Alt.Kersal 21 Winnington Park 18
By Brian Concannon
Park run league leaders very close!
Match report by Dave Snasdell
This was going to be a tough game against the top of the league and if anything was to go by the home game in which AK snatched victory from Park by just one point it was going to be a great game for the travelling fans.
Park started well and within 5 minutes put points on the board by Sam Brookes after AK were given a penalty against them for offside. The glory was short lived with a try by AK and a conversion.
Within 10 minutes AK were back on the score sheet with a further try after some good ball skills passing the ball from one wing to the other at pace creating an overlap to score in the corner. The kick was converted.
Park were not phased and continued to take the game to the home side. Park were unlucky to score with a interception by Dan Eastwood to sprint over 30 metres towards the line but was caught by a AK player to dismay of the away fans.
With 5 minutes before half time AK number 8 was given a yellow card for a high tackle. Shortly after Park hit the scoreboard with a try from Mike Hallworth after a line out near the AK line both Hallworth and Shaun Underdown drove at the line to go over. The kick was converted by Sam Brookes. The celebrations were short lived with AK replying straight away with a further try after a penalty they kicked into the corner one the line out a couple of quick passes to go through the Park defence to score under the post and converted the kick. Park trailed 21 to 10 at the half time whistle but you had the feeling Park were not out of the game and would come out fighting for the second half.
Within minutes of the second half AK were given another yellow card after another late tackle on a Park player. The penalty was converted by Sam Brookes.
Coach Farr made some changes putting on Archie Sanchez and Alex Glendining. Park continued to put pressure on AK and were rewarded with a further penalty and another yellow card was given to an AK player for continually not being 10 metres from the penalty. Park continued the pressure which payed off with a try from Sam Houghton but the kick was missed.
Park continued to drive forward and were camped on the AK line for some time but just could not break the AK defence.
Within minutes to go Park were back on their line, Dan Williams sprinted passed a couple of players saw a gap and kicked the ball in space on the wing for Archie Sanchez to chase onto. He had two AK players in pursuit and one of them pulled his shirt back to slow him down. The referee gave a penalty but the Park fans though this was deserving of at least a yellow card or a penalty try but it was not to be Parks day. With time fading away Park spent the last few minutes camped 10 metres out from the AK line but could not finish the last phase. The referee blew for full time with a final score of 21 to 18.
I am sure AK were relieved to hear the final whistle as Park again had tested them to the end and certainly deserve to be up there with AK in the top three teams on the performances they have put in against the top sides.
All the Park players put their heart into this game and although were beaten can come away proud of the performance. Sam Brookes had a great game today and commanded the pitch. The Pack again were punching above their weight with some fantastic runs by Shaun Underdown and Harry Stubbs. Gary Dykes was everywhere and put some great tackles in.
Squad, Shaun Underdown,Andrew Evans, Dan Snowden,Mike Hallworth,Mike Eaves,Harry Stubbs,Gary Dykes,Dan Williams,Matt Cross,Sam Brookes,Lee Allmark,Sam Houghton,Ryan Williams,James Moran,Alex Glendining,Dan Eastwood,Archie Sanchez and Dave Cross.