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Joy at last for Park
THERE was joy at last for Birkenhead Park as they recorded their first win of the season in National Three North League but things were not so good for Caldy who suffered a fourth successive defeat in National Two North.
Birkenhead Park got the better of Kendal 29-23 at the Upper Park but Caldy let an 18-6 interval advantage slip away as they lost 21-27 against Darlington Mowden Park at Paton Field.
Birkenhead collected the extra bonus point through scoring four tries. Greg Hughes crossed twice with singles for Colin Campbell and Dave Ibbotson. Skipper Dave Hall added three of the goals after opening the scoring with a penalty.
It was 29-17 at the interval. Matters got tense as the Cumbrians closed the gap in the second period but Park remained resolute and the relief was plain to see when the final whistle sounded.
Three tries in fourteen crucial minutes by livewire Darlington scrum-half Zylon McGaffin in the final quarter put paid to Caldy but they were also not helped by injury set backs.
Tries via Chris Jones and Ben Eaves plus a conversion and a brace of penalties from Paul Vasey for Caldy was answered by two penalties from Darlington before the break.
A third Vasey penalty was the only home score in the second period as Park found the winning formula when all seemed lost.
Anselmians came a 13-46 cropper at Kirby Lonsdale in North One West but Wirral finished 19-13 to the good against Altrincham Kersal at Clatterbridge.
Skipper Craig Harvey was the key man for Wirral, scoring all their points with a try, a conversion and four penalties. A late penalty gave the visitors a bonus point.
Hoylake in their best season for years managed an excellent 15-8 victory at Wigan in South Lancashire/Cheshire One but New Brighton missed out 15-20 against Warrington at Hartsfield.
It was disappointing for the Blues who were watched by past players attending a Re-Union Dinner.
The match marked the 550th appearance for New Brighton of prop Mark Dorrington – a remarkable and possibly unique achievement.
Mike Smith and Joe Cardus touched down for the home side and Joe Silcock added a conversion and a penalty but second placed Warrington who scored three tries just sneaked the verdict as late home pressure went unrewarded.
Oldershaw and Wallasey both won in Division Two. Wallasey just made it 24-22 at Buxton but it was easier for Oldershaw in a 33-5 finish against Marple.
Oxton Parkonians recorded a much needed 45-7 win in Division Three at the expense of Capenhurst.
Andy Smith was Man of the Match as he grabbed four of their seven tries.
There were singles via Liam Sadler, Barrie Owens and Geoff Waters. Owens managed three goals and Sadler another two.
Port Sunlight made it 17-11 against Trentham and Ellesmere Port recorded a fine 49-12 win at Liverpool University.
Prenton did not have a league engagement.
It is mainly an awayday for most local clubs this Saturday when kick-offs in the main revert to 2.15pm.
Caldy are on the road to Sheffield Tigers in another difficult engagement against a side beaten just once so far. Birkenhead Park also face a tough hurdle away to their league leaders Harrogate.
Anselmians welcome Carlisle with Wirral due at Wilmslow.
Lower down the scale fixtures include Oldershaw at Collegiate, Wallasey at Oswestry, Port Sunlight at Capenhurst, Oxton Parkonians at Congleton, Prenton at Marple and Ellesmere Port v Manchester Medics.