Return home brings needed win for Park

Percy Park's Adam Morton goes over for a try against Billingham.
Percy Park's Adam Morton goes over for a try against Billingham.
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IN week nine of the league campaign, Percy Park were glad of a home fixture against Billingham after two consecutive losses on the road.

Park player coaches Chris Hyndman and Michael Stephenson were both unavailable.

The visitors scored first with a penalty from the boot of Peter Evans, but Ash Smith levelled the score on 13 minutes.

The cold must have had an effect on the hands as both sides spilled the ball more than usual in a somewhat scrappy first 30 minutes.

Billingham attacked the Park line close to the end of the first period, but it was the hosts who led at the break as Liam Blackburn finished off a fine try in the left hand corner from a move started by man of the match Adam Morton.

The Billingham rush defence had closed down Park’s attacking options but a chip over the heads of the oncoming defenders saw Morton retrieve his own chip and set away fellow centre Ali Blair.

He offloaded to Blackburn on his outside and he cut in off his wing to beat two covering defenders for the score. Smith kicked the conversion on the stroke of half-time to give Park a 10-3 lead.

Park played better in the second period but found it difficult to break through the solid defensive. Smith kicked a further penalty on the hour after Billingham were offside.

A few minutes later the visitors were reduced to 14 men for slowing down Park possession in a good attacking position.

Eventually, after a patient period of play, Morton went over for a try which was converted by Smith and Park were now 20-3 in front.

Restored back to 15, Billingham had their best attacking move of the game as right wing Craig Shepherd was put clear, but a try-saving tackle by Phil Morse put him into touch just short of the line.

Shepherd did make amends on 76 minutes when he went over in the corner, but Peter Evans’ conversion attempt was well wide of the mark.

For the remaining five minutes Park played keep ball to see out time.

The win keeps Park third in the league, with both sides newly promoted to National 3 North giving good accounts of themselves.

On Saturday, Percy Park travel west to meet Burnage for the first time since their promotion play-off game in 2011.

BILLINGHAM LIONS .... 10

PERCY PARK LIONS .... 62

PERCY Park Lions won their Candy League 1 fixture at Greenwood Road with a comfortable ten try tally showing the current strength in depth in the senior squad.

Jimmy Baldwin, James Ponton and George Lewis all moved up to the firsts, but the Lions welcomed back Alan Blakey and Martin Shaw.

Billingham scored first with a penalty, before Park racked up 38 unanswered points in the first half. Billingham did score with a penalty try before Park piled on the pressure finishing winners 62-10.

James Bird was man of the match with a hat-trick of tries. Park’s other tries came from Olly Gilmore, Alan Blakey, Harry Thorpe, Hamish Lockwood, Martin Shaw, James Grieve and Ethan Wilson. The conversions were shared equally between Simon Greatham and Bird.

Next week the Lions take on Alnwick II hoping to avenge their cup final defeat at the end of last season. The game is at home, kick off 2.15pm.

MORPETH STAGS .... 33

PERCY PARK MARAUDERS .... 0

THE Marauders lost at Mitford Road to the Stags, who scored five tries through Menzies (2) Crawford, Burville and Young. Four of the tries were converted by Ollie Smith.