Birkenhead Park 43, Vale of Lune 22

BIRKENHEAD Park were in good form at the Upper Park as they won comfortably in the end after an exciting encounter against old rivals Vale of Lune.

Vale started in lively fashion but after a period of Park pressure it was not until the 20th minute that Alex Briggs opened the scoring with a Vale penalty.

Park lost Danny Atherton through injury with Liam Sharples taking over in his final appearance before returning to New Zealand.

Park began to exert their authority and prop Peter Doolan crossed for the first try soon followed by skipper Ollie Mabbott who took a quick tap penalty to catch out the Vale defence.

Vale gave notice of their intentions as they rocked Park with tries either side of half time by number eight James Robinson and South African full back Benge Sonja both converted by Briggs to give the visitors a five-point advantage.

Park recaptured the lead when Sharples drove through the Vale defence and then two great runs by Will Titherington put flanker Sean Mooney clear for a spectacular home score to secure the bonus point.

Dave Hall increased the lead with a penalty to go with his three previous conversions before substitute second row Jake von Cleet finished off another lively move cutting through the Vale defence at an angle.

Titherington then intercepted and after juggling with the ball scored under the posts.

Hall converted both tries before proceedings ended with a consolation try by the impressive Sonja for Vale.

For Park Man of the Match Will Titherington was outstanding with Liam Sharples also producing an excellent performance in his farewell appearance.

Park's director of rugby Martin O'Keefe said: "it was a good display against spirited opponents and overall a very satisfactory afternoon."

Park remain second in the North1 West table and will enjoy a week off next week before they welcome league leaders Wilmslow to the Upper Park on December 7 for a crunch encounter (2.15pm kick off).