WINNINGTON Park demonstrated their defensive resilience to protect a narrow lead during last weekend’s victory against Marple at Burrows Hill.

They breathed a sigh of relief too when a penalty kick by the visitors – the final action of a close contest – fell short of its target.

Roger Pickering’s men put behind them back-to-back defeats against promotion-chasing rivals as a result.

They trailed 8-0 midway through the opening period on Saturday, when their guests moved the ball out wide to claim an opening try that they also converted.

A successful penalty attempt followed shortly afterwards.

Park began to pose an attacking threat of their own though before the break, and wing Josh Gibbins was unlucky to be denied a deserved try after a pass put him in the clear.

However the match official judged the assist to have been forward.

The hosts were not put off, and Alex Glendinning darted through a gap in the visitors’ defence, touching down between the posts, following a fine phase of play.

Cameron Flanagan kicked the extras to make it 10-7.

Marple improved their tally by converting another three-pointer, but the home team again responded.

With time running out before the break, Josh Brown powered over the whitewash.

Flanagan was again reliable with the boot to edge his side in front by half-time at 14-13.

A familiar face returned to the field in Park’s colours in the second period when Sam Brookes, back in town after working away for the past couple of years, entered the fray.

First-team skipper Dave Cross and Mike Eaves joined him, and together they gave Park an impetus to put pressure on Marple’s defence.

The visitors resisted though, and their defiance was almost rewarded when they were awarded a late penalty.

Fortunately for Park, they did not take their chance.

Park | Nick Brown, Evans, Ridgway, Crosby, Josh Brown, Treacy, Glendinning, Danny Williams, Pugh, Jack Williams, Lamb, Owens, Allmark, Gibbins, Flanagan Replacements Dave Cross, Brookes, Eaves Tries Glendinning, Josh Brown Cons Flanagan (2)