Birkenhead Park 10, Billingham 58

BIRKENHEAD Park had no complaints as they were put to the sword by a lively Billingham outfit at the Upper Park.

The defeat finally ended any realistic prospect of Park beating relegation and it will now take a miraculous turnaround to prevent them dropping out of the North Premier League.

The writing was on the wall for Birkenhead from the fourth minute when an all too familiar pattern was followed as a promising Park kick deep into Billingham territory was turned into a length of the pitch try for the visitors.

The speedy winger Tom Briggs raced across the pitch before outstripping the cover and launching a try scoring attack finished by Peter Evans and converted by scrum Half Dan Finney.

Centre Luke Wilson exploited lacklustre defence for the second try which Finney again converted and he then added a penalty.

Park hit back through centre Gaz Coy who forced his way over but Elliott Husband responded immediately for Billingham.

The Billingham three-quarters proved a real threat all afternoon and the game was all but over at half-time as they extended the lead through Joe Evans and fellow centre Wilson grabbed his second to make the score 5-36 at the break.

It took a while for Billingham to re-assert themselves in the second half before second row Ben Walton went clear for the next try.

Park stand-off Will Titherington gave the home support something to cheer about when he scored from close range following a good period of pressure by the pack.

However, it was a temporary respite as Billingham kept the tempo up to finish with further tries from Briggs and substitutes Matt Kirby and Ryan Kilbride.

Park's director of Rugby, Martin O'Keefe, said: "we were outplayed for the second time this season by Billingham and they have been the best team we have faced in my opinion.

"I am surprised they are not nearer the top of the table."

Park have no match this week and the next fixture is at Sandal a week on Saturday, March 3.