Park miss out in picturesque surroundings

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Percy Park travelled to Stacks Field, one of the most picturesque settings for a rugby club in the north of England.

The two sides last played each other in the 2009/10 season when Park won both encounters.

Ilkley opened the scoring after only four minutes when a missed tackle allowed right wing Ben Magee to cross the line and fly half Josh Kimber converted.

When Percy Park were awarded an eighth minute penalty Ash Smith kicked the points.

Park then went into the lead with a fine Alex Tilley try after the visitors turned over the ball and broke blind with Ali Blair cutting through the defence to set away Park’s right wing, who still had work to do to beat the defence before going over for the converted score.

Both fly halves then missed penalty chances before Josh Kimber levelled the scores.

The teams were evenly matched but Ilkley seemed to play with a bit more urgency and as a consequence kept more of the possession and territory.

Somewhat against the run of play Park broke out of defence with Tilley, Smith and Ethan Wilson all combining to put Blair in space. The Park centre offloaded in the final tackle to find fellow centre Guy Pike in support, and he raced to the line for Park’s second try.

There then followed a bizarre conversion which left the referee, touch judges and supporters alike unsure as to what had taken place as Smith from in front of the post ‘chipped the keeper into the top left hand corner’ so Park were denied the two points, which in the end would have given them a bonus point.

At half time Park led 15-10 and the second half was all the home side, with Park failing to manage the game and play territory.

The game was then held up for some 10 minutes as one of the Ilkley players was injured and stretchered from the field. With play resumed Park were under the cosh as John Scott was shown a yellow card for an infringement near the line.

Ilkley scored a try from a catch and drive from the line out as they were awarded a penalty. The conversion gave the home side the lead 17-15. The score on 80 minutes gave the Stacks Field supporters hope that their team would gain their first league points of the season.

Park were then chasing the game, and deciding to run out of defence a long pass was spilled and Ilkley were handed possession on which they duly capitalised by scoring in the right hand corner. With the score at 22-15 Park needed Josh Kimber to miss the conversion for to at least get a losing bonus point, but the Ilkley fly half coolly slotted the kick.

Next week Park get a chance to put this disappointment behind them if they can win at home against newcomers to the league, Horden.