Wilmslow 28, Birkenhead Park 50

BIRKENHEAD Park opened the new season with an impressive victory in the Cheshire Vase at Wilmslow on Friday night.

The East Cheshire outfit, having replaced Park in the North Premier League, were confident of taking the spoils against their old adversaries and they started most impressively racing into an early lead.

Park's defence was well and truly tested but they rode the storm and eventually dominated the match with centre Lucas Titherington leading the way with an excellent hat trick.

The other try scorers were Martin Donnelly, Danny Atherton, Ollie Mabbot, Matt Walls, Sam Tyrer and a penalty try with Simon Mason and Will Titherington adding the kicks to bring up the half century.

Park will be hoping to take their early season form into their opening North1 West fixture against Warrington on Saturday at the Upper Park (3pm).

Park have prepared well with squad matches against Caldy and Chester prior to the Wilmslow game.

Jack Ashcroft continues as Captain and a number of new recruits have bolstered the squad.

Park gave debuts in the back row to former England Schools International Alex Hampden-Smith from Liverpool University and RAF Officer John Barracliffe at Wilmslow. Other new faces include backs Alex White and Carl Southern.