Percy Park leave it late and fall short against Sale

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Percy Park went with the side that did so well against Penrith last week, with the only change being the return of Austin Phillips for the injured Josh Hedley.

Park kicked off and as seems to be the norm these days conceded a try inside two minutes when Sale’s wing Josh O’Donnell crossed the line in the corner and Liam McGovern kicked the tricky conversion.

Six minutes later and some sloppy kicking allowed a counter attack by the direct running Sale three-quarters and skipper Matt Simpson scored, McGovern kicked the conversion.

Percy Park then hit back after a bit of good fortune, with Sale spilling the ball in midfield and Stu Findlay picked up and ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts for Toby Davison to convert.

The home side had a couple of chances to draw level, the best coming when Stu Cannon broke through several tackles five metres from the Sale line with Jack Davidson in support but unfortunately he could not get the ball free to his fellow flanker who would have had a simple touchdown.

Sale struck again with their back row working well off the back of the scrum with No. 8 scoring a converted try on 16 minutes.

The game could have spelled disaster for Park, but the side dug deep. After missing a kickable penalty in front of the posts, they had one of their best spells of possession but to no avail as the Sale defence was impenetrable.

In the second half Park had loads of possession, but struggled to break an excellent Sale defensive wall.

Sale then had a rare foray into the Park 22 and made it count with a try from centre Richard Coskie with McGovern keeping up his 100 per cent record with his fourth straight conversion.

Park now seemed to be getting on top of the visitors as Jack Davidson crossed the try line in the left hand corner only for play to be brought back for a knock on.

The ”never say die” attitude of the home team resulted in a penalty try on 76 minutes after several scrums close to the line were collapsed, with Sale’s Ben Lloyd was shown a yellow card for punching. Davison kicked the conversion.

Doubt seemed to be creeping into the Sale side, made worse when on 80 minutes George Lewis crossed the line after a well timed pass from George Purdy put the winger in for the try. Davison converted and Park were now in losing bonus point territory at 21-28.

The clock ticked on into injury time and Lewis scored again on 84 minutes. The conversion, which was to be the last kick of the match, led to cheers but they were from the travelling supporters as the kick just shaved the outside of the right hand post and Park were denied the draw, but still gained two valuable bonus points.

Next week Park’s 1st XV travel to Rossendale.