No league matches but lots of festive fun for rugby fans

Wirral Globe: Wallasey in action against Dukinfield on Saturday. Picture: Paul Heaps Wallasey in action against Dukinfield on Saturday. Picture: Paul Heaps

THE last league matches of the year take place this Saturday but only Caldy of the local clubs will be in action against Cheshire rivals Chester.

Oxton Parkonians have a cup engagement as all the other clubs take a two-week break but there will be some other attractions over the festive period.

Oxton Parkonians on Boxing Day host their annual Brothers v Veterans match for the Beckett Hillan Shield. It is the 34th running of the event. There is a 1.30pm kickoff at Holm Lane.

On Saturday, December 28, a Birkenhead Park select XV will play Old Birkonian at the Upper Park.

This traditional fixture goes back many years with the Old Boys reforming their side for the occasion.

Floodlights will be used with the kick-off set for 3pm and Park hope for a big turnout for this always enjoyable Christmas occasion.

Meanwhile it was 15th time unlucky for New Brighton as their fine winning run in South Lancashire/Cheshire One League came to an end away to Northwich last weekend.

It was certainly an off day for the normal free scoring Blues who failed to open their account in a 22-0 reverse but they still have a healthy cushion at the head of the table.

Anselmians enjoyed a 48-27 victory against visiting Ashton on Mersey but there was no joy for Hoylake at Tyldesley where it finished 45-18 to the home side.

Wallasey produced a better performance at home to Dukinfield in Division Two but their losing run extended to fourteen matches in a game which finished 15-24.

They are on minus eight points at the foot of the table after being penalised ten points earlier in the season.

Port Sunlight had to settle for a converted try in a 7-44 reverse at Manchester Medics.

Ellesmere Port edged home 19-14 at Oldershaw in Division Three.

Prenton saw off Knutsford 38-5 and there was also success for Oxton Parkonians 38-28 against Liverpool University.

It was a six-try show by Parks.

Terry Williams crossed twice with singles via Mark Barham, Matt Dooley, Craig Whelan and Andy Smith. Williams added one conversion and a brace of penalties.

The Students managed four tries and played their part in a lively clash.

Caldy by no means had matters all their own way at a windy Paton Field before seeing off lowly Sheffield Tigers 20-11 for a fifth success in six outings.

The conditions obviously effected the play but Caldy with a 3-1 try count were worthy victors.

Mike Diaz scored an early touchdown for the Tigers. Richard Vasey kicked a penalty for Caldy before Martin Gerrard crossed.

But a Richard Outram kick for Sheffield made it 8-8 at the interval.

Neil Dowridge and JJ Dickinson breached the Tigers defence after the break with one goal from Vasey.

Another Outram kick made it more respectable for the visitors who remain next to bottom in the division with Caldy now comfortable in mid table.

Wirral and Birkenhead Park both won narrowly in North One West and are still separated by a single point at the top of the table.

Wirral were taken all the way by lowly Leigh before sneaking the verdict 19-17.

Birkenhead came away 20-15 to the good from vastly improved Kendal.

They had to overcome storm force winds, driving rain and a muddy pitch but it was a happy Park squad which headed back to Merseyside for their Christmas Night out.

Park faced the elements in the opening period and were pinned in their own territory for long periods.

Kendal did manage two tries, a conversion and a penalty but Dave Hall incredibly landed three penalties for the visitors during brief forrays in Kendal territory.

It was Birkenhead who dominated later but their only reward was a Stu Brown try from a driving maul and another Hall penalty. It proved enough and generally it was a good all round display with solid defensive work winning the day.

Caldy are on a revenge mission at Chester on Saturday.

The first match ended 12-14 in Chester’s favour in September and many believed Caldy were unlucky losers on that occasion.

They had the chance to swing the balance with a last kick penalty but the ball sailed just wide.

Oxton Parkonians have home advantage against Helsby in the semi-final of the Cheshire Plate competition.

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