Percy Park win cross-Tyne derby against Westoe

Percy Park's Jimmy Baldwin breaks a tackle to score against Westoe.
Percy Park's Jimmy Baldwin breaks a tackle to score against Westoe.

Percy Park claimed the bragging rights with a bonus point win in the North/South Shields derby at Wood Terrace against Westoe.

Park scored almost from the kick-off with only 35 seconds on the clock as full-back Michael Grove finished off a move without the home side touching the ball other than from the kick itself.

Percy Park's Kieran Sutherland in action against Westoe.

Percy Park's Kieran Sutherland in action against Westoe.

Karl Thompson claimed the ball from the start and offloaded to Josh Hedley before Ethan Wilson drove on. The ball was spun to the back line and Ali Blair found Grove on hand to run in the try, shrugging off the would-be tackler as he crossed the line.

Westoe struck back minutes later with a penalty before an ugly incident saw Blair lifted off the ground and driven into the perimeter fence. Craig Olugbode was yellow carded for the tackle but Blair was also sent to the bin for retaliation.

Grove kicked Park further ahead when the home side were penalised for another dangerous tackle, and then with his second try and conversion it was 15-3 with all Park’s points coming from the young full-back.

In the programme notes for the game, the physical nature of the previous week’s encounter between Wheatley Hills and South Shields Westoe was mentioned, but it was Westoe who this week were guilty of a string of high tackles which saw hooker Grant Walker shown a yellow on 32 minutes then second row Andrew Kirton was sent to the cooler three minutes later for a tip tackle.

Michael Grove's first try for Percy Park against Westoe.

Michael Grove's first try for Percy Park against Westoe.

Park took advantage of the numerical advantage when Kieran Sutherland chipped over the heads of the rush defence and retrieved the ball and dived over the try line for the score on 39 minutes. Grove hit the post with the conversion attempt that bounced out.

With the home side restored to 15 players and on 46 minutes the pack went over for a try from a catch and drive in the lineout and at half-time they trailed 20-10 as Luke Moffett kicked the added points.

Westoe showed spirit and determination in defence although Park had more of the ball and were on top in the set scrum.

Fly-half John Scott got on the scoresheet on 52 minutes as he ghosted through a gap in the defence and then sprinted to the line beating the cover defence for an unconverted try.

Two minutes later scrum-half Jimmy Baldwin scored after Toby Davison beat the defence with a dummy and raced past the Westoe back line. Baldwin was on hand to go through a gap near the line as the ball was recycled and Grove kicked the conversion.

Westoe came back with a strong period of possession that culminated in Andrew Kirton going over for a try converted by Lewis Hagan on 64 minutes.

The fractious nature of the game continued as South Shields replacement Chris Laycock was sin binned along with Park’s replacement Harry Watson as the pair exchanged blows.

Percy Park had the last word with a training ground move from the lineout just inside the Westoe 22. Josh Hedley took the ball at the front, feeding Andy Dunn who raced to the line. An inside pass back to Hedley gave him the space to go over the whitewash for the try. The conversion was missed but the final whistle went for a 37-17 victory for the North Shields outfit who now move up to sixth place in North 1 East.

Next week Park play host to local rivals Northern with an early kick-off at 2pm to allow the players to watch the World Cup semi-final in the bar at 4pm.