Creditable performance from AK2XV
in a home defeat to Birkenhead Park
Altrincham Kersal 2s 14-31 Birkenhead Park 2s
Tries: Matt Tully, Jon Bishop
Conversion: Matt Tully (x2)
Altrincham Kersal 2nd XV faced what they knew would be a tough encounter this Saturday, against top of the league Birkenhead Park.
Kersal knew they had to start the match firing and they did precisely that, repelling the opposition attacks and forcing them backwards. When in possession, Kersal knew they had to keep control of the ball and wait for attacking opportunities to arise. Kersal stuck to this game plan and that’s exactly what happened, as after powerful scrum inside the Birkenhead 22, patient and powerful waves off pick and goes created space under the posts for fly-half Matt Tully to crash over the try line putting the home side 7-0 up. Not long after Birkenhead Park scored a try of their own as, despite their best efforts, Kersal could not stop the strong attacking runners from crossing over for the try.
With the score tied at 7-7, Kersal did not get dispirited as they forced and an error off the kick off. Back in possession and under control, Kersal worked their way back up the pitch into Birkenhead territory. Another scrum 5 metres out provided the platform the forwards had been waiting for, and much to the delight of the pack and the on-looking spectators the scrum powered forwards as number 8 Jon Bishop dotted the ball down to see Kersal take a 14-7 lead going into half-time.
Having set the bar high for themselves and frustrating the opposition, Kersal knew that Birkenhead Park would come out of the blocks firing after knowing they were receiving a rollicking from their coach at half-time. They did so, however Kersal did not make it easy for them as it was a long time into the second half before they got their try to level the game. Kersal missed the chance to creep ahead as a penalty attempt was pushed narrowly wide. Late on in the second half Birkenhead managed to string together a few tries to take, then extend their lead, but this did not stop Kersal from giving everything in both attacking and defensive play. As the full-time whistle sounded, despite the loss, Kersal came off the field with their heads held high and the Birkenhead Park players, who in the reverse fixture had put 128 points passed the Kersal side, were sure to show their admiration for the Kersal players’ performance on the day, having had them on the ropes for a big portion of the match.
Next Saturday the side face their first away trip of 2019, travelling north to play Penrith 2nd XV.
Report by: Andy Thomas