Birkenhead Park 18 West 5

By Dave Picken - April 21 2013
Birkenhead Park 18 West 5
Painter try Of the front five who started the game and pushed Lymm all over the park last week only Adam Coates could make it to the Wirral. It goes without saying that if the coaches are to be given a chance of getting us back into the national leagues next season they will need to be able to forge a settled side.

So it was very much a makeshift side which took to the dry and dusty Upper Park pitch. The hard working Nathan Myers and Jay Corbett were pressed into service in  the second row with Gary Jackson making his season debut for any West side on the bench - he'd orginally decided to travel for the day out.

Both sides produced a feisty encounter which saw no less than six yellow cards - three for each.

Despite all the rearrangements it was West who went into an early lead. Park winger Dave Morgan was robbed of the ball as he raced in the West 22, and the visitors set up a counterattack with Tom Armstrong outpacing the cover and drawing full back Dave Hall.

He passed inside to Ryan Painter who still had twenty metres to go having to fend off some desperate challenges. Stu Waites, playing at full back to allow Gav Robinson to return at fly half, was narrowly wide with the conversion.

Sadly  the lead was to last only four minutes. Park mounted an attack on the right and won a scrum. Everyone was taken by surprise when the ball squirted out on the blindside to give winger Sam Chidley the simplest of tasks in touching down. Skipper Dave Hall slotted a fine conversion form the touch line.

The home side were dominating the line-out, but came up against some superb defence from the hard working West side with Nathan Myers outstanding at the breakdown.

In the end Park were happy to go for a penalty on the half hour after being held up over the line with as second penalty on half time giving them a 13-5 lead.

With the wind at their backs Gave Robinson put in some fine kicks to the corner to mount pressure on the home defence, but the game became increasingly fractious.

Park prop Matty Ibbotson and  Andy Dixon were both yellow carded by referee Dean Walker  on 55 minutes, after a Park player kicked out in a maul and Dixon retaliated. West opted for a kick to the corner instead of a shot at the penalty but lost the line-out.

Three minutes later there were two more cards, and a penalty to West,  when Nathan Myers and Park’s second row Jack Ashcroft clashed as Myers was taken out off the ball.

Dixon had barely returned to the fray when West’s Jon Boatman and Park back row Rob Dolan were sent to the bin after another an incident and another penalty to West.

Both sides continued to hammer away, but it looked as though the second half would end without any addition to the score until a West kick into the home 22 was gathered by full back Hall. He evaded the first two tired tackles to send winger Hughes away up the wing evading the West cover to go in at the corner. Hall’s missed conversion signalled the final whistle.

Birkenhead Park: Dave Hall, Greg Hughes, Joe Spencer, Danny Rich, Sam Chidley, Lee Brogan, Sam Chidley, Gareth Jones, Stuart Brown, Matty Ibbotson, Jack Ashcroft, Colin Campbell, Rob Doolan, Ashley Oliver,  Reps: Martin O’Keefe, Shaun Woof, Luke Swan.

Tries: Hughes [2]

Cons: Hall [1]

Pens: Hall [2]

Yellow: Ibbotson, Ashcroft, Doolan.

West:  Stu Waites, Tom Armstrong, Andrew Cheslin, Greg Edwards, Craig Swales, Gav Robinson Ryan Painter, Ian Pinchen, Andrew Dixon, Adam Coates, Jay Cornett, Nathan Myers, Alex Barker, Dan Boatman, Jon Boatman. Reps: Gary Jackson, Chris Atkins, Martin Todd.

Tries: Painter.

Yellow: Dixon, Myers, J Boatman.

Referee: Dean Walker

Birkenhead Park 18 West 5
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
21/04/2013 10:33
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Re: Birkenhead Park 18 West 5
23/04/2013 09:58
I've been biting my tongue for weeks on this subject because I know I will be called an old you know what.
In the past any player who didn't train often enough, or ducked out of games, was given a very hard time by his teammates. As a result it didn't happen very often.
These days every player seems to just pick and choose the games they want to play in, and the result is you end up bottom of the league.

Re: Birkenhead Park 18 West 5
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
24/04/2013 09:50
Quite right to air your view and it did not just apply to the 1sts but even down to the 3rds and 4ths.Players wanted to play for the club and pull on the club jersey no matter which colours were relevant at the time. But it seems it is a sign of the times whether at work or play. Just look at Rossendale this week not being able to raise a side!!! and it seems it doesn't just apply to our club. However you are also quite right that it is not the way to be as a club should we wish to play competative rugby at National League Level Pride needs to be a high requirement for next season. Robbo is the type of guy to whom that is of importance particularly and hopefully he can instill that into the squads!!!. Beverleyare straight back up and we can be too!!!

Re: Birkenhead Park 18 West 5
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
24/04/2013 10:21
You wouldn't believe how much time Iain Dixon, Kevan Oliphant and Graeme Southern spend on the phone on Thursday and Fridays trying to sort out teams.
Other clubs have the same problem. Talking to John McNally the Birkenhead Park coach about it on Saturday and it's just the same there.
If you cannot afford to pay players the only way, he says, is by peer pressure i.e. team mates giving each other a hard time if they let each other down.
Trouble is you need those personalities in the club.
Adam Coates has been the only ever present this season [closely followed by the skipper] so perhaps we should put Coatesy in charge of nagging.

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