Birkenhead Park 12, Manchester 20

BIRKENHEAD Park's erratic form continued with an abject performance against Manchester.

A last-minute Manchester try even deprived Park of a losing bonus point which in any case was hardly deserved.

Manchester monopolised the ball in the opening ten minutes and after some good home defending eventually scored through scrum half Charlie Ding.

Park then had their brightest spell and took the lead with a fine solo try by scrum half Dave Morgan converted by Dave Hall.

Park went further ahead when hooker Stuart Brown finished off a driving maul, but it proved to be something of a false dawn as they were unable to build on this.

Park kept the lead well into the second half before Manchester levelled matters with a well worked try from winger Seb Lingwood converted by Jay Saena.

Park rarely threatened the Manchester line and were deprived of the ball for long periods with the visitors dominating the breakdown.

Park conceded a penalty but Saena missed the easy kick although he made no mistake with an even easier effort a minute later when Park's ill-discipline was punished.

Park never looked like responding and it was all Manchester pressure in the closing stages.

Park saw the losing bonus point vanish as Ding breached the home defence with the very last play of the game.

Park's director of rugby, Martin O'Keefe, said: "This was hugely disappointing and in my opinion our worst performance of the season so far." 

Park will be hoping for an improvement as they welcome Waterloo to the Upper Park on Saturday (2.15pm kick off).