Park are buzzing to end run of defeats

Percy Park's Ben Bell drives for the Bradford try line. Picture by Gwen Smith.
Percy Park's Ben Bell drives for the Bradford try line. Picture by Gwen Smith.

Percy Park returned to winning ways to halt the run of defeats but it was not plain sailing against a resolute Bees side who made them work for the four points.

Park welcomed back Alex Tilley and Liam Blackburn in the backs and Ben Bell and Jonny Kidd in the forwards, but lost Josh Hedley in the warm up to a groin strain. Steve Lenehan came into the squad from the third XV game on an adjacent pitch.

The 30-year-old Canadian made his 1st XV debut to bring the number of players used in the 1st XV squad this season to 39, and he also increased the average age of 22 from the team originally selected.

The hosts started the game brightly with most of the early possession that saw Andy Dunn score the first try of the game from a catch and drive inside the Bradford 22.

The coaches were soon forced to make an early change to the back division as Dan Osborn was forced to leave the field after a high tackle, which saw Paul Spowart come on a fly half from the bench.

The home crowd were surprised that the transgressor from the visiting side was not shown yellow, and then the resulting penalty was reversed after a Park player took exception to the high hit on his team mate.

The Wagon Lane men came back into the game as their openside Luke Peacock broke free down the left flank leaving the Park defence flat footed, and Richard Scull kicked the conversion for a 7-5 lead.

Percy Park struck back almost immediately as the forwards threatened the Bees line after a good midfield break by centre Alex Tilley. Bell appeared to have been held up on the line, but he managed to wrestle the ball down to ground.

Spowart missed the conversion, but more than made up for it with three consecutive penalties, with Bradford kicking one of their own. At half time Park were in front 19-10.

On the hour mark Dunn scored his second of the match, his 15th try of the season.

Bradford cut Park’s lead with a Scull penalty and then a Shaun Driver try four minutes from time to give the home side a nervous few minutes with the score 24-18.

With time running out for the visitors, Park were awarded a penalty at the end which was converted by Spowart, denying Bradford & Bingley a losing bonus point.

Next week Park play host to second bottom Old Crossleyans.