WEST HARTLEPOOL STAGS 24 – 31 PERCY PARK LIONS
Park’s 2nd XV win overshadowed the 1st XV victory over near neighbours Northern, only by virtue of the fact that to the non-partisan observer, it could have been considered a shock result. The Lions were promoted to the Candy League Division 1 after winning Division 2 in style last season. The Stags won Division 1 in the same season without losing a game.
The Candy Leagues, so named because the aim was to attract sides from Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire, is now mainly contested by Durham and Northumberland sides, but the single league has grown to two with club second XV’s taking part.
Park had lost both previous Candy games so far this season by only a single point, to Billingham Lions and Morpeth Reivers, and after they had conceded 19 quick unanswered points against the Stags realised the task ahead of them. The Park players dug deep and came back to level the scores at half time 19 – 19.
In the second period Park took the lead in a game which was eventually won with a bonus point 31 – 24, with tries coming from Matthew Ovington (2), Adam Fidler (2) and Kai Downey Stevenson. Conversions were by Paul Spowart (2) and Simon Greatham. There were also strong performances by Thomas Turnbull who captained the side, Jack Davidson, and Andy Dunn who played out of position at prop.