Bonus point secured by Manor Park on Legends Day
MANOR Park heroes of yesteryear watched on with delight as the class of 2017 produced a bonus-point sealing win over Woodrush.
The club’s annual Legends Day attracted dozens of Park players despite the sodden conditions at the Griff and Coton.
But the two sides served up seven tries, many of them defying the unfavourable conditions, as Park moved 13 points clear of the relegation zone – and within one win of fifth place in Midlands 3 West South.
Buoyed by a brilliant showing at Ledbury last time out, Park made only one change to the starting line up with Adam Morris
starting and Matt Marston
manning the bench alongside the returning duo of Jak Watson
and Adam Moore
Just 43 seconds had been played when Woodrush opened the scoring with a sublime display of handling and support.
After retaining their own kick off attacking down the slope, the visitor’s number eight made big inroads on a strong running line before the outside-centre linked nicely with the left winger to score in the corner. The touchline conversion was pushed wide.
Park heads did not drop and when Woodrush did not roll away from the tackle deep inside their own 22, Chris Morewood
prodded a penalty kick to within five metres of the line.
The lineout was knocked on but Park drove their opponents off their own ball and into the in-goal area to earn the feed. Again it was loose catching that denied them – but the signs were ominous that Park were knocking on the door for a score.
Referee Kieran Bowerbank gave a warning to Woodrush for a series of penalty offences, Morewood kicked another penalty to touch.
soared to claim Stephen Ballard
’s throw and the forwards swarmed towards the line with Hykin touching down 15 metres infield. Morewood’s conversion put Park ahead on the scoreboard.
Woodrush attempted to wrestle back the lead with a 14th minute penalty from 35 metre out that was wayward.
Seconds later, a superb kick retrieve from Lineker Lashley
close to the touchline was allied by great speed and a measured chip ahead into the Woodrush 22. Unfortunately Joe Graham
’s hack ahead was just overcooked as the ball bobbled beyond the deadball line.
Woodrush worked themselves back into the game and from a scrum on the Park 22, they scored the game’s third try. The number eight scooped from the base, switching to the blindside to an unrushing back, running a sithing inside line which narrowly evaded the despairing dive of Will Woodward
to go over in the same corner as his side’s first try.
The conversion was missed as Park trailed 10-7 after 22 minutes.
Morewood’s 28th minute penalty attempt went wide, but five minutes before the break, Manor Park scored their second try of the afternoon.
From a scrum on their own 10-metre line, Morewood dinked behind the onrushing defence . Adam Bennett
put pressure on the retreating defender who desperately attempted to hack the ball into touch. He hadn’t accounted for Joe Reynolds
speeding in support to kick the loose ball into the 22 where a sliding collision with a covering defender saw the ball bounce free for Elliot Norman to scoop up and touch down for his first Manor Park try.
Morewood’s conversion was uncharacteristically wayward as Park took a two-point lead into the interval.
Both teams missed penalty inside the first ten minutes of the second half before Park improved their lead with their best try of the game.
A superb maul from a line out 22 metres out pushed Park deep into the red zone. With a penalty awarded, Hykin tapped and went, releasing out of the back door for Woodward to score a third try in scoreboard corner. With his toughest kick of the day, Morewood’s touchline conversion was successful. He added a penalty with 20 minutes to go to give Park a 22-10 lead.
With eight minutes to play, Woodrush scored a simply outstanding try to ensured the contest would go down to the wire.
Having slipped a tackle in midfield inside his own 22, Woodrush’s number 21 carried the ball with the ball in two hands keeping back-tracking defenders guessing before turning on the afterburners to touch down in container corner.
Woodrush’s hardwork was undone with two minutes left to play after a winger allowed Morewood’s clearance kick to roll between his legs before hurling the ball into vacant space behind his teammate allowing Norman to hack to within five metres of the line. Desperate Woodrush defence prompted a penalty award. While the referee must have been contemplating a yellow card, captain Chris Goode
ripped the ball from the floor, tapped and drove over by the posts to secure his side a try-scoring bonus point.
Morewood’s conversion was the last meaningful action of the game as Manor Park move into next weeks clash at home against Old Coventrians safe in the knowledge they have the ability to compete with any side in the division.