Burnage 20, Birkenhead Park 45

BIRKENHEAD Park kept up their new year momentum with another emphatic victory at Burnage.

Park were forced into changes with Josh Smith, Sean Mooney, Rob Doolan and Gaz Coy all forced out through injury, but Laurence Thomas, Alec Hampden-Smith, Martin Donnelly and Lucas Titherington all resumed.

Park had the perfect start when skipper Jack Ashcroft went over from close range with Will Titherington converting.

Rhys Evans responded with a home penalty, but Park retained good possession and winger Adam Wellington broke three tackles for a storming try again improved by Titherington.

Burnage kept in touch with a try from scrum half James Hodder converted by Evans but Titherington soon responded with a penalty for Park.

Park improved their lead further just before half time when scrum half Sam Chidley finished off a great team effort with forwards and backs combining to good effect.

Titherington’s conversion gave Park a well deserved 24-10 advantage at half time.

Burnage scored first after the break with an Evans penalty but Park dominated thereafter with substitute Martin O'Keefe bursting through for the bonus point try.

A penalty try followed after sustained pressure and then Hem Taylor raced in from the half way following an interception. Titherington converted both tries before Burnage gained a consolation try through Jim Wilson just before full time.

Park Director of Rugby Martin O’Keefe said: "I was very pleased with the display particularly with the changes made but it shows the depth we have in the squad.

"We have never found it easy to win at Burnage so the margin of victory was impressive."

For Park Adam Wellington again enjoyed an excellent game and the new flanker combination of Martin Donnelly and Alec Hampden-Smith also impressed in another good team display.

This Saturday Park welcome Penrith to the Upper Park and will hope to avenge the defeat they suffered in Cumbria earlier in the season.