Waterloo 15, Birkenhead Park 37

BIRKENHEAD Park secured a sixth successive victory with an emphatic victory over old rivals Waterloo at Blundellsands, writes Peter Greville.

A large crowd assembled for the eagerly-awaited derby clash and Park were quickly out of the blocks with front rowers Alan Hughes and James Millward prominent in the early exchanges.

However, it was Waterloo who struck first when a Park attack broke down and winger Connor Wolfenden raced away from his own 22 for an outstanding try converted by Daragh O'Brian.

Park were not put out of their stride and after a good period of pressure prop Peter Doolan crashed over for the visitors. Park also had to overcome the early loss of Jack Ashcroft with Rob Doolan making a welcome return. Winger Sam Tyrer also depated with Finn Laing taking over but Park kept their momentum.

Wirral Globe:

Scrum action at Blundellsands

With Garin Roberts pulling the strings Park produced some good attacking rugby and Paul Hellier was next on the scoresheet to nudge Park ahead. O'Brian and Dave Hall traded penalties as Park held a slender advantage at half time.

Park continued to press and centre Owain Davies crossed for the next try from close range with Hall converting.

A touchline break into the Park 22 saw Waterloo centre Gabe Davies respond but it was not long before Park skipper Ollie Mabbott crossed from a scrum pick up converted again by Hall up to extend the Park lead and secure the bonus point in the process.

Hall then struck a crucial penalty which put Park at least two scores ahead and effectively killed of any lingering hopes of victory for Waterloo.

Waterloo then had their best spell but the well drilled Park defence held firm and it was Park who had the final say when Finn Laing crossed after an inside pass from the impressive Roberts after another lively Park attack. Hall converted to complete a hugely satisfying afternoon for Park.

Skipper Ollie Mabbott led by example with the veteran Paul Hellier also outstanding in the pack. Director of rugby, Martin O'Keefe, said: "we are at last playing with consistency and our last two matches against second place teams has showed how much we have improved.

"Credit must go to our head coach Dave Blyth and Billy Woof for developing our game."

This Saturday Park welcome another long term rival Wilmslow to the Upper Park.