THE home crowd were in festive mood for the last game of the year, but given the difficult playing conditions, few could have expected the eleven try extravaganza that was to unfold.
The conditions in a way contributed to the openness of he game as both sides frequently lost possession with the ball in hand,with the contest being a contrast between Park’s skilful handling and the visitors reliance on the power of their pack.
The home side’s pack were not however intimidated and prop Richard Chesworth finished off a good forward drive to score a try which Hunt converted. Matt Potter was next to score for Park, a try that was not converted, and one which was then followed by the visitors first score, as their powerful flanker Roche squeezed in at the corner flag.
Park’s captain Rob Morley used every inch of his 6ft 4ins frame to stretch over the line for the next try, and an error by the visitors at a lineout presented a simple opportunity for John James to register another try, which when converted by Hunt brought the half time score to 24-5.
Shortly after the restart, as the visitors lost their scrum half to injury, West Park added to their score with a fine try from Matt Savage, once again converted by Hunt.
Crewe and Nantwich took advantage of two consecutive penalty awards to advance to within five metres of Park’s line, enabling Cowans to crash over for a try which fly half Little converted. Thinking that the game was all but won a lack of concentration by the home side brought them back to reality as the visitors crossed for a further try by Roche, once again converted by fly half Little.
Though not likely to be in danger of losing the match, and with maximum points all ready in the bag, West Park resumed their attack with a purpose and man of the match Tom Fortune, now operating at scrum half, helped himself to a good try which Hunt converted.
The visitors too showed an admirable resolve, and seized on a lost ball for Garnell to score their fourth try which was converted thus earning them a bonus point.
The last word however was left with the home side as Rob Morley scored for his second try and Park’s seventh, to cap a satisfactory end to what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable match.
West Park now have a break with the next scheduled match being on 5 January at Orrell.