BIRKENHEAD PARK eventually broke their duck in National Three North as they took maximum points against Kendal at the Upper Park. Park built up a 29-17 advantage in a lively opening half and secured the bonus point with four well worked tries.
Skipper Dave Hall opened the scoring with a penalty after ten minutes and a good chase by winger Robbie Houliston created the platform for the first try by centre Greg Hughes after excellent work by Jack Ashcroft and the Woof brothers. Colin Campbell stormed over for the second try and a scrum against the head paved the way for Dave Ibbotson to cross unopposed for the next score. A Shaun Woof break put Hughes clear for the bonus point try just before the interval and Hall’s three conversions put Park in control.
Park did not make it easy for themselves in the second period as two penalties put Kendal within striking distance. Park’s inability to increase their score meant it was another nail biting finish but this time Park held on for a 29-23 victory much to the relief of the appreciative home crowd.
The Park backs looked a much more dangerous unit with Billy Woof taking over at stand off and Shaun Woof prominent at inside centre. The return of Dave Ibbotson has given leadership to the forwards and hooker Stu Brown and flanker Adam Cupples both were prominent against Kendal.
Director of Rugby John McNally said: “We were relieved to get the win at last and the maximum return was what we needed out of this game. We still need to improve our defence and our fitness as well so we are looking on this as just the start. We are facing a huge challenge but we have narrowed the gap on the sides immediately above us.”
This Saturday Park travel to unbeaten leaders Harrogate for what is a daunting task but they will be hoping to at least give a good account of themselves.
There was a double celebration at the Upper Park on Saturday night with the Wanderers also picking up their first victory in the Bateman BMW Premiership when they won a thriller 40-39 at Wilmslow.