Birkenhead Park 43, Burnage 10

BIRKENHEAD Park were in impressive form on Saturday as they turned a seven point lead at half-time into an emphatic victory at the Upper Park.

With the teams level on points in the North 1 West table a close encounter was expected but it was Park who took the initiative with skipper Jack Ashcroft touching down twice in the first quarter.

Burnage responded with flanker Wilson matching Ashcroft with his own brace.

Simon Mason's two conversions and a penalty was the difference between the teams at the break.

Park upped the tempo in the second half and with the Park scrum totally dominant the Burnage defence was stretched.

Following a destructive Park scrum Kiwi prop Liam Sharples drove over for the try with Mason continuing his excellent kicking to convert.

Park moved the ball at every opportunity and some good handling saw debutant full-back Hem Johal claim the next Park try after an end-to-end move.

Centre Matt Walls made the game safe when he breached the visitors defence again for the fifth try.

More good work by Sharples paved the way for the final try of the afternoon by lock Josh Smith in the corner.

Mason failed the difficult kick, which proved to be his only miss out of seven attempts.

Liverpool University student Hem Johal impressed on his debut and Will Titherington was creative in the centre.

Director of rugby Martin O'Keefe said: "this was our best display of the season and I was particularly pleased with our handling in the backs." 

Park move up to second place in the league table two points behind Carlisle.

There is a break in the league programme but the following week Park travel to Cumbria to take on Penrith.