Bonus point win lifts Percy Park out of relegation zone

Jack Davidson scorer of Park's first try. Picture by Stu Robertson.
Jack Davidson scorer of Park's first try. Picture by Stu Robertson.

Percy Park moved out of the relegation zone with a bonus point win over Rossendale, lifting themselves two places above Waterloo and leap-frogging Billingham in the process.

Park opened with the best possible start as Jack Davidson powered over for a try inside three minutes after a superb break down the right hand flank by Michael Langlands.

The Park skipper drew the covering defender and found blindside forward Davidson on his shoulder to take the pass and make the 22 metres to the line, taking the last defender out as he did so.

As Park were pressing for a possible second try, Rossendale’s right wing Danny Harrison picked up a telegraphed pass and snapped up the interception to run 70 metres to bring his side level on nine minutes after full-back Steven Nutt had slotted the conversion.

And problems were compounded when full-back Toby Davison was sin binned for a technical infringement. Nutt kicked the resulting penalty.

With Park a man down, Ben Bell scored in the right hand corner after Rich Berne had found space and set him away. A difficult conversion chance was missed but Park were ahead again.

No sooner had Park been restored to their full compliment when Stu Cannon was sent to the bin for slowing down Rossendale ball and Nutt kicked his side back in front.

Bang on half-time the visitors extended their lead as ex-Northampton and Sale man James Bramhall crossed for a try under the posts, which Nutt converted to give his side a 20-12 lead at the break.

In a five-minute spell early in the second half Park were awarded several penalties and opted each time for scrums, and despite repeated infringements by the defending pack no one was shown yellow.

A quick tap five metres out from yet another penalty saw scrum-half George Lewis offload to James Ponton who crashed over for the unconverted try.

When Park were awarded a kickable penalty on 64 minutes, Harrison kicked the goal to level the scores.

Percy Park had the wind advantage in the second period and kept Rossendale back in their own half for long spells.

From one such attack, the Lancashire side tried to run the ball out from behind their own posts, and a crunching tackle from Davidson saw scrum-half Jamie Albinson spill the ball over the line and Ali Blair pounced, gratefully accepting the gifted try and bonus point. The conversion by Davison took Park in front 27-20.

With five minutes left of normal time Rossendale turned defence into attack and found themselves camped on the Park 22. Bramhall placed a well positioned cross-field kick straight to winger Harrison who caught the ball and stepped inside the covering defence to score. The conversion was missed and Park retained a slender lead.

With only a minute remaining Park were awarded a penalty which was kicked to touch on the defending side’s 22.

The ball was caught and driven and attempts to pull down the maul were brushed aside as Park continued the relentless drive for the line. The 20-metre drive ended with Andy Dunn securing the ball at the back and going over for the try to give his side the 32-25 win.

This weekend Park travel to Sandal on the back of improved form over the last three games earning eight valuable league points.