Ashton on Mersey 7 Winnington Park 57
HARRY Stubbs hailed a coming of age performance from Winnington as they ended the campaign with a fourth successive win.
Park’s captain watched the second half from the sideline following his earlier dismissal, a vantage point from which he admired the visitors’ maturity while outnumbered.
“A lot of these guys have gone from being boys to men,” he said.
“The way we’ve finished the season means we’ll take a great deal of momentum into the next one. Hopefully that can be a platform to improve again.”
Park’s best run of results since 2009 leaves them eighth in the table, the same as last term.
After running in 19 tries in their past two matches, it feels like an improvement.
Fraser Lindsay stepped away from covering defenders to touch down the game’s first try, converted by Sam Brookes.
Mike Jones passed wide to Chris Heptinstall for the visitors’ second score after they pinched possession five metres from the line.
A scrappy spell followed during which Shaun Underdown spent time in the sin bin, then Stubbs was sent off when he connected with an opposing player when attempting to kick clear.
Joe Robins claimed a fine solo try, converted by Brookes, to reassert Park’s superiority.
Lindsay then added an interception try, running more than half the the field to secure a bonus point. Brookes converted.
Heptinstall sold Ashton’s defence a dummy from a tap to set up a try for Underdown, again boosted by Brookes’ extras, before Mike Jones and then Brookes both crossed.
Scrum half Mike Jones was opportunistic from the base of a ruck to help Park to a half-century of points when he touched down for the second time, before Ashton replied.
Winnington were not done though, their depleted pack pushing the hosts backwards until replacement Terry Jones could pick up and score the contest’s final try.
Park Burgess, Robins, Underdown, Gately (Ridgway), Heale (Terry Jones), Dykes, Williams, Stubbs, Mike Jones, Brookes, Heptinstall, Reeks, Lindsay, Owen (Lamb), Allmark. Tries Lindsay (2), Mike Jones (2), Heptinstall, Robins, Underdown, Brookes, Terry Jones. Cons Brookes (6).