REGIONAL 2 NORTH – WEEK 4
UPPER EDEN RUFC 3 – 32 PERCY PARK RFC
Percy Park travelled across to Cumbria for the second time in 2 weeks this time to take on league new boys Upper Eden promoted as champions of Cumbria 1 last season. With the Cumbrians also playing in black and white, Park changed to a red white and black combo on a sunny bright day in scenic settings. This was the first time the two sides had met and promised to be a close affair with Park un beaten so far this league season, and the hosts having won two from three losing narrowly by a single point last week at Durham City.
The visitors started brightly and were on the score board after only 3 minutes after skipper Howard Stock crossed the line for a try on the left flank. Park kicked to the corner from a penalty and from the resulting line out spread the ball right then back left to allow Park’s left wing to go over, with Ash Smith converting. 0-7.
Three minutes later Smith slotted a penalty after the home side were penalised for not rolling away in the tackle.0-10.
Upper Eden were awarded a kickable penalty after Park were spotted with hands in the ruck and fly half Oliver Bennett was on target to claim the points for his side which would be their only score of the day. 3-10.
Percy Park had scrum dominance and pressed the Upper Eden line, and after a few forward carries Josh Hedley crashed over and with an extended arm dabbed the ball down. The force of placing the ball saw it bounce up after grounding and the referee who was on the other side of a mass of players judged the ball had been knocked on and the try was disallowed.
Eden were awarded a scrum on their 5 metre line and number 8 John Blue showed his skill and pace to pick up from the base of the scrum going backwards and ran a full 50 metres before being brought down in the Park half.
The Cumbrians defended well for the remainder of the half with Park being held up over the line and being denied their second try of the game, however they were reduced to 14 men with a player sent to the sin bin. Park ended the half with another Ash Smith penalty 3-13.
Percy Park started the second half as they did the first with the returning Leo Caulfield going over 3 minutes in. From a line out in the home 22 the ball to the back found the Park number 8 in space and he burst through and over the line to score with Ash Smith claiming the extras. 3-20.
Park claimed their bonus point with a Jamie Wrigley try 5 minutes later. From a scrum in the Upper Eden half the ball was spread through the back line with the Park fullback cutting through a gap to score, and once again Ash Smith was on target to extend the lead to 3-27.
With half an hour still to go the visiting supporters could be forgiven for expecting a large score, but Pennine Park side had other ideas and defended stoutly, the nearest Percy Park coming to scoring was when Ash Smith burst through the defensive line and chipped through but losing the foot race to line with the defender dotting the ball down for the goal line drop out.
Both sides were down to 14 players when Michael Langlands and the Upper Eden number 18 were sent to the side lines to cool down after an altercation saw them nose to nose in front of the referee.
With 3 minutes to go, Park finally breached the Upper Eden line with a try by fly half Fergus Simpson in the left hand corner. Ash Smith was unable to convert and the game came to a conclusion shortly afterwards with Park the victors 3-32
On the adjoining pitch Park Lions took on the Upper Eden Boars, with the home side coming out winners 60 -30 in an entertaining high scoring encounter.
Next week Percy Park take on second placed Morpeth with the game being sponsored by Past Presidents, Life Members and Ground Committee.