tough home clash against Widnes and Anselmians welcome Rochdale.
Other matches include New Brighton at Crewe and Nantwich, Hoylake at Glossop, Wallasey v Ramsey (Isle of Man), Oldershaw at Oswestry, Port Sunlight v Manchester Medics, Prenton v Liverpool University and Ellesmere Port v Helsby.
Oxton Parkonians do not have a league fixture this weekend.