Another cracking day for rugby saw Percy Park avenge the home and away defeats to Bradford and Bingley last season.
In the end this was a comprehensive bonus point win which takes Park up to fourth place in the league, although few could have guessed the outcome of the game when Bradford prop Ryan Wederell went over for a try with less than a minute played.
Park came back with a penalty from Simon Greetham before the centre had to leave the field with a dead-leg.
The Bradford & Bingley pack had the upper hand in the first 15 minutes with strong scrummaging and Park were under the cosh, but defended remarkably well, and on 20 minutes Ali Blair scored the first of his two tries to give the home side a 8-5 lead, although two minutes later scrum half turned fly half Tom Bills equalised for the visitors.
Park came back with another Blair try a minute later as Park reclaimed the kick off and set up camp in the Bees 22. The ball was spun left and after a few phases a delicate pass by Phil Morse saw Blair cut through the defence to score an unconverted try.
And Park struck again as quick ball found James Ponton who broke the gain line and offloaded in the tackle to George Lewis who’s nimble footwork took him over the line for a try which Toby Davison converted and Park led 20-8.
The Bees came back in the game and after several minutes entrenched in the Park 22, their stand in scrum half used his bulk to smash his way over after a quickly taken penalty.
There was still time in the half for Park to go further ahead through a Davison penalty on 41 minutes to take Park into the break 23-15 up.
Park had the slight wind advantage in the second half which was fully exploited, with long range kicks keeping the bees pinned down in their own 22.
Bradford had a player sent to the bin for deliberately slowing the ball down and Morse kicked to the corner. The black and white pack marched to the line with Ponton getting the touch down. Davison kicked the extras and Park now had their four tries for a bonus point.
Another catch and drive took play closer to the Bees try line. The ball was eventually spun right to Michael Langlands who went over for a try on 53 minutes.
A kickable penalty in front of the posts was gratefully accepted as Davison took Park further ahead before 18-year-old Ethan Wilson broke through a gap in the Bradford ruck defence to score his 1st XV debut try.
Bees lack of discipline at the break down incurred the wrath of referee James Brown once again as open side David Barden was shown a red card for allegedly kneeing a Park player on the ground.
Although Bradford and Bingley were unable to add to their score, they also prevented Park from doing so and the game ended 45-15 to Percy Park.
Next week Park travel to Burnage, to play on their 4G pitch.
UBS CANDY LEAGUE 1
WEST HARTLEPOOL 34
PERCY PARK LIONS 10
On the back of a resounding win last week against Billingham, the Lions had a wake up call going down to the West Stags at Brinkburn.
Park were somewhat depleted with several call ups to the 1st XV and no fewer than ten changes from the side last Saturday. Park’s tries came from Ryan Wilson and Matty Marshall.