Park end season on a high and secure fourth

Percy Park's Ali Blair battles through for a try against Penrith.
Percy Park's Ali Blair battles through for a try against Penrith.

Percy Park ended the season as it had begun with a win over Penrith to finish fourth in the National 3 North division, their highest placing since the leagues began.

Before the match more than 100 club members and guests attended a lunch along with four past presidents of the Rugby Football Union – Dale Sefontein (president in 1992-3), Derek Morgan (2002-3), John Own (2009-10) and Richard Appleby (2010-11).

The match kicked off in fine conditions, with Park making the front running until Penrith scored a well worked try under the posts, somewhat against the run of play.

Ten minutes later Park scored their first of seven tries on the day with Ali Blair going over after a break by Ash Smith. The conversion hit the post and stayed out.

Park ran the ball out of defence but a wide pass was intercepted on the 22 by Steven Wood to go under the posts to give Penrith a 14-5 lead.

Percy Park continued to pressure the Cumbrians line, but they defended well and kept the home side out until the 34th minute when Michael Stephenson scored a try started by a long clearance kick from Phil Morse.

The kick bounced awkwardly for the Penrith defender, and Morse retrieved his own kick and offloaded to Howard Stock who set Stephenson loose before he powered through the last 2 defenders on the line but was injured in doing so.

Almost from the re-start Park gave away a soft penalty and Wood kicked his side further in front 17-12.

With the first half drawing to an end Park worked the ball forward and when Joe Wafer was stopped inches from the line, Jack Davidson picked up and drove over for the score, with Smith converting.

Another lapse in play gifted Penrith another kickable penalty on half time, with Wood again putting his side in front 20-19.

Percy Park scored inside a minute of the re-start, claiming their fourth try and bonus point. Quick ball from scrum half Ollie Gilmore set up Smith who passed to Ali Blair who drew his man and put Liam Blackburn in at the corner.

Penrith hit back with a try on the right wing after a long cut out pass found Gary Hodgson in space to go over and the visitors went further ahead after some poor Park tackling saw Ed Swale score an unconverted try.

On 67 minutes Park regained the lead after Smith weaved his way through the visitors defence to score close to the posts.

When Park were awarded a penalty three minutes later the ball was kicked to the corner and from the line-out a maul was driven across the Penrith line with No.8 Ben Bell touching down.

Park had the last word with Davidson scoring his second try of the day, and Smith converted for the 47-32 win.