Altrincham Kersal 15, Birkenhead Park 34

BIRKENHEAD Park secured the runners up spot in North 1 West with victory at Altrincham Kersal and now face an exciting winner takes all play-off at home to Cumbrian outfit Penrith on Saturday to decide which side moves up to National Division three.

Park went into the match knowing that they needed two points to finish ahead of Northwich so the pressure was on Birkenhead and they responded to subdue a lively Altrincham side.

Park started well and after seven minutes prop James Millward forced his way over following a good forward drive and Dave Hall converted.

Stand-off Ross Keatch kicked a penalty for the home side but Park moved further ahead when flanker Ollie Mabbott pounced on a dropped midfield pass by Kersal and went clear from 40 metres with Hall again improving the try.

Millward, who enjoyed an outstanding match, went close again when he broke deep into the Kersal 22 but he was hauled down short of the line.

He made no mistake when he sprinted clear following a midfield play from a line out to score under the posts on 38 minutes.

Hall's third conversion gave Park a comfortable 21-8 lead at half time ..

Park attacked from the kick off in the second half but, just as they looked likely to score again, Altrincham winger JP Singleton intercepted in front of his own posts and raced the length of the pitch for a spectacular try.

Dave Hall kicked a penalty for Park, but Altrincham got a second breakaway through centre Doug Whyley who picked up a loose pass and beat the cover defence from his own ten-metre line.

Kersal were now in striking distance and the momentum had swung to the home side as Park's play-off hopes looked in the balance for a while.

A great individual try by scrum half Sam Chidley on the hour lifted Park and they never looked back.

Chidley broke from a scrum 40 metres out and following a neat side step he then outpaced the Kersal defenders to score in the corner.

Park were clearly determined to settle the issue and a great run by flanker Sean Mooney saw him link with the backs before good hands launched winger Adam Wellington for the line to secure the fifth try.

Park's director of rugby, Martin O’Keefe, said: "We played some good rugby and I am delighted to have secured the play off and the chance of promotion back to the National League.

"It promises to be an exciting climax to the season, we don’t know a lot about Penrith but we will be expecting a very tough match and we will need to be on top fom".

It will be a big day at the Uppper Park on Saturday with Penrith expected to be very well supported and promotion the prize for the winners. Kick off is 3pm.