Park pick up bonus point victory

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Skipper Michael Langlands secured a bonus point win with Park’s fourth try of the game to win this Tyne Tees derby at Greenwood Road.

Both teams had to make late changes with Sean Williamson coming in for James Ponton after the Park player sustained an injury during midweek training.

The game kicked off in perfect conditions if not a bit warm for the players, and Park kicked off down the slope with the sun in their eyes.

Billingham had the first chance to get the scoreboard moving with a penalty by Peter Evans which went wide, but three minutes later he was on target as Park were reduced to 14 men as Langlands was binned an alleged trip.

Percy Park hit back with a try by Jimmy Baldwin after the ball was turned over and Guy Pike made a strong run through the home defence. Phil Morse shipped the ball wide and Baldwin stepped inside the cover defence to score close to the posts, with Toby Davison converting.

Davison kicked a penalty soon after as Park led 10-3.

Both sides at times were guilty of losing possession, and when Park were robbed of the ball in a tackle, Billingham attacked down the left hand side with Craig Shepherd forcing his way over for the try.

Replacement prop Steve Hutchinson was yellow carded for deliberately knocking the ball out of the Park scrum half’s hand in a ruck and the visitors capitalised soon after when a flowing move found full back Davison in the line to score. The conversion was just wide.

Right on the stroke of half time, Billingham scored a good try after a defensive lapse in the Park line, drawing the sides level at 15-15.

In the second period Park pinned Billingham in their own 22, but managed to steal the home line out. Quick ball found Ali Blair at outside centre who raced to the line for the try.

Billingham then had a spell when the red mist seemed to descend and they were penalised for deliberately wheeling the scrummage. More back chat to referee Nick Ramsden lost them a further ten metres putting the ball in range for a penalty which Davison kicked.

Park continued to press and Morse went for a speculative drop goal which was charged down and the ball ricocheted back into the Percy Park half. Pike retrieved possession and raced up field cutting through the broken Billingham line and was stopped just short of the try line.

Langlands was on hand at the resulting ruck and dived over for the try to give Park a 32-15 lead with only minutes remaining.

Park had another penalty chance but the kick was wide, although on 83 minutes the visitors attacked again and with an overlap and the Billingham defence in disarray, a wide cut out pass was intercepted by Evans who raced up field.

Although he was stopped in the Park 22, good backing up led to a try by centre Tom Small.

Next week Park entertain Bradford and Bingley at Preston Avenue, kick off 3pm.

Percy Park Lions 64

Billingham Lions 20

UBS Candy League 1

The two side met only three weeks earlier when Billingham edged it 27-24. With both teams having made several changes due to injury and unavailability, it was Park who came out on top with a strong performance for a bonus point win.

Park scored ten tries with Liam Blackburn getting three while Director of Rugby Thomas Turnbull, stepped in at No.8, also grabbing a hat-trick.

There were also scores from Stevie Irving, Leo Caulfield, Oscar Pritchard and Zak Appleby-Rutter.

Next week the Lions travel to West Hartlepool to take on the Stags.

Wallsend Warriors 24

Percy Park Marauders 41

Northumberland Coquet League

The Marauders started their league campaign with a winning visit to Wallsend. In the spirit of sportsmanship Park loaned Wallsend three players to ensure the game could go ahead.

A good weekend for the club with three senior wins, and the Academy notching their first win of the season against Wigton Colts.