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West Park 1st XV 36 Anselmians 1st XV 18
8:48pm Sunday 5th January 2014 in Sport
The home side welcomed in 2014 as they had signed off in 2013 with a feast of running rugby which produced a six try bonanza, netting them once again five maximum league points.
Against opposition initially higher in the league table , and sporting the evergreen and one time Irish international Simon Mason, the display of fluid running rugby and skilful inter-passing was much appreciated by the both sets of supporters.
A minutes silence was held before the game in memory of Austin Sweeney a long time member and previous 1st team captain of West Park who had recently died after bravely battling a long illness.
The home side were put under considerable pressure early in the game, and despite some stalwart defending found themselves conceding a try by wing forward Hearn, which was not however converted.
Undeterred Park continued to press , and slick passing through several pairs of hands saw winger Hunt score in the corner then expertly convert his own try.
Anselmians backs looked dangerous when choosing to run the ball, but were not in the same class as the home side who once again breached the visitor’s defence enabling strong running centre Danny Green to score wide out, the conversion being missed.
A snap drop goal put the visitors briefly back in contention at 12 pts to 8 pts, but Park’s delightful running, skilful handling and general support play soon paid further dividends, as hooker Andrew Sterry outpaced the defence to score, and proceeded to follow it up minutes later with an equally good try, only the first of which was successfully converted by Hunt.
A score of 24pts to 8 pts at half time was an honest reflection of Park’s superiority and the four try bonus point well earned.
The second half initially provided more of the same as Park continued to dominate in most phases of the game, and after a decisive drive by the forwards and slick inter-passing across the line, a long pass found winger Chris Fortune who finished in his own inimitable style to score a try in the corner, which Warren Hunt magnificently converted.
Having scored five excellent tries West Park saved the best till last, as Chris Fortune fielded a reliving kick from the visitors on the half way line and his jinking run took him past several defenders finally passing to the ever-supporting full back Matt Savage who scored in the corner, Hunt hitting the post with the attempted conversion.
With the game in the bag, Park appeared to sit back on their success, and in the last quarter allowed the visitors some semblance of satisfaction for their efforts in this enjoyable encounter.
Despite some heroic tackling Park were forced to concede two tries from set plays 5 metres from their line, as their hefty South Sea islander No 8 Topoa picked up and twice forced his way over from the scrum, neither try however being converted. The final score was not a true reflection of Park’s dominance, but nonetheless sees their steady rise to 4th in the league, with more bonus points secured than any other team in the league.
Next week the 1st XV travel to Manchester , kick of 2.15 pm.
Oldham 2nd XV 14 pts V West Park 2nd XV 33 pts Ruskin Park 2nd XV 5pts V West Park 3rd XV 28pts