FOR the second week in a row, Percy Park took on opposition from Halifax, this time at home to Old Crossleyans who had celebrated their first win of the season the previous week.
Park were more than a little disappointed at their second half performance away to Old Brodleians last week and had a chance to make amends.
The home side made a couple of changes with Andy Dunn returning at hooker, and Olly Gilmore playing at scrum-half allowed Ash Smith to return to full-back and David Griffiths to the centre.
Old Crossleyans kicked off with the sun at their backs and the first ten minutes saw Park with almost all the possession.
Simon Greatham retained the kicking duties but was off target with a penalty on three minutes.
The home side took play deep into the visitors half and a series of rucks was finished off with a charge to the try line by Michael Langlands who went over, with Greatham adding the conversion.
Old Crocs came back with a penalty by full-back Thomas Leigh.
Park stepped up a gear and maintained constant pressure on the Yorkshiremen before back rower Gerard Rollins was sent to the sin bin for slowing down the Park ball. Greatham kicked the penalty.
With superior numbers Park looked certain to score as their forwards battered away as the Crocs defence creaked.
Andy Dunn went close to scoring before fellow front row colleague Joe Wafer barged over for a try wide on the left wing. Greatham slotted the difficult conversion attempt to take the lead to 17-6 with 25 minutes gone.
Leigh hit back with another penalty before Craig Fidler used his strength and physique to cross the line to score on 33 minutes, and again Greatham was on the mark with his conversion.
With half-time approaching, Park conceded a penalty inside the visitors half and with quick thinking, Northumbria University student Ed Cockcroft took a quick tap and set off up field, releasing James Wainwright who sped towards the Park line, but a try saving tackle by Ali Blair kept Crossleyans out.
Although the Park forwards were in command, the back division were not firing on all cylinders, but a fine individual break by Blair on 44 minutes saw the Park left wing score under the posts with Greatham kicking the easy conversion.
From the restart Michael Langlands commanded the ball and set off up field, breaking several tackles before passing to Howard Stock on Park’s right wing to set off towards the try line.
James Ponton received a pass then drew the final defender to offload to prop Wafer who scampered over the line for his second score of the game.
With the conversion, once again by Greatham, Park led 38-6.
Old Crossleyans’ never say die attitude was commendable and they fought back and applied pressure to the Park line.
When Zak Appleby-Rutter did not retreat to the try line after a penalty was awarded and stopped an Old Crocs quick tap penalty, he was yellow carded by referee Craig Wrightson.
Ever alert, scrum-half Cockroft saw Chris Seymour unmarked on the right wing and hoisted a well placed kick to the centre who had the simplest of tasks to catch the ball and dab it down for the try.
Park struck back with another score after a good break by fly-half Phil Morse.
With Blair in support, he received the pass and scored his second try, which was again converted by Greatham.
With the game in over time, Crocs struck again and this time Joe Baker scored a try on the left wing after several passages of play. This time Leigh kicked the conversion.
DARLINGTON MP II 24
PERCY PARK LIONS 35
PERCY Park’s 2nd XV produced an outstanding performance in beating Darlington Mowden Park 35-24, which will surely give the selectors some problems this week.
Losing at half-time, Park came back to win 35-24 with tries from Tony Dunn, Austin Philips, Jack Davidson and Matthew Ovington.
Marcus Rutter kicked a penalty and two conversions while Paul Spowart kicked two penalties and one conversion to complete the scoring.
PERCY PARK MARAUDERS 49
WALLSEND WARRIORS 3
ANOTHER good win by Park’s 4th XV, 49-3 over Wallsend Warriors, sees them undefeated so far this season.
This weekend Park’s 1st XV are at home to Gateshead, with the Lions on their travels again to Westoe. The Pumas take on Northern III and the Marauders are away to Blaydon Bricks.