Birkenhead Park 17, Waterloo 13

BIRKENHEAD Park completed the double over Waterloo in the Mersey derby played in atrocious conditions at the Upper Park.

Waterloo had first use of the gale and were soon off the mark with a Darragh O'Brien penalty.

Park battled well against the elements and Waterloo didn’t make as much use of the wind as they might have done.

The visitors gained the first try when good handling put winger Jacob Allen over in the corner and then opposite wing Luke Nelson crossed in the other corner to give Waterloo a 13-0 lead going into the interval.

It was now Park’s turn to have the benefit of the weather and generally they took advantage better to set up some good attacking positions deep in Waterloo territory. Park kept the game simple using the forwards to grind down the Waterloo defence. Park skipper Jack Ashcroft soon crossed for the first Park try converted by Dave Hall and then hooker Danny Atherton broke from the side of a maul for the second.

Waterloo were forced to attack from deep but could make little headway as Park enjoyed territorial advantage. The winning score duly came when another rousing forward drive saw prop Liam Sharples get the touch down.

The match saw the return from long term injury of Park flanker Rob Doolan who acquitted himself well. With Ollie Mabbott and Sam Chidley also resuming after injury Park produced a much improved display and Director of Rugby Martin O’Keefe said “ I was pleased with the effort we put in and think we deserved the victory. The league is really tight, we are seven points off the promotion play off position but also seven points off the third relegation slot too. We have everything to play for in the New Year.”

Park are next in league action at Northwich on January 5, but there is the normal seasonal fixture against Old Birkonian on Saturday, December 29, when the Birkenhead School old boys will be looking for a third consecutive victory.