4:27pm Wednesday 26th March 2014
By Andrew Simpson
Ruskin Park 17 Winnington Park 18
WINNINGTON Park spent almost the entire second half on the back foot, but defended stoutly to complete a league double over Ruskin Park on Saturday.
The visitors, much-changed from their previous outing against champions-elect New Brighton, protected an 18-7 interval advantage to record only a third win away from Burrows Hill during the current campaign.
They led when, following a scrum deep in the hosts’ 22, scrum half Mike Jones spotted a gap through which he darted to score the game’s opening try.
Chris Heptinstall, recalled in place of injured Jack Williams, slotted the conversion.
Park were sloppy from the restart, conceding a lineout close to their line that ended with Ruskin’s centre charging over the line to touch down.
A successful conversion restored parity on the scoreboard.
Winnington spent the remainder of the half camped in Ruskin territory and, after persistent infringements at the ruck, they were awarded a penalty kicked successfully by Heptinstall.
They went further ahead when a clearance was gathered by Gareth Owen who, after catching his own kick forward, fed Heptinstall out wide who sprinted over the whitewash.
After he added another three-pointer, Park’s interval lead was worth 11 points.
Playing against a strong wind, the visitors were pinned in their own 22 for most of the second period.
They ceded a numerical advantage to the home team too when Shaun Underdown and John McHugh were both sent to the sin bin.
Ruskin notched two tries, neither converted, to close to within a point but could not break through again.
Park Underdown, Evans, Wharton, McHugh (Lepenieuski), Stubbs, Ridgway, Danny Williams, Dykes, Jones, Heptinstall, Charlton, Reeks, Robins (Allmark), Lamb, Owen. Replacement not used Warr. Tries Jones, Heptinstall. Con Heptinstall. Pens Heptinstall (2).
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