BIRKENHEAD PARK will be hoping to start the New Year with a bang when they welcome Waterloo to the Upper Park on Saturday for an important National 3 North derby, kick-off 2.15pm.
Park have made great progress in recent weeks winning four and drawing one of their last six games after a disastrous start to the season. Park still face a battle to move out of the relegation zone and victory over their old rivals would be the perfect start to year.
Park were again left frustrated by the decision of Chester not to fulfil the Cheshire Cup semi final scheduled for last Saturday.
Arrangements were in hand and the pitch was passed fit by the match referee but at the last minute Chester advised they were unable to raise a team to travel.
This was the second time Chester had withdrawn and the Park officials were furious at the loss of revenue and expenditure incurred.
Park President Mark McNally said: “Chester have shown no respect whatsoever either for us or for the Cheshire Cup competition , to do it twice in a matter of weeks is totally unacceptable.”
Park have been awarded a place in the final by default against local neighbours Caldy but it is a highly unsatisfactory way to reach the final.
On Friday night Park hosted the Old Birkonians and a healthy holiday crowd witnessed an entertaining match which the Park Invitation XV won 53-29.
The old boys fielded a true Old Birkonians side comprised of recent old boys under the guidance of the veteran Steve Hearn.
The old boys raced into a 17-0 lead as the veterans in the Park XV took a while to get into their stride.
Park fielded a side with a strong St Anselms College old boys element with the three Saverimutto brothers joined by three of the four O’Keefe brothers and Simon Mason.
Other Park players to turn out were former 1st team stalwarts Phil Reynolds, Neil Shaw, Sean Mooney, Danny Jones, Chris Wainwright, Steve Clarke, Peter Hart, Marc Harris and Steve Hancock who skippered the team.
For Birkonians Tom Bills scored two tries with Nick Hearn and Ian Gill one apiece and Sam Corbett was named man of the match.
For Park Martin O’Keefe scored two tries with brother Anthony also touching down along with John Lynch, Chris Wainwright and Danny Jones.
A fine individual try by full back Peter Hart rounded off the game.
Overall it was an excellent occasion and it is proposed to make it an annual event.