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League wins for Wirral and Birkenhead Park
THERE were excellent away wins for Wirral and Birkenhead Park in their latest outings in North One West League.
One point in Wirral's favour now separates the two clubs at the head of the table and they are well clear of third placed Widnes.
So there is everything still to fight for with just one automatic promotion spot and a play-off chance for the runners-up.
Wirral battled bravely to succeed 10-5 in a tricky engagement at Wigton who had not been beaten at home this season.
Sam Broadbent scored their only try converted by James Annetts who also added a penalty for a 10-0 interval lead.
Wigton reduced the arrears with an unconverted try but they did not help their cause through collecting yellow cards and Wirral really won more comfortably than the score suggests..
Birkenhead Park faced a possible banana skin match at Broughton Park but were in control for most of the time and finished 31-5 to the good.
Birkenhead faced the gale force wind at the outset and play on a heavy pitch was not easy. But they were ahead after only four minutes with a Joe Spencer touchdown.
Broughton levelled eight minutes later with a try from a rare backs move but Billy Wooff went in the second-quarter following forward pressure to restore the Birkenhead lead.
Birkenhead camped in Broughton territory for much of the second-half. Dave Ibbotson was credited with a push over try in the 44th minute and was in again six minutes later from another drive by the pack.
Dave Hall amazingly added both the goals and was again on target in the 70th minute after a good break out following a rare period of Broughton ascendancy ended with Sam Chidley getting in on the try act.
Five tries meant an important bonus point.
Caldy figured in a lively clash at Hull in National Two North but finished on the wrong side of a 26-33 scoreline against lower rated opposition.. It was a twelfth reverse for the Wirral side but they are comfortable in ninth place in the table.
South Lancashire/Cheshire One leaders New Brighton made it a happy trip to the Isle of Man as they accounted for Douglas 20-11. The Blues hold a 19 points advantage at the top with promotion now looking a certainty.
It was not so good for fifth-placed Anselmians who fell 5-32 at Northwich, and Hoylake who succumbed 8-16 against Glossop at Melrose Avenue and are now fourth bottom and facing a battle to avoid a bottom two placing.
Port Sunlight managed just a consolation kick in a 3-31 Division Two reverse at Orrell and Wallasey could not open their account at home to Southport who ran out 27-0 winners.
That is 19 successive reverses for Wallasey but all credit to them for keeping up their efforts. Fortunes must surely change soon.
Prenton took the Division Three derby against Oxton Parkonians 31-5 and Oldershaw saw off visiting Linley 17-0.
The Ellesmere Port v Knutsford fixture was a weather victim.
There is a full league programme scheduled for Saturday. Caldy have Bromsgrove as visitors and there are also home fixtures for Birkenhead Park against Widnes and Wirral against Wilmslow.
New Brighton and Hoylake meet in a tasty local derby at Hartsfield whilst Anselmians welcome Ruskin Park.
Other games include Wallasey at Manchester Medics, Port Sunlight v Moore, Prenton at Congleton, Ellesmere Port at Linley, Oldershaw at Liverpool University and Oxton Parkonians v Trentham.