Birkenhead Park 35, Northwich 20

BIRKENHEAD Park opened their North1 West league season with a commanding victory over Northwich at the Upper Park.

Park overcame a shaky start when Richard Dale charged down a Will Titherington clearance to score in the opening minute.

Park responded immediately with a try from scrum half Sam Chidley converted by Dave Hall.

Northwich then took the initiative and a Dale kick found winger Tom Husbands in space to cross for the visitor’s second try.

It looked ominous for Park when centre Joel Barber sliced through the Park midfield to give Northwich a 15-7 lead.

However, it was Park who dominated for the rest of the half and debutant winger Adam Roscoe finished off a lively move for Park's second try.

Hall struck a penalty and then following a dominant Park scrum centre Adam Wellington broke through for the third home try.

Hall converted and then kicked a second penalty to give Park a 25-15 lead at half-time.

Park continued to be dominant in the second half with the forwards having the upper hand in the tight and loose.

Hall notched his third penalty and also converted Park's only try of the half scored by flanker Martin Donnelly.

It wasn't until the closing stages that Northwich added to their account with a late try by flanker Matt Ensor.

Overall it was a good start for Park.

Director of Rugby Martin O'Keefe said: "I am very pleased with this display against a side who we had three close matches with last season.

"The new players all fitted in well but we still have plenty of room for improvement."

This Saturday Park have a second Cheshire derby away against newly-promoted Altrincham Kersal.