NORTHUMBERLAND SENIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL
PERCY PARK 14 – 25 TEAM NORTHUMBRIA
Northumbria University ended Park’s hopes of winning the Senior Cup for a fourth consecutive season with their 25 – 14 victory at Preston Avenue. The last time the two sides met Park put 95 points on the students at Bullocksteads in their last season before quitting the RFU leagues to concentrate on their BUCS rugby in the top flight of University and College Rugby.
Northumbria have been training hard for several weeks to hit the ground running, and this showed in the early exchanges in a fast paced game as they opened an early 8 point lead with a penalty and then a try on 8 minutes.
Park came back with a Morse penalty before Team Northumbria scored their second try of the day which scrum half Wilson was unable to convert. Morse slotted a second penalty but just before the break the students went over again and led 18 – 6 at half –time.
Percy Park had the wind advantage in the second half and ten minutes in Andy Dunn powered over for a try to keep Park in contention.
Double trouble hit the home side minutes later when Phil Morse limped off and Sean Williamson was sent off, and Park had to play out the remainder of the game with 14 men.
Park had their chances, the best coming from a break out of defence by skipper Micky Langlands who off loaded to open-side Ethan Wilson in support. The young flanker sped off up field but had the foresight to chip ahead as the defenders caught up with him. Stuart Findlay chipped on but his final touch was too strong and the ball went dead with the try line beckoning.
Percy Park played several of last season’s Academy with Michael Groves coming on for Phil Morse, and Liam Scott coming into the back row. The club’s new recruits were also in evidence, and there was no doubting their effort and commitment, but the University were just a bit too strong on the day.
Northumbria’s final score came from a converted try with 10 minutes remaining, and although Park played with great spirit, they couldn’t come back and Team North go through to the semi-finals.
Next week the 1st XV play their first league game of the new season and welcome Waterloo, KO 3pm. The Lions travel to Billingham and the Pumas are in action at Barmoor where they take on Ryton II.