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Snow hits weekend rugby
THE attrocious weather hit the rugby union programme last weekend leaving another fixture headache for secretaries.
Caldy were spared a trip to Hull Ionians in National Two North due to the heavy snow and the Bradford and Bingley v Birkenhead Park National Three North clash was also a victim of the conditions.
Nearer home the much awaited Hoylake v New Brighton local derby in South Lancashire/Cheshire One was amongst the casualties.
Indeed none of the local sides were able to take to the pitch.
This coming Easter Saturday was originally a free date for most clubs but there will be some re-arranged matches.
Caldy have Preston Grasshoppers as visitors and Birkenhead Park come up against Sandal at the Upper Park in the hope this time the Yorkshire outfit will accept the pitch as playable.
Lower down the scale Oldershaw welcome Ormskirk, Prenton go to Manchester Medics and Oxton Parkonians have a home derby against Port Sunlight.
The Hoylake v New Brighton fixture could also hastily be fitted in.
Heading towards the last month of the season Caldy find themselves safe in mid table in their league but Birkenhead Park in National Three North are third bottom and need a big finish to have any chance of automatically avoiding relegation.
Wirral sit fifth in North One West but Anselmians are third bottom and nine points adrift of Kirby Lonsdale who are the side above them.
New Brighton are fourth in their division with every chance of a third place finish provided there are no slip ups. Hoylake are just below them in the table but six points behind their rivals.
Wallasey who are tenth in Division Two of South Lancashire/Cheshire should now survive but Oldershaw who are one place of the foot of the table seem set to go down.
There is a terrific tussle for the Division Three title. Port Sunlight are presently joint top with Manchester Medics but the latter have a match in hand.
Ellesmere Port are third, Prenton fourth and Oxton Parkonians sixth.
Meanwhile, a last-minute Craig Harvey penalty sealed Wirral’s first win away at Vale of Lune and enabled Wirral to achieve a notable double - writes Richard McNeil.
The game started with Wirral scoring in the first minute, when Craig Harvey scored near the posts following a break by Chris Speed, Craig converted his own try.
Thereafter Wirral made good use of the wind with astute kicking to touch but could not capitalize on the breaks they made as passes did not go to hand in the strong wind.
As the benefit of the wind was being lost as the minutes passed by, Wirral managed to get a second try when the forwards forced their way over with the try being awarded to Rob Pearl.
In the second half, it was not until the 53rd minute that Vale were in an attacking position and from a line out, Andy Powers powered over to score. Still Wirral played the next ten minutes in the Vale half and after a bout of good handling Wirral were rewarded with a try in the corner from Ryan Stead.
Wirral felt they had a relatively comfortable lead but in the space of two minutes this was lost as full back Nick Royle raced in for teo tries and ex-Wirral player, Jimmy Moore, converted both to give Vale the lead 19-17.
Wirral continued to pressurize and were rewarded with a penalty 19m out, which captain Harvey duly converted to give Wirral the lead again. Wirral played out the remaining two minutes with good control of the ball.
There is no game next Saturday, but on Easter Monday Wirral play Sale in the final of the Cheshire Vase at Wilmslow. Kick-off will be at 3pm.
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