BIRKENHEAD PARK returned from Penrith with two valuable points in National Three North after earning a draw with a last minute try by Martin O’Keefe which skipper Dave Hall converted to tie the match 17-all.
Park maintained their improved form and have now lost only one of their last four games. After being eleven points adrift at the foot of the table at one point Park have now moved above Kendal but are still four points behind West Hartlepool.
Penrith are notoriously difficult to beat at Winters Park and Birkenhead had to work extremely hard after falling behind 14-0 in the first half hour.
Penrith number 8 Raine opened the scoring after 17 minutes and then a promising Park attack was intercepted deep in the Penrith 22 by fly half Steve Wood who raced the length of the pitch for the second home score.
Wood converted both to give Penrith a good head start but Dave Hall hit back for Park with a try which he converted to half the deficit at the break.
The match continued to be hard fought in the second half with Wood and Hall exchanging penalties.
Park had to defend doggedly to keep the Cumbrians at bay and were further hindered with the Woof brothers both spending time in the sin bin.
With time running out Dave Hall saved the day with a great cover tackle to deprive Penrith of a match winning try. Park launched a final attack and good forward play resulted in the equalising score with the very last move of the game.
Park skipper Dave Hall had an excellent match and is leading the Park revival by example.
Park President Mark McNally said: “We were pleased to get a reward for our endeavours and the two points have seen us move off the foot of the table for the first time this season. It is a further boost to morale but we have still got to make up a lot of ground to get out of the relegation zone.”
There was an encouraging win for the Park Wanderers who defeated Liverpool St Helens in the Bateman BMW Premiership.
There is another break in the league programme this weekend but a place in the Cheshire Cup Final is at stake when Park entertain Chester in the semi final.
Park disposed of Macclesfield in the quarter finals but with Chester leading the National 3 North table they will start as strong favourites.
Kick off on Saturday is 2.15 at the Upper Park.