Birkenhead Park 24, Kendal 21

IT was the past players lunch at Birkenhead Park on Saturday and those attending witnessed an accomplished display by the current Park side as they overcame Kendal in the North Premier League.

Also in attendance were descendants of one of Park's first internationals, Bernard Boswell Middleton, who played for England in 1882 and 1883.

Park were missing the Titherington brothers both playing for Cheshire under-20s in Cornwall and Ollie Wharton and Matt Walls formed a new centre partnership in their absence.

Birkenhead started in determined fashion in front of their distinguished guests and they defended well against a strong running Kendal side.

Having repelled the early attacks by the visitors Park seized the initiative with second row Josh Smith driving over for the opening try after 18 minutes with Simon Mason adding the extras.

The score remained at 7-0 for the remainder of a hard fought first half.

Park turned round and with the breeze behind them they began to take control with Mason in fine form with his tactical kicking.

Some good interplay between forwards and backs brought a second home try when Kiwi full back Chris McNoe cut through to score under the posts to leave Mason a simple kick.

Park number eight Ollie Mabbott broke clear from a driving maul for the third try improved again by Mason.

Mason then dropped a goal for good measure as Park were cruising to victory at 24 – 0 with only ten minutes remaining.

Park appeared to relax too soon and two quick tries from the Cumbrians by winger Dini Noyo and sub Danny Barker both converted by Glen Weightman created a tense finale for the home supporters.

Kendal struck a third time through centre Kris Bratton but Weightman’s conversion proved the final act of a good match.

This was one of Park's best displays of the season with Mabbott and half backs Sam Chidley and Mason instrumental in the home victory.

This Saturday Park travel to Kirkby Lonsdale for the penultimate fixture of the season.