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Park U17's County Cup Victory

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Tynedale U18s 19        Percy Park Under 17s  25

That old Greek fella Aesop knew a thing or two…

With no under 17 cup to contest Park under 17's travelled to Tynedale to play in the quarter final of the under 18 county cup. Park travelled more in hope than expectation, but at least their young side was determined to play and uphold the spirit of the game.

As expected the weather was grim and Tynedale adapted to the conditions with an effective driving game which pinned Park in their own half for much of the first twenty minutes, only courageous defence prevented them from scoring more than one try. Park worked their way in to the game and skipper Anderson kicked a simple penalty to peg the opposition back.

As confidence grew Park’s  resurgence was catalysed by two game changing facets of play from  opposite ends of the rugby spectrum. The backs pace started exposing limitations in the opposition game plan, and only three excellent cover tackles prevented Josh Cheung from scoring following excellent hands.  Then on the stroke of half time  Park caught a  lineout and smashed the Tynedale pack backwards, a certain try was only prevented when a Tynedale player deliberately collapsed the maul from an offside position, no card, no penalty try, but a realisation, for both teams, that Park’s forwards were  technically better than their bigger opponents and Park’s backs were quicker than the opposition .

 

HT Tynedale 5 Percy Park 3

The half time team talk was suddenly filled with optimism; the second half started  with a bang when after excellent re-cycling and five phases near the line, quick ruck ball saw Ross Young dive through for a good forwards try. Anderson adding the extra points.

Tynedale launched a series of attacks, but no matter what route they chose the Park players stood firm with outstanding tackling from forwards and backs alike.

Despite the age disparity Park’s narrow lead seemed to drain the confidence from Tynedale and their attacks became more frantic. From one such attack, Park’s defence created an interception opportunity for Josh Cheung who left three opponents in his wake as he slalomed his way through for a cracking try under the posts. Ben Anderson again adding the extra points.  Anderson was again on the scorecard when Park pressure forced Tynedale to kill their own ball at the ruck 3 points slotted. 

Tynedale countered and drove over for a converted try by one of their forwards; however it was the Park pack which was now in the ascendency: led by the indomitable Jake Smith the forwards made every breakdown difficult and prevented Tynedale from gaining any momentum;  Jo Oldham and Ben Cowell were dominating the lineout and a huge collective effort from the pack saw them gain the upper hand in the scrum. 

With fifteen minutes remaining and the outcome far from clear it was left for full back Reese Burbridge to settle matters with the outstanding try of the day. Fielding a wayward kick deep in his own half and much to the shock of the Park coaches he ignored the simple kick to touch and set off directly towards the Tynedale forwards; 7 seconds later and with most of the Tynedale team left trailing in his wake he touched down for an outstanding individual score and put the game out of reach.

As often happens, at all levels of rugby, Tynedale scored almost from the re-start. Park, having dominated the 2nd half, contrived to play the final 5 minutes on their line; however despite managing to put themselves in a series of dire, bordering on comical situations, they were able to turn possession over every time a score looked certain.  It was fitting that the final whistle was blown as once more a ferocious Park tackle forced a “knock-on”

FT Tynedale u18s: 19 Percy Park u17s 25

Against a good Tynedale side, in difficult conditions Park’s play was excellent.

As is always the case (and country folk should know better) you should never count your chickens before they hatch… mocked by their opponents prior to the first scrum for being too small and apparently not good enough  to be on the same field, Park’s tight 5 put in a magnificent effort . A special word for the props Dan Gallon and Aaron Horvath they never took a backwards step against older, heavier and more experienced opponents - it was the Tynedale pack which was simply trundled off its own ball when it really mattered.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 23:15  

BBC Rugby


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