Douglas 22, Birkenhead Park 17

BIRKENHEAD Park battled hard in the Isle of Man against a strong Douglas team, but it was the islanders who prevailed in the end after a well-fought contest.

Stand off Bryn Snellgrove opened the scoring for the Manxmen after just five minutes with a penalty but Dave Hall soon levelled matters.

The impressive Douglas flanker Seth Waterworth grabbed the opening try for Douglas as he broke through from loose play after 12 minutes.

Park hit back with some good attacking play and hooker Danny Atherton breached the home defence with a well angled run which again equalised the scores.

Park then edged into the lead with a second Hall penalty but the status quo was restored when Snellgrove responded for Douglas.

Douglas had a sustained period of pressure at the end of the half but some excellent Park defence kept them at bay until eventually deep into injury time they had to settle for a third Snellgrove penalty.

The game continued to be hard fought in the second half with both teams defending impressively.

Park were dominant in the set pieces but were unable to extend this to the loose where the Douglas back row proved to be more effective in securing the ball.

After a further period of pressure Douglas winger Adam Boyd eventually broke through for the crucial score but Hall put Park back within a score with his third penalty. Snellgrove restored the islanders eight point advantage with a further penalty but Park's defence prevented any further tries despite more home pressure.

Eventually with the game well beyond the eighty minute mark Park gained a penalty which Hall made no mistake with to earn a well deserved losing bonus point for their efforts.

Park spokesman George Pollock said: "We played well overall but probably Douglas deserved their win.

"We were pleased in the end to secure at least a bonus point."

For Park Shaun Mooney and the impressive Danny Atherton were the pick off the forwards with Will Titherington showing some good touches in the backs.

Park remain second in the North1 West table and welcome Vale of Lune to the Upper Park on Saturday, 2.15pm kick off.