BIRKENHEAD PARK produced their best form of the season to secure an important National 3 North victory over an in-form Bradford & Bingley at the Upper Park on Saturday.
Park’s five tries secured their first bonus point of the campaign in a 33-16 win.
The Bees started confidently as Park defended solidly to keep the visitors out until scrum-half Richard Scull broke the deadlock with a penalty after 25 minutes.
Park hit back and a powerful forward surge led by Dave Ibbotson culminated in a try for hooker Stu Brown, converted by Dave Hall.
A Scull penalty made it 7-6 and a tackle by Danny Rich ensured Park maintained the lead at half-time.
A searing break by Greg Hughes signalled Park’s intentions at the start of the second-half and then great work by Colin Campbell led to a score by Jack Ashcroft, with Hall’s touchline conversion putting Park in control.
Park had to defend resolutely to keep their line intact as the Bees were forced to settle for a scrappy drop goal by Tom Bills.
Great work by skipper Hall put wing Robbie Houliston clear for the next Park try and the captain again slotted the conversion to give Park a 21-9 cushion with 15 minutes remaining.
Bees skipper Guy Ford then scored a five-pointer, converted by Scull, and another tense finale looked on the cards.
But it was Park who finished the game in style with two spectacular tries to secure a vital victory. First Houliston twice kicked through and plunged over for an opportunistic score; then Adam Cupples secured possession and raced the length of the pitch to set up Hughes.
Player/coach Shaun Woof said: “We have worked hard to improve areas of weakness and I think that showed in our performance today.
“We had plenty of team spirit and there were some outstanding individual performances as well.”
PARK travel to Penrith this Saturday – the Cumbrians are a tough side on their home turf and Park will need to improve further.