WITH Rochdale riding high at third in the league and pushing for promotion this was going to be another tough game for Winnington Park who are fighting to stay in this league.

The last fixture in October was a tight game with Rochdale snatching victory in the dying seconds, but unfortunately Park’s performance since that game has faltered and were desperate to turn the tide.

Alas, it was not to be with the visitors running out 30-13 winners.

Park were under pressure within minutes after a mistake at the back of the scrum saw the ball bounce away from the scrum half to see a Rochdale back-row player gather the ball and dive over the line.

Both sides swapped penalties and as the game settled Park began to play some good attacking rugby.

Fine play from back row Gary Dykes and Matt Treacy gained considerable ground.and from a maul quick hands saw Ben Critchley to score in the corner.

Park continued to dominate and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. They kicked for touch won the line out ball drove forward for captain Dave Cross to peel off the back on the blind side to score. The kicked was missed as the wind began to pick up.

Rochdale scored their second try with a scrum ten metres from the Park line they had a strong drive gathering pace for their number 8 to touch down at the back of the pack.

The kick was missed seeing the score 13 each at half time.

The second half started a little frantic with a Rochdale player being given the yellow card for tackling with a swinging arm shortly followed by a Park player for allegedly tackling with no arms being wrapped.

After a Rochdale drive over try Park unfortunately began to make mistakes and the tackling in the backs began to go amiss resulting in another try. .

Rochdale had a further player sent off for another high tackle but this did not faze them, scoring their fifth try in the corner.

Coach Farr said: “This was a disappointing result. We had the opportunity to win the game but again poor decision making kicking in the wind rather than keeping the ball in the hand.” poor tackling when it counted. The lads have the ability to win games but keep putting themselves under pressure costing us games” We need to focus throughout the full game instead of in patches”


Shaun Underdown, Jake Cornwell, Mike Eaves, Dave Cross, Jordan France, Gary Dykes, Matt Treacy, Cameron Heron, Charlie Smith, Alex Burrage, Sam Brookes, Jack Johnson, Lee Allmark, James Pugh, Josh Gibbons, Ben Critchley,Dan Snowden and Matt Cross.

Park play Sefton away next week which is a game they need to win to have the confidence to hopefully stay in this challenging league.