Penrith 17, Birkenhead Park 5

BIRKENHEAD Park endured a frustrating afternoon at Penrith and got no return from a match played in wild Cumbrian conditions.

A great start saw Park take an early lead with a well worked score by winger Elliot Madgin but thereafter it was a real struggle for the visitors.

The match was an error-strewn affair with both teams not surprisingly finding handling difficult in the wet and windy weather.

Penrith hit back with a try from centre Matt Allinson who ran straight through the visitor's defence for a try which he converted.

The contest was always close with neither side gaining complete dominance for any significant period.

Allinson added a penalty before half-time to give the home side a five-point advantage.

Conditions did not relent and it was more of the same in the second half.

Penrith enjoyed plenty of possession but the only score of the half came from substitute winger Brad Taylor with Atkinson's conversion making the game safe for the home side.

Park had a decent spell just before the end but they were unable to claim a second try and missed out on the losing bonus point.

For Park skipper Jack Ashcroft and scrum half Sam Chidley did their best but overall it was a forgettable afternoon for Birkenhead.

Park's director of rugby, Martin O'Keefe, said: "it was a disappointing result and extremely frustrating as we didn't do ourselves justice.

"We can look at excuses such as the appalling conditions, the referee's interpretations and the artificial pitch but at the end of the day we weren't good enough.

"We will be working had to improve things for Saturday when we welcome second placed Blackburn to the Upper Park."

Spirits were lifted by the Park Wanderers side, who also travelled to Penrith and came away with a 29-17 victory.