Burnage 29, Birkenhead Park 15

BIRKENHEAD Park's defeat at Burnage saw them slip from second place in the North 1 West table down to fifth with Burnage overtaking them into second.

Despite enjoying early pressure Park soon fell behind as Burnage broke out for two scores the first from winger Josh Miller after four minutes and the second by strong running centre Adam Knight with George Oakey converting both.

Park continued to gain good possession but Burnage defended well and frequently turned over possession.

All Park had to show for their efforts in the first half was a Dave Hall penalty which was cancelled out by a similar effort from Oakey to leave the home side 17-3 ahead at the break.

Park continued to gain plenty of ball but it was a day when very little went right for the visitors.

Things got worse when Sam Tyrer’s clearance was charged down and Miller pounced to claim his second try again converted by Oakey.

After more pressure, Park where eventually awarded a penalty try but Burnage responded with a score by scrum half James Hodder.

Park had the final say in injury time when centre Ollie Jacques touched down after good work by Adam Wellington.

Park's director of Rugby, Martin O'Keefe said: "We didn't play badly but gave possession away too much and made too many errors.

"It was a disappointing end to the first half of the season but I feel we can still compete for promotion in the New Year."

Park's next league match is on January 4 at home to Altrincham Kersal.

In the meantime the annual festive fixture against the Old Birkonians takes place on Saturday, December 28 at the Upper Park.