Kirkby Lonsdale 41, Birkenhead Park 31

KIRKBY Lonsdale and Birkenhead Park laid on a high-tempo contest for a bumper crowd in summer conditions in the magnificent settings of Underley Park.

An early Simon Mason penalty gave Park the lead, which was soon matched by Ryan Terry for the Cumbrians.

Park went on the attack but they then gifted the ball to Kirkby winger Harry Huddleston who raced the length of the pitch for the opening try.

Determined Park hit straight back and the forwards drove over for a try by hooker James Millward, Mason's conversion levelling matters at 10 each.

Further Park pressure went unrewarded and when they again lost possession Kirkby broke from deep with winger Harry Ralston on hand to finish in style.

In a pulsating first half Park had the last say with a well taken try by centre Lucas Titherington and Mason's conversion brought the scores level again at 17 all.

Park struggled somewhat in the third quarter as the sweltering conditions took their toll and the home side took control with tries from scrum half and skipper Ben Walker and stand off Dave Barton.

The most popular try came next when second row Matt Hughes, playing his last game for Kirkby before retirement, dived over in the corner.

Park rallied impressively and they gave a debut to former colt Martin Donnelly in the back row who made a great impression.

It was Donnelly who scored following a good forward drive and then he created the turnover ball from which Sam Chidley scored the final try of the match to secure a well deserved bonus point.

For Park there were some good touches from the Titherington brothers in the centre, Ollie Mabbott in the back row and yet again Sam Chidley had a terrific game at scrum half.

Skipper Jack Ashcroft and Josh Smith also played their part but the man of the match was awarded to the veteran Martin O'Keefe for his powerful driving play.

This Saturday Park round off the North Premier season with a trip to Sandal and will be looking to finish a hard season on a high note.