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Liverpool St Helens 31 Birkenhead Park 39
9:31am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
A tremendous second half fight back by Liverpool St Helens fell just short against a strong and pacy Birkenhead Park in week six of North One West.
This was a cracking encounter producing nine tries with both sides doing exceptionally well to decode the frequently baffling decisions of a well intentioned referee.
Things looked ominous for the Moss Laners when Park scored in their very first attack in the 5th minute with skipper Dave Hall taking advantage of a sizeable hole in the LSH defence to stroll through for the first try, which he then converted. (0-7).
LSH were competing well for the ball and replied with a penalty from Greg Smith (3-7) but then let themselves down on a couple of occasions when breaks by both of the wingers resulted in lost ball and lost territory.
Their cause was also not helped by an early injury to Mark Devine.
The visitors strength and control saw them establish a commanding lead through a penalty from Hall (3-10) and two tries in the ten minutes before the break.
Scrum half Sam Chidley ran through from distance to score, converted by Hall (3-17) followed by a try from stand-off Peter White after good work from the Park pack. (3-22) LSH started the second half meaning business and with the ever-willing Dave Cunliffe leading the way made early progress resulting in a try from Greg Smith in the 45th minute.
The fly half skipped through three tackles to score before converting his own try. (10-22). Four minutes later a superb break from full back Ian Stanley ended with a pass to Dan Filson for the left wing to run round and score close to the posts. Smith converted. (17-22).
It was by now end to end stuff and Park went further ahead in the 53rd minute when full back Hall scored his second try of the afternoon and converted it for a 12 point lead (17-29). The LSH pack continued to work hard and provided possession for Jake Hodson to race down the right wing to score in the 59th minute, which with a touchline conversion from Smith reduced the deficit to five. (24-29).
With the pace of the game not slowing Park pressed again and from a quickly taken tap penalty Chidley scored his second and Park’s fifth try with ten minutes to go. (24-36). LSH were not done with and closed the gap again with a 70 yard interception try from Stanley, in the 76th minute, followed by a drop kick conversion from Smith to put them in bonus point range as well as earning a point for the fourth try. (31-36). Sadly for LSH the award of the 24th penalty of the afternoon, on this occasion to Birkenhead Park, enabled Hall to deny LSH their losing bonus point with the last kick of the match. (31-39).