Birkenhead Park 27 Ilkley 33

BIRKENHEAD Park and Ilkley laid on an entertaining North Premier contest at the Upper Park on Saturday.

Park scored four tries to the visitor's three, but the visiting kicker Charles Ramsay was in ruthless form as he made the difference with three conversions, four penalties and no misses.

Number 8 Max McKay scored the first try after five minutes for the Yorkshiremen before Dave Hall kicked a penalty for Park.

Ramsay hit his first penalty but then good attacking play was rewarded for Park with a try by hooker Stuart Brown.

Winger Aaron Magee replied for the visitors with an outside break effort but number eight Dave Ibbotson went over from a penalty scrum five metres out to make the score 13-17 at half time.

Ilkley opened a comfortable lead in the second half with a Ramsay penalty followed by a try from scrum half Blake Morgan but Park came back strongly in the final quarter.

A 35-metre driving maul was illegally stopped by Ilkley and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a seven-point penalty try.

Park were now in the ascendancy and the Ilkley defence became desperate as they had one forward sin binned and another sent off.

Park duly exploited the weakness as lock Paul Hellier scored the fourth home try.

There was still four minutes left but Park were unable to gain the winning try as Ilkley held on.

Park at least secured two bonus points which moved them above Pocklington in the table.

Prop Peter Doolan was named man of the match but Dave Ibbotson, Paul Hellier and scrum half Sam Chidley were all outstanding in a much-improved Park performance.

Park travel to Kendal on Saturday and will hope to continue their improvement.