It was the proverbial game of two halves at the Upper Park on Saturday as Birkenhead Park built up a substantial first half lead. Park had a great start to the contest and centre Ollie Jacques seized on a Bowdon error to race clear for a try in the opening minute.

Winger Adam Roscoe rounded off another lively move with a try in the corner and then stand off Will Titherington broke through in style for a third home score. The try bonus point was secured within twenty minutes when the backs again impressed before Sam Tyrer touched down.

A great cover tackle by Titherington thwarted Bowdon after a long range interception but they did eventually score through centre Mike Swetman.

Park finished the half strongly and replacement prop Martin O’Keefe drove over for another try within a minute of joining the action. Full back Dave Hall was in great all round form and he also converted all five tries as Park romped to a 35-5 lead at the interval.

The second half turned out to be a completely different scenario as Bowdon composed themselves and came out fighting. Park were never in danger of being caught but they rarely threatened the Bowdon line again after the first half demolition job.

Former All Black centre Sammy Tuitupou was influential for Bowdon as they added tries through Sweetman, substitute Craig Anthony and finally Dan Brown with Will Nicholson converting twice. The final try earned the visitors a bonus point which at half time had looked unlikely.

Park Director of Rugby Martin O’Keefe said: “We played some great rugby in the first half but never reached that level after the break. It was a combination of Bowdon improving and us reducing our intensity. It was at least pleasing to gain the maximum points.”

There is a break in the North 1 West programme next week but Park will need to step up a gear the following week when they travel to Blundellsands for the Mersey derby against a much improved Waterloo side.