REPORT: Park prove mettle against title favourites

5:09pm Wednesday 12th March 2014

By Andrew Simpson

Winnington Park 23 New Brighton 27

WINNINGTON Park’s run of three straight wins on home turf – their best at Burrows Hill this season – came to an end against champions-elect New Brighton.

Harry Stubbs’ men, beaten 87-0 in the return back in October, restored pride too after making the title favourites work for their win on Saturday.

The teams were tied at 10-10 by the break too.

“I thought we showed great fight and spirit,” said the hosts’ captain.

“It was a shame that sloppy tackling allowed them to score more tries than they should have, but we should be positive about how we attacked against them.”

Ned Brooks and Vinny Dutton both crossed the whitewash after dancing past defender’s tackles, though neither was converted.

Winnington replied with a pair of tries, including one for fast-improving Gareth Owen after a slick lineout and quick hands from his teammates had created an opening.

New Brighton started the second period as they had the first, Dutton touching down again on 47 minutes.

Stuart Gratton then notched a maiden try for the visitors, though Stubbs then led raids for Park that were prevented from becoming scores by perfectly-timed tackles from full back Sean Ellis and winger Joe Silcock.

The away team added to their tally when Luke Thompson applied the finishing flourish to a fine team move, though Danny Williams’ superb interception try to keep alive Park’s hopes of a comeback.

By the time Lee Allmark crossed the line shortly afterwards, they had closed to within four points their guests.

Stubbs added: “We wondered a little what might have been had we been a bit tighter.

“We can look forward to finishing the season strongly though.

“Tom Bannister, like Gareth, is another growing at this level. Jack Williams is starting to form an understanding with scrum half Mike Jones too.”

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