Park hit back in last 20 minutes for win

Liam Blackburn goes over for Percy Park in their win against Alnwick.
Liam Blackburn goes over for Percy Park in their win against Alnwick.

Percy Park turned the tables on fellow Northumberland side Alnwick with a dynamic 20 minute display after the home side led 17-15 with an hour on the clock.

Both sides had key personnel missing, but a strong Park bench enhanced the squad to good effect to secure another bonus point win.

The visitors had the chance to open the scoring but an Ash Smith penalty was struck wide. Alnwick then scored after a superb dummy by their fly half opened up a gap and Richy Elliot scored an unconverted try.

Smith missed a second penalty attempt before wing Liam Blackburn, back in the side after a long term injury, struck on 30 minutes to tie the scores.

Park went ahead three minutes later when Smith kicked a penalty, but just before the break Alnwick hit back with a controversial try hotly disputed by the Park contingent.

The home pack had the edge in the set scrums and when Park were penalised for a collapsed scrum near their line, Alnwick were allowed to take a quick tap penalty which resulted in a try for James Hamilton.

Just before the whistle for half time Park were awarded a penalty but again Smith was off target.

In the second half Percy Park were playing against the wind, but Alnwick did not make full use of the conditions and five minutes in saw Aaron Smith score in the left hand corner after some good driving play by the Park forwards.

A change of goal kicker had the desired result as Toby Davison slotted a difficult kick.

Park held on to their lead for a further 15 minutes before Ben Foy crossed the line for a try after several phases of play. Joe Weddell kicked the conversion to take his side ahead 17-15.

Park brought tight head prop Jonny Kidd back on which shored up the scrummage, and the visitors picked up the pace to exert pressure on the defence.

Alnwick were down to 14 players when their full back was yellow carded.

Alnwick held out for six minutes, but were under the cosh and Blackburn scored his second try of the game after a quick offload from Josh Hedley.

John Scott, who had come on at scrum half for Olly Gilmore, scored a try after breaking through a ruck and burrowing over the line to take his side into a 25-17 lead. Davison unluckily hit the post with the conversion attempt.

Park were now rampant and Ash Smith put the final nail in the Alnwick coffin with a fine individual try breaking through several tackle before touching down in the corner. Davison kicked the extras and Park had won 32-17 to move up to 3rd place in the league.

Next week the 1st XV are at home against Wheatley Hills.

UBS Candy League One

Percy Park 41

Alnwick II 31

The Lions let a 41-17 lead slip to 41-31, but held out for a win at home against Alnwick. Tries by George Lewis (2), Harry Watson, Josh Lake, Matthew Dale and Freddie Thorpe gave the Park side another bonus point league win.

Northumberland River Aln League

Alnwick Lions 65

Percy Park Pumas 35

Several last minute cry offs meant that the Pumas travelled with only 12 players. Sportingly the hosts loaned Park a player, but last year’s league champions were well beaten in the end by Alnwick.

Northumberland River Coquet League

Percy Park Marauders 5

Houghton Boars 33

Houghton 2nd XV were just to strong for the Marauders who were playing their first game of the season. Next week Percy Park 4th XV travel to Ashington in the league.