Percy Park on brink of relegation after Waterloo defeat

Ali Blair goes over for a try for Percy Park against Waterloo.
Ali Blair goes over for a try for Percy Park against Waterloo.
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For the second successive week Percy Park were sunk after the 80th minute after having more of the play and possession.

The latest setback saw them came away from Waterloo with no points to show for all their efforts.

The game hinged on a handful of major events which conspired against the visitors and saw the home side pull off a Houdini style escape from the relegation zone to ensure national league rugby again next season.

The sizeable crowd saw Waterloo take a ten-point lead after Park had started the brighter.

A penalty on 13 minutes by Liam Reeve was increased with a converted try ten minutes later.

With Waterloo on the attack, fly-half Reeve put in a cross-field kick which appeared to be going dead but bounced inside the dead-ball area and came back infield to the waiting hands of left wing Luke Blease, who dabbed the ball down for the easiest try he will score this season.

Park, as in the game a week earlier, had more of the possession but just could make it count.

The Percy Park pack had the edge in both scrum and lineout, but the Blundellsands side’s defence was strong and determined, and it took a moment of individual skill for George Lewis to unpick the defensive lock with quick feet, stepping through the slightest of gaps and side-stepping the home full-back to score under the posts on 32 minutes.

Toby Davison kicked the extras and Park were on the scoreboard and back in the game as the half ended 10-7 to the home side.

Percy Park took the lead ten minutes into the second period with Ali Blair scoring in the left hand corner, despite the close attention of several defenders, and the suspicion of a knock-on in the build up.

Thomas Turnbull was replaced by Connor Tubman, who then switched to scrum-half with George Lewis moving to the fly-half berth.

The move appeared to have paid off when the young scrum-half showed his pace in tearing away from the base of a scrum down the blind side, and drawing the last defender to put flanker Jack Davidson in at the corner.

The referee, however, judged the final pass to be forward and the score was ruled out.

Waterloo came straight back and with two long-range penalties from the boot of Reeve, Park needed a try to win the game.

The visitors threw everything at the home team and a promising attack saw Park with an overlap, but a long cut out pass was intercepted by veteran South African centre Freeman Payne who used his long stride to race the length of the field to score in the 85th minute to put the final nail in Park’s coffin.

Next week Percy Park travel to Huddersfield knowing that only a bonus point win will be sufficient to stave off relegation, but a win for Huddersfield will give them the league title.