PERCY Park completed the double over West with a bonus point win, having previously defeated the Hartlepool side 41-17 at Brinkburn earlier in the season.,
Both sides had key players missing through injury or unavailability, but the youngsters who came in were a credit to their respective clubs and testimony to the value of the mini and junior set ups at West and Park.
The conditions were fine but the previous month’s rain made the ground somewhat heavy.
The visitors had the better start pinning Park into their own half for most of the first quarter, with Stu Waites putting his side ahead on eight minutes with a left footed penalty kick.
Both packs were fairly evenly matched, but the Park backline showed signs that if they were set loose, they could punish their counterparts.
Michael Stephenson made a telling break through the visitor’s midfield, but was stopped in their 22. The recycled ball was eventually spilled and West were awarded a scrum, which Park took against the head.
Quick ball from skipper John Scot found Ash Smith on the blind side who passed to Liam Blackburn on the left wing who scored in the corner and Smith slotted the difficult conversion.
There had been a few cynical infringements from both sides and eventually referee Mick Harris lost patience with 17-year-old blind side Sam Miller for West, who was yellow carded for slowing play down in the red zone with Park on the attack.
The home side opted for the scrum in front of the posts. West conceded a penalty by deliberately wheeling the scrummage but the referee played good advantage and the ball was offloaded to Smith who darted through the defence to score just before half time.
Three minutes into the second half Smith kicked a penalty, and then Jack Davidson was shown yellow for Park for slowing down West ball. Not long after Park No.8 was sent to the bin for a similar professional fouls.
With Park a man down they still managed to kick another penalty through Smith and then scored a try virtually from the restart in the right hand corner with Michael Langlands eventually claiming the try following a break by James Bird.
As in the first 20 minutes, West had a long spell of possession in the last quarter, but despite several chances could not break through the Park defence.
Eventually Park broke out of defence and a hack through saw Bird in chase. Two West defenders converged on the ball but the ball spilled loose and Bird kicked ahead and just won the foot race to get the touchdown as the ball crossed the line, and Park had the valuable bonus point for four tries. Smith converted to take the score to 32-6.
Next week the 1st XV travel to Lymm.
WEST HARTLEPOOL STAGS 21
PERCY PARK LIONS 28
PERCY Park Lions made hard work of this game having defeated West 76-7 in the reverse fixture at Preston Avenue at the start of the season.
Call ups to the firsts depleted the Lions somewhat, but they can be pleased with another bonus point win on the road and consolidate their second spot in Candy league division one.
Park’s tries came from Phil Morse (2), Sean Williamson, Ethan Wilson and Howard Stock, with Morse also kicking a penalty.
The Lions play Morpeth Reivers at Preston Avenue next Saturday.
PERCY PARK PUMAS 22
PERCY Park Pumas had not had a game of rugby since November 24, with matches called off due to bad weather or opposition unable to field a team, and on Thursday evening, their scheduled league game was conceded by Ryton who were short of numbers.
Thankfully Westoe helped out with both their 2nds and 3rds not having games, they sent a combined side to Preston Avenue.