Birkenhead park 30-24 Douglas – Match report

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The fact that this match actually took place was a testament to the determination of the visitors to fulfil the match.

With flights cancelled from the Isle of Man, they travelled by ferry via Heysham, including a night sail return. Kick off was put back to 4pm to accommodate the revised travelling arrangements.

Park were looking to continue their recent good run of form and skipper Ollie Mabbott scored with a pick-up from a five-metre scrum, with Dave Hall converting.

Steve Pocklington kicked a penalty for the visitors but a good break by Will Titherington put Hall over for the second home try. Hall then added a penalty but Douglas showed plenty of fight and they kept in contention with a try from lock Liam Kirkpatrick.

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Park increased their lead in the second half when Titherington again did well before scrum half Sam Chidley scored with a determined run.

Great handling by Paul Hellier found Sam Tyrer in space and there was no stopping the winger as he scored in the corner.

Douglas came back well and with Park having two in the sin bin, the visitors took advantage with a try by winger Carl Murray converted by Pocklington.

Park made the game safe when Tyrer again went clear to claim his second in similar fashion to his first.

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Douglas had the final say when Pocklington broke clear and converted with the final kick.

Park Director of Rugby Martin O’Keefe said: “We are indebted to Douglas for making the trip under difficult circumstances and it was a good contest throughout.

“There were some good performances from many, with Will Titherington and Sam Chidley to the fore, but I felt Paul Hellier deserved the man of the match accolade with an outstanding performance.”

Park move back into second place after a five-match unbeaten run and are due to travel to Lancaster to take on Vale of Lune on Saturday.

However, Park officials are expecting a postponement in view of the corona virus crisis.