Archive ~ 2011

Based in Oxton in Birkenhead, Parkonians RUFC currently field 2, and occasionally 3 rugby teams, playing matches alternate weeks at Holm Lane.

The first team's season is made up of a combination of league matches and friendly fixtures. They are affiliated to the Cheshire RUFC and compete in South Lancs/Cheshire Division 4. Additionally they participate in the Powergen Cup, Cheshire Shield and Wirral Floodlight cup competitions.

Parkonians RUFC 1st XV ~ 2011 / 2012

1stXV-11 ©1stXV-11

Parkonians RUFC 2nd XV ~ 2011 / 2012

2ndXV-11 ©2ndXV-11

Parkonians RUFC 3rd XV ~ 2011 / 2012

3rdXV-11 ©3rdXV-11

1st XV Player Statistics ~ 2011 / 2012

The 1st XV Team statistics as at 14th January are as below:

Player Appearances T C PG DG Points
Liam Sadler 17 15 9 8 0 117
Terry Williams 12 6 19 8 0 92
Paul Wigfield 11 8 0 0 0 40
Scott Lamb 17 5 0 0 0 25
John Turaga 11 5 0 0 0 25
Gareth Pryce 17 4 1 0 0 22
Craig Whelan 16 4 0 0 0 20
Matthew Dooley 14 4 0 0 0 20
Barry Owens 12 2 5 0 0 20
Robert Marnick 16 2 0 0 0 10
Paul Hillan 15 2 0 0 0 10
Allan Williams 13 2 0 0 0 10
Liam Evans 8 2 0 0 0 10
Ben Rees 7 2 0 0 0 10
Mike Byrne 17 1 0 0 0 5
Peter Hillan 13 1 0 0 0 5
Ben Pearson 13 1 0 0 0 5
Josh Bowe 5 1 0 0 0 5
Geoff Waters 3 1 0 0 0 5
Mark Barham 17 0 0 0 0 0
Mark Hillan 17 0 0 0 0 0
Martin Sharkey 16 0 0 0 0 0
Daniel Blyth 15 0 0 0 0 0
Karl Whelan 5 0 0 0 0 0
Tony Burton 4 0 0 0 0 0
Ryan Evans 3 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Hall 2 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Cardus 1 0 0 0 0 0
Simon Smithdale 1 0 0 0 0 0
Les Donnely 1 0 0 0 0 0
Tom Sutton 1 0 0 0 0 0
Paul Disbury 1 0 0 0 0 0
Junior Turaga 1 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Stott 1 0 0 0 0 0

 

Training

 

Training is undertaken every Wednesday evening at the club throughout the year.

During the season it includes games of touch rugby, ball-handling skills, tackling and general fitness training. The club has excellent training facilities including floodlights for winter training, a scrumage machine and assorted training aids such as tackle bags etc.

Throughout the close season fitness is maintained through a combination of gym work, general fitness coaching and 'friendly' soccer matches.

New members of all age, size & ability are always welcome, for further details contact Gareth Pryce, the Club Captain.

2011 / 2012 Fixtures and Results

 

First XV Fixtures 2011/2012

Date

Competition

Opponents

Venue

KO

Result

Score

3rd Sep

League

Congleton

Home

3:00pm Won 50-5

10th Sep

League

Wallasey

Away

3:00pm Lost 24-12

17th Sep

League

Capenhurst

Home

3:00pm Won 27-5

24th Sep

League

Helsby

Away

3:00pm Won 6-63

1st Oct

League

Buxton

Home

3:00pm Won 12-8

8th Oct

League

Knutsford

Away

3:00pm Won 37-14

15th Oct

Plate

Holmes Chapel

Home

3:00pm Won 19-14

22nd Oct

League

Linley

Home

3:00pm Won 19-14

29th Oct

League

Prenton

Away

3:00pm Won 8-10

5th Nov

Plate

 

 

2:15pm    

12th Nov

League

University of Liverpool

Home

2:15pm Won 44-5

19th Nov

League

Port Sunlight

Away

2:15pm Won 0-13

26th Nov

 

MossleyHill

Away

2:15pm Won 5-19

3rd Dec

League

Holmes Chapel

Home

2:15pm Lost 3-7

10th Dec

League

Wallasey

Home

2:15pm Lost 12-20

17th Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

24th Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

31st Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

2012

7th Jan

League

Capenhurst

Away

2:15pm Won 19-34

14th Jan

League

Helsby

Home

2:15pm Won 77-0

21st Jan

Plate

 

 

2:15pm    

28th Jan

League

Buxton

Away

2:15pm Lost 10-3

4th Feb

League

Knutsford

Home

2:15pm Postponed

11th Feb

Nat Junior Vase

Mossley Hill

Home

2:15pm Lost 8-28

18th Feb

League

Linley

Away

2:15pm Won 0-31

25th Feb

League

Knutsford

Home

2:15pm Won 27-10

3rd Mar

League

Prenton

Home

3:00pm Lost 5-18

10th Mar

League

University of Liverpool

Away

3:00pm Won 14-17

17th Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

24th Mar

League

Port Sunlight

Home

3:00pm Won 25-5

 31st Mar

League

Holmes Chapel

Away

3:00pm Won 12-16

7th Apr

 

Easter

 

3:00pm    

14th Apr

League

Congleton

Away

3:00pm Won 3-10

21st Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

28th Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

Second XV Fixtures 2011/2012

3rd Sep

League

Sefton 4

Away

3:00pm Won 0-27

10th Sep

League

Formby V     1

Home

3:00pm Lost 15-24

17th Sep

League

New Brighton 3

Away

3:00pm Lost 37-17

24th Sep

League

Ormskirk 4

Home

3:00pm Won 50-7

1st Oct

League

Wirral  4

Away

3:00pm Lost 33-10

8th Oct

League

Prenton 2

Away

3:00pm Lost 44-0

15th Oct

League

Birchfield 2

Home

3:00pm Won 30-29

22nd Oct

League

Hoylake 2

Away

3:00pm Lost 72-0

29th Oct

League

St Edwards OD  2

Home

3:00pm Lost 0-64

5th Nov

League

Ormskirk 3

Away

2:15pm Lost 34-10

12th Nov

League

Mossley Hill 2

Away

2:15pm Lost 41-0

19th Nov

 

Ellesmere Port 2/3

Home

2:15pm Won 35-0

26th Nov

League

Eagle 2

Away

2:15pm Drew 17-17

3rd Dec

League

Liverpool Coll 3

Home

2:15pm Lost 8-20

10th Dec

League

Formby Vikings  1

Away

2:15pm Can N/A

17th Dec

League

New Brighton 3

Home

2:15pm Drawn 5-5

24th Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

31st Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

2012

7th Jan

League

Ormskirk 4

Away

2:15pm Lost 20-17

14th Jan

League

Wirral 4

Home

2:15pm Lost 5-10

21st Jan

Plate

Mossley Hill

Away

2:15pm Won 12-24

28th Jan

League

Prenton 2

Home

2:15pm    

4th Feb

League

Birchfield  2

Away

2:15pm    

11th Feb

Plate

Tyldesley

Home

2:15pm Lost 3-36

18th Feb

League

Hoylake 2

Home

2:15pm Lost 0-43

25th Feb

 

Formby Vikings

Away

2:15pm Lost 17-5

3rd Mar

League

St Edwards OB

Away

3:00pm Lost 55-3

10th Mar

League

Ormskirk 3

Home

3:00pm Won 17-24

17th Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

24th Mar

League

Mossley Hill 2

Home

3:00pm Lost 43-8

 31st Mar

League

Eagle 2

Home

3:00pm Won 41-17

7th Apr

 

Birkenhead Park

Home

3:00pm    

14th Apr

League

Liverpool Coll  3

Away

3:00pm Won 15-41

21st Apr

League

Sefton 4

Home

3:00pm    

28th Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

 

Rugby Club Summer Update

The Rugby Section of the Old Parkonians Association held an EGM on Wednesday 13th June at which a vote was carried to change the name from Parkonians RUFC to Oxton Parkonians RUFC. However, although the Rugby Section has now agreed to this name change, upon notifying the RFU of our name change we have been told that this cannot be made official until the 1st June 2013 as we had passed their deadline of 31st May 2012 for a club to change its title for the 2012/13 season. Rugby Club Secretary, Paul Mullen, is making further investigations to confirm or otherwise that this is indeed the case.

Steve Lowndes has stood down as Rugby Club Coach although he now becomes 1st Team Match Day Manager. Many thanks for all your hard work over the years, Steve, the players have really appreciated it! As a result the Club is actively seeking a suitably qualified person to become the adult rugby section Head Coach. This will entail taking training/coaching each Monday and Wednesday evening (7-9pm.) and ideally, but not absolutely essential, to be available on 1st Team matchdays.

Enquiries in the first instance should be made via this website to Richie Beckett (Rugby Club Chairman) and/or Gareth Pryce (Club and 1st Team Captain).

Pre season training will commence on Monday 2nd July at the Club in Holm Lane, Oxton at 7pm and be held at that time each Monday and Wednesday thereafter.

As always the Club is looking out for new adult players of 17 years and upwards. Whatever your experience, just turn up at any training session and ask for 1st Team Captain, Gareth Pryce, or 2nd Team Captain, Matt Dodd. You will be made most welcome.

Congratulations to the players who represented the Club at the recent New Brighton RUFC Peninsular Sevens Tournament winning the Plate competition. Well done to all!!

The league fixtures are now out and will be available on this website in the near future; in the meantime the 1st Team fixtures may be accessed via the RFU North site and the 2nd team fixtures via the NWIL site. League games commence on Saturday 1st September with the 1st round of the Cheshire Plate scheduled to take place the previous Saturday 25th August with a home tie against local rivals, Capenhurst.

In addition it is hoped to play a warm up game against local opponents either home or away on Saturday 18th August.

The club is looking forward to another successful season with the Ist team looking to be serious promotion candidates and the 2nd Team looking to build on last season's development. Dave Carroll will again be running a 3rd Team playing friendly fixtures and he aims to have the team in operation for at least 50% of the season.

Yours In Sport,
Richie Beckett. Chairman Of Rugby/Press Officer. Oxton Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 14th April 2012

PIPPED AT THE FINAL FENCE BY BUXTON!!

We travelled to Congleton in hope of obtaining a bonus point victory and of Prenton travelling to Buxton to prevent their hosts obtaining their bonus point victory! If both scenarios had occured Parkonians would have been promoted along with champions Wallasey.

Neither scenario occured so we were pipped at the post by Buxton who will play in South Lancs./Cheshire 2 next season not us! We fell away somewhat in recent weeks failing to pick up the bonus points whilst Buxton obtained their's on a regular basis; so we can have no gripes. I received a lovely e mail from the Buxton chairman, Simon Smedley, and this along with my reply to him are shown below.

At Congleton we were the better side and started strongly with Ben Rees scoring an unconverted try inside the first five minutes auguring well for a high scoring display from Parkonians; it was not to be with us only adding a second unconverted try from Rob Marnick deep into the second half. Peter Bennett was given his full debut and once again performed admirably.

Congleton are much improved recently and that together with the fact that we didn't appear to get our fair share of decisions from the referee certainly didn't help our cause; a frustrating afternoon but it mattered not one jot as Prenton were capitulating in grand style at Buxton!! It has been a very good first team season but we must push on next season with a little greater ambition and aim once again for promotion.

Result:Congleton 3 Parkonians 10
Scorers:Tries-Ben Rees,Rob Marnick.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Mike Tobin,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Mark Hillan,Ben Pearson,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Peter Bennett,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees(captain). Reps::Paul Disbury,Martyn Sharkey,Ryan Evans,Liam Evans,Rob Marnick.
Ref:Rod Lowe(Manchester)

The 2nd Team ended their league season at the club with a fabulous victory over Liverpool Collegiate by a handsome 41-15 margin; well done to all players!

Following the games we held our Annual Dinner in the Clubhouse at a special discounted rate of £5 per ticket. Many thanks to Ken Owen for arranging the sale of the tickets ; there was an attendance in excess of 80 members and guests. We tried out a new arrangement, which seemed to be a success, whereby we had the speeches and the awards before the food was served!!

Yours truly, as Chairman of Rugby, spoke first and I was delighted to welcome the following guests.

Ralph Savill (Liverpool Refs Society), Mick Cavanagh (Prenton), Terry Grundy(Capenhurst), Bob Lloyd (Birkenhead Park), Bob Gurney (Port Sunlight), Bobby Banks (Oldershaw), John McDaid (Wallasey) and our own Dave Westwater (Chairman,Old Parkonians Association). I am pretty certain that they all enjoyed a very good evening!! There were formal apologies from Anselmians and New Brighton.

Within my speech I was able to thank and congratulate all club volunteers especially five very long serving active members of the rugby committee; Ken Cooke, Paul Mullen, Eddie Flynn, Pete Evans and Ken Owen.

Club captain, Gareth Pryce, spoke after me and very eloquent he was too. I am delighted to report that Gareth will be standing for a third season. Well done, Gareth, you are a fine ambassador for our club!

The presentation of the awards(detailed below) followed presented by Club President, Ken Cooke. The fare laid on by Chris and Lesley Hall afterwards was of the normal high standard as always. Many thanks to both of you and to Lesley, Lauren and Liz for manning the bar for so many hours!!

Parkonians RUFC Annual Awards 2011/12

Players of the Month

  • Liam Sadler (September)
  • Scott Lamb (October)
  • Matt Dooley (November)
  • Ben Rees (December)
  • Danny Blyth (January)
  • Mike Byrne (February)
  • Mike Tobin (March)
Young Player Of The Year Matt Dooley
Most Improved Player Of The Year
( The Brian 'Gus' Cusick Award)
Peter Bennett
2nd Team Player Of The Year
( The Richie Peters Award)
Matt Moore
Player Of The Year Liam Sadler
Captain's Prize Ben Rees
Clubman Of The Year Eric Potter

Click for more picturesAs a club we are abolutely delighted to present Eric as our Clubman Of The Year; along with his recognition from the RFU Valuing The Volunteer Programme it is richly deserved for someone who has given such long and loyal service to the club, well done indeed, Eric!

I also know how deeply humbled Peter Bennett was to receive the 'Gus'award even though he had never met the legendary giant that was Gus. So all in all a very enjoyable and successful evening.

Although the league programme is over for the season for both 1st and 2nd teams, we do have two friendlies arranged for this coming Saturday 21st April; at home to Anselmians 3rds and a return encounter away to Birkenhead Park 3rds both having a 3pm KO.

My first reminder of The Rugby Club AGM. It is to be held in the Clubhouse at 8pm on Wednesday 16th May at 8pm and we will be looking for a good attendance.

Yours In Sport,
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

From Simon Smedley ~ Buxton RUFC ~ Monday 16th April

Hello Richie,

In the spirit of the game, we at Buxton would like to thank you for a cracking contest this season, you are a good bunch of lads and enjoyed both fierce contests during the season. I believe it only came down to a few swings in results to the end of the season and there was hardly anything between us.

On behalf of the club I would like to wish you all the best, and hope to see you again when you get promoted next season.

Please pass our wishes onto the lads….

All the best,

Simon Smedley
Chairman
On behalf of Buxton RUFC.

A Response from Richie Beckett...

Hi Simon,

I am extremely touched by your most generous email and congratulate you on your success!

In the end you were a better side than us through the season and thoroughly deserve your promotion. As you say hopefully we will be playing you the season after next?!

Thanks again, Simon!

Cheers, Richie.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 7th April 2012

BRUISING BATTLE IN 'FRIENDLY' WITH OLD FRIENDS BIRKENHEAD PARK!!

With very little rugby around on Easter Saturday it was a pleasure to welcome Birkenhead Park 3rds to Holm Lane for a keenly contested game against our 2nd XV.

Click for more picturesIt was an enthralling encounter which Park narrowly deserving to win; their team containing a real mixture of youth and experience, indeed, with their skilful scrum half still looking like he was in primary school!! No offence meant he was in fact 17 and a very promising player.

Our good wishes go to Paul Hillan who received 20 stitches in his head following an accidental clash of heads. Paul, on arriving at APH, thought that his treatment would be speeded up if he mentioned he was suffering from concussion. Indeed, it did speed it up and then slowed it down when the medics declared that he would be detained overnight; nice one, Paul!!

It was great to welcome amongst others from Park Bob Lloyd,Keith Jones,Phil Reynolds, 'Tiny' Cairns and Eric 'Mr Nasty' Thomas! Don't really mean it, Eric, but glad that you didn't win the raffle.

Thanks to referee, Malcolm Irving, who I thought had a good game as did my dear old friend, John Turner, who was assessing him. Well done also to young touch judges, Matthew Burton and Luke Hillan, giving yours truly a well deserved rest!!

All in all a very good day and a real hark back to the old times when players and spectators mixed together off the field and shared a pint or two and distant memories.

Result:Parkonians 7 Birkenhead Park 19
Scorers: Try- Paul Hillan(before injury). Con-Ben Sadler.
Team:Paul Lennon,Darren Bramelow,Geoff Waters,Chris Hall,Kiel Williams,Mark Hillan,Ben Sadler,Mike Gibbs,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Martin Varley,Richie Peters,Mark Tucker,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan. Reps:Jamie Lamb,Josh Bowe,Eric Nixon(Jnr.),Liam Evans.
Ref:Malcolm Irving(Liverpool)

So to this Saturday and the last league games of the season for our 1st and 2nd teams. The 1sts have the vital promotion decider at Congleton and nothing less than a bonus point victory will suffice(dictionary for some of you) and hope that Prenton travel to Buxton and prevent their hosts from gaining their required bonus point victory!! The 2nds play Liverpool Collegiate at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Looking forward to the dinner on Saturday, now, whatever the 'promotion' outcome and I shall endeavour to not speak for so long this year and steal all of Gareth's lines?!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 31th March 2012

ANOTHER HARD FOUGHT VICTORY OVER VERY RESILIENT OPPONENTS!

Saturday 31st March saw us travel to Holmes Chapel, on the R&J Travel coach, for a keenly contested game as always which we just managed to edge by a 16-12 scoreline.

Their 'oldies' told our oldies how weak they were going to be but this certainly was not the case. The result could have gone either way right up to the final whistle.We only scored two tries (but what good ones they were)thus failing once more to gain the all elusive bonus point meaning that we now drop back into 3rd place behind Buxton.

What all this means on the final league Saturday 14th April is that we need to secure a four try victory at Congleton with Buxton hopefully not gaining a four try bonus point win at home to Prenton if we are to secure the second promotion spot from our division.

At Chapel Paul Hillan had a very strong match closely followed by the combustious, Danny BlythI Dictionary, Danny! Anyway well played to both of you; I thought veteran, Paul Disbury played well too along with the up and coming youthful, Pete Bennett!

We had magnificent travelling support although it was very frustrating at times with even yours truly overstepping the mark and having a little shout at the referee!! Many thanks as well to our patient and most tolerant, R&J driver, Paul!!

Result:Holmes Chapel 12 Parkonians 16.
Scorers:Tries-Andy Smith, Alan Williams.Pens-Terry Williams(2).
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Mike Tobin,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Paul Disbury,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Paul Hillan,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees(captain). Reps:Mark Hillan,Alan Williams,Pete Bennett,Liam Evans,Geoff Waters.
Ref:Andrew Lewin(Manchester).

The 2nd Team had a magnificent 41-17 league victory over the always awkward opponents in Eagle. Matt Dodd and his squad were rightly 'over the moon' with this result; well done to all.

Thanks to Ian Westwater for his match day sponsorship this week and to Chris Beckett and Matthew Burton for their assistance to Alan Morris in running the raffle over the last two Saturdays.

Apologies to anyone I may have upset recently and two words of warning 'mind the step' on the way to the temporary toilets and don't talk whilst you are in there because the opposite sex toilets can hear everything you say as I found out last Saturday!

This Easter Saturday 7th April we are due to have our 2nds/3rds at home to Birkenhead Park 3rds/4ths with a 3pm. KO.

Also everyone is welcome to attend the Cricket Social at the Club on Easter Sunday 1pm. onwards details on the home page of this website; in addition a reminder regarding the Annual Dinner on Saturday 14th April tickets are nearly sold out; again all details are on the website home page.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Secretary. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 24th March 2012

A HARD FOUGHT VICTORY OVER VERY RESILIENT OPPONENTS!

Click for more pictures It was a lovely day at Holm Lane for rugby on Saturday 24th March against much improved local rivals, Port Sunlight.

The grounds looked a picture and were in excellent condition. Many thanks as always to Dave Westwater and his 'groundstaff' for all their hard work; it is much appreciated even if we don't always say so!

The game was a hard fought one which we deserved to win although the 25-5 winning margin might have flattered us a little with Sunlight competing throughout with their scrum half playing well as is normally the case along with old lags, Stocky and John Scarrats.

We scored three tries meaning we failed to gain the all important bonus point. It was good to see Martyn Sharkey, who had a strong game, getting on the scoresheet.

Click for more picturesWell played, Sharkey; with Scott Lamb having his normal powerful game as well! Another good game and a try too for our latest recruit, Mike Tobin. Well done to referee, Peter Barnett, who had a good game in my opinion!

Result: Parkonians 25 Port Sunlight 5.
Scorers:Tries-Martyn Sharkey,Barry Owens,Mike Tobin. Pens-Terry Williams(2). Cons-Terry Williams,Barry Owens.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Mike Tobin,Barry Owens,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Paul Disbury,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees(captain). Reps:Paul Hillan,Ben Pearson,Ryan Evans,Liam Evans,Geoff Waters.
Ref:Peter Barnett(Liverpool).

The 2nd Team faced a strong Mossley Hill 2nds and despite another spirited performance went down at home by a 43-8 margin with veteran, Chris Hall, scoring a consolation try.

Click for more picturesThanks to our old friend, the ever eccentric, Dave Sixsmith, for reffing this one.

The 3rds had an enjoyable local derby at Anselmians going down 31-0. Thanks to Ken Owen for his match day sponsorhip; much appreciated as always.

Later that evening I attended the annual Prenton RUFC black tie dinner and a fantastic night it was with the hospitality being wonderful as normal. Thanks to Bongo and all at Prenton for making me so welcome as always.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Secretary. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 10th March 2012

IMPROVED DISPLAY SEES OFF THE STUDENTS - JUST!!

Yes, it was a much better Parkonian performance this week away to Liverpool University on a glorious afternoon and on a lovely pitch too! However, the game was soured somewhat 20 minutes before kick off when the students' skipper informed us that they did not have a competitive front row and were seeking non contested scrums.

There was no alternative but to agree to this scenario meaning that Parkonians had a 4 point win before the game even commenced. We were now just playing for the extra bonus point if we could score four tries.Therefore, it would have been most embarassing if we had actually lost but still taken the 4 points.

On the day Parkonians eventually turned out to be the better side but it was always close and we were not able to gain the extra bonus point only scoring three tries.

We played against the strong and gusting wind in the first period and were soon, worryingly, a converted try down with their pacy winger scoring an excellent touchdown. Rob Marnick pounced on a loose ball in their in goal area to narrow the score shortly before half time but unfortunately Terry was unable to convert leaving the interval score 5-7 down.

Parkonians now with the wind at their backs dominated both territory and possesion but certainly did not have it all their own way in 'the second 40' Mike Byrne scored two excellent tries wide out following strong series of driving mauls. Terry kicked a very good conversion following one of these touch downs narrowly missing the other.

This was a much better team effort with several players having strong games; in the forwards Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick, Ben Rees,Danny Blyth, Pete Bennett and Scott Lamb. The backs tackled strongly especially Matt Dooley(as ever), Barry Owens and Terry Williams.

On a matter of law, in a game with non contested scrums, surely it should not be allowed to pick up from No 8 or take a scrum option from a penalty especially by the side who has conceded contesting scrums!! If these are the current laws then surely they need reviewing!!

Parkonans remain in 3rd place in the league table one point behind Holmes Chapel and one point ahead of Buxton who lost at league leaders, Wallasey. We have a free date this Saturday and then have Port Sunlight as visitors on Saturday 24th March in what is sure to be a hotly contested local derby;as most would agree that Sunlight are the most improved team in our league this season. Win all our three remaining games with bonus points and we can still go up - a big ask but within the realms of possibility!?

Result Liverpool University 14 Parkonians 17.
Scorers: Tries- Mike Byrne(2),Rob Marnick. Con-Terry Williams.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Mike Tobin,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Paul Hillan,Mark Barham,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Ryan Evans,Rob Marnick,Ben Rees(captain). Reps: Ben Pearson,Danny Blyth,Pete Bennett.
Ref:Roy Gladden(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team played Ormskirk 3rds at home and put in a much improved showing going down narrowly by 24-17 having given 'Kirk a 17-0 lead. Captain Matt Dodd was most enthusiastic in the clubhouse afterwards and even threatens a match report later in the week!! Good to see Jamie Lamb back playing and enjoying his birthday too!

The 2nds also have no league action this coming Saturday 17th March but it is hoped to pick up a 2nd/3rd team pool game away locally. There can be no games at the club this Saturday as preparations are being made for the commencement of the changing room, showers and toilets refurbishment programme. Temporary facilities should be on site for the following Saturday.

Finally, on behalf of the Old Parkonians Cricket Club they are on the lookout for returning and new playing members (from within the club or outside of the club) for the new season which commences on Saturday 21st April. Adult indoor nets start this Sunday 18th March at Birkenhead Park Cricket Club at 6pm; why not give it a try!!

Finally, finally why not come to the club anyway this Saturday to watch the climax of The RBS Six Nations Championship on the big screen. Wales v France (2.45pm.) then England v Ireland(5pm.) Wasn't that a great English performance and win against France?

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Secretary. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 3rd March 2012

POOR PERFORMANCE LETS PRENTON PREVAIL!

Click for more pictures

This will be a brief report but in no way is it meant to be sour grapes as Prenton thoroughly deserved their win in this latest local derby game and full credit should be given to skipper Jamie Reeve and his largely youthful squad.

It was a poor Parkonian performance and hopefully just a case of 'a bad day at the office' We had plenty of possesion scrummed very well worked hard at the lineout but could do little with the amount of good ball that we had with just too many handling and passing errors being made.

As always it was a fiercely contested game well refereed by Phil Stokes watched by a large crowd of supporters from both clubs who indulged in their normal friendly banter.

Click for more pictures

Prenton's teamwork was impressive and their scores came through tries from prop forward Craig Badley and winger Steve Evans with Darryl Parker converting the second try; Darryl also added two second half penalties with Parkonians gaining a consolation try through Barry Owens in the last minute of the game.

On the credit side for Parkonians was a promising back row debut from the bench for Pete Bennett. Well played, Pete! We must get back on track, work hard on Wednesdays on the training field and if we can win our remaining four games we still have a good chance of being promoted. This must start with a good performance away to Liverpool University next Saturday.

Everyone at the club wishes John Turaga all the best for a speedy recovery following him being knocked out just before the half time whistle.

Result:Parkonians 5 Prenton 18.
Scorer:Try-Barry Owens.
Team:Craig Whelan,Geoff Waters,Barry Owens,John Turaga,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Mark Hillan(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ryan Evans. Reps:Terry Williams,Paul Hillan,Peter Hillan,Liam Evans,Pete Bennett.

The 2nd Team went down 55-3 at high ranking St Edwards OB but the game was not as one sided as the scoreline suggests.

All credit once again to Dave Carroll for putting out the 3rd Team away to Prenton 3rds where they lost 40-14 in a hugely enjoyable contest. Dave is doing a splendid job in introducing so many new players both to the game and to the club; well done, Dave

Next week the 2nds entertain Ormskirk 3rds at Holm Lane whilst the 3rds hope for a game from the fixture pool. Many thanks to Liam Sadler for his match day sponsorship much apppreciated as always.

Finally, well done to all supporters on Saturday from both clubs for helping to make the Parkonians v Prenton game the wonderful traditional event that it is and will continue to be!!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Third Team Report from Dave Carroll ~ Saturday 18th February 2012

Gritty First Victory for Parkonians 3rds

An excellent performance against a well organised Ellesmere Port team took place at the Whitby Club on a breezy Saturday afternoon.

A team of depleting numbers on Saturday morning was rescued by Annie’s thirds unfortunate late fixture cancellation. Thanks to Nev, Tim, Ginge and Neil for helping out at late notice.

Parks started well with some excellent forward play. Multiple phases giving the team a dominant edge in the first 20 minutes. The backs where impressive with debuts for Connor Dever, Graham Corser, and John Bateman. Welcome to the club. The tackling in defence was impressive in a back line that apart from the evergreen Mike Hawker, had not played for the Club prior to this season.

Tries Came from Nev Annies and Kyle Williams. Conversion by Connor Dever.

As the game progressed, the forwards found it increasingly more difficult to interpret the laws at the breakdown resulting in multiple penalties against the parks and restricting our ability to get any rhythm in the game. Excellent discipline meant that we held on to the lead in the last ten minutes despite of a spirited assault on our line by an Ellesmere Port team with their tails up.

A big thanks to Ellesmere Port for their excellent hospitality as usual and well done to everyone who played.

Ellesmere Port 7 Parkonians 3rds 12

Team: Mike Hawker, Kyle Williams, Mark Taylor, Jon Banks, Jon Bateman, Graham Corser, Connor Dever, Neil Annies, Benjii and Tony Dever, Nev ,Tim, Ginge Annies, Dom Verj, Dave Carroll, Gareth Thomas.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 25th February 2012

FIVE TRY WIN AGAINST A PLUCKY KNUTSFORD FIFTEEN

Parkonians recorded their 13th league victory of the season to remain in 3rd place one point behind Holmes Chapel and two ahead of 4th placed Buxton and it is surely these three clubs who are now pressing for the remaining promotion spot along with league leaders Wallasey who lost their first game of the season at Port Sunlight 12-10 on Saturday!

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It was a rather low key performance by Parkonians in the early kick off at Holm Lane against a youthful visiting Knutsford side. In reality if it hadn't been for a series of passing and handling errors we should have been home and dry in the first quarter of this game.

Instead with the wind behind us we were ony 12-3 up at half time with tries through Alan Williams and John Turaga with Barry Owens converting John's try. Knutsford whilst not enjoying our advantage of territory and possesiion were always quick on the counter! We scored three further tries in the second period through Alan Williams(again), Andy Smith and Matt Dooley with none of them being converted. There were strong performances from the back row of Ryan Evans, Rob Marnick, Ben Rees along with Alan Williams and Scott Lamb.

Next Saturday sees the eagerly awaited return derby match at Holm Lane against local rivals, from the other side of Woodchurch Road, Prenton with a scheduled kick off time of 3pm. As always this is sure to be a keenly contested affair.

Result:Parkonians 27 Knutsford 10.
Scorers:Tries-Alan Williams(2),John Turaga,Andy Smith,Matt Dooley. Con-Barry Owens.
Team:Craig Whelan,Mike Bowe,Barry Owens,John Turaga,Geoff Waters,Andy Smith,Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Ryan Evans,Rob Marnick,Ben Rees(captain) Reps;Danny Blyth,Peter Hillan,Mike Tobin,Liam Evans,Matt Dooley.
Ref:John McDaid(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team had a much improved performance at Formby Vikings going down 17-5 with Simon Dunning being voted Man Of The Match slightly ahead of Matt Moore who beat Simon in the after game beer race, with Matt also claiming to be a quarter of an inch taller than Simon?!

Next week the 2nds travel to St Edwards OB for their next league game.

There was a really good atmosphere in the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon for the Engalnd v Wales game with us losing so narrowly in the last five minutes when a draw surely  would have been a fairer result!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 18th February 2012

BACK INTO THE GROOVE AT LINLEY!

The 1st team squad and their supporters travelled down by coach, courtesy of R&J Travel, to Linley and happily a much improved display took place. John Turaga returned at fly half after a lengthy break through injury and there was a second half debut for centre, Mike Tobin, who made a good impression, with other players also returning to the fray; welcome to the Club, Mike!

We arrived in plenty of time and had a good warm up, won the toss and elected to play up the slope in the first half. We were rewarded with a try almost immediately through Mark Barham with a large overlap being created on the right hand side of a ruck; this was not converted. The pitch was heavey and sticky making it difficult for running and handling. With no disrespect intended to Linley we really should have scored at least two or more tries in the first period but our handling skills, partly due to the aforementioned playing conditions, let us down. Shortly before half time we did score another try through Barry Owens who converted it himself to leave us leading 12-0 at the interval.

The second half saw us again dominating both territory and possesion and whilst Linley had their moments there was never any doubt that Parkonians were going to win this one. We continued to improve our standard of play throughout the half resulting in three further tries from Mike Bowe, debutant, Mike Tobin, and finally Matt Dooley, two of which were excellently converted again by Barry Owens.

Acting captain, Ben Rees, had a fine game leading from the front and indeed he was given our Man Of The Match from the Linley club with Geoff Waters who also played well being their second choice. There were good games too from Rob Marnick, Scott Lamb, Matt Dooley, Barry Owens and as already mentioned from Mike Tobin; but in truth, the second half especially, it was a real team performance!

This result means we stay in 3rd place two points behind Holmes Chapel with six league games remaining; we must push on from here now and aim for a good finish to the season in our quest for promotion.

This Saturday sees the 1st team playing a rearranged league game at home to Knutsford and it is hoped for a slightly earlier kick off time of 1.45/2pm. in order that the players can see the start of the England v. Wales international which has a 4pm. kick off; PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS MAY BE THE CASE!!

I would also like to give the travelling supporters to Linley a mention; it was much appreciated as always!! They were injured captain and vice captain, Gareth Pryce and Liam Sadler, medic, George O'Donnell, touch judge, Richie Beckett, Alan Morris, Keith Aldcroft, Ken Owen, Terry Marnick, Mike Marnick and Chris Williams. Thanks also to Linley, as ever, for their hospitality at Kidsgrove Cricket Club and to our ever patient driver, Paul, from R&J; we enjoyed the stop off in Sandbach.

Result:Linley 0 Parkonians 31.
Scorers:Tries-Mark Barham,Barry Owens,Mike Bowe,Mike Tobin,Matt Dooley. Cons-Barry Owens(3).
Team:Craig Whelan,Mike Bowe,Geoff Waters,Barry Owens,Matt Dooley,John Turaga,Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Ben Rees(captain). Reps:Peter Hillan,Mike Tobin.

The 2nd Team 'came a cropper' against high ranking Hoylake 2nds losing 43-0 at Holm Lane. This week they too have a rearranged league game away at Formby Vikings.

Let's be seeing you all at Holm Lane this Saturday to watch both your Club and your Country!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 11th February 2012

With playing resources decimated by injury and unavailability it was no surprise really to see both teams go out of their respective cup competitions last Saturday. The games, both at Holm Lane, were able to go ahead with the lifting of the frost on Friday evening leaving both pitches in a very playable condition.

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The first team had ten of their squad missing for this important game against Mossley Hill in the second leg of the National Junior Vase. We had, of course, suffered the very serious injuries at Buxton a fortnight ago to vice captain, Liam Sadler, and to our Captain, Gareth Pryce.

Both are remarkably cheerful considering that both are out for the season and in Liam's case probably longer. All here at Parkonians wish them every success on their long road to recovery and I would like to thank members of other Clubs who have  passed on their messages of support and sympathy to both young men.

Despite all the changes we should not have started the game so poorly, allowing Mossley Hill to be 21-0 up inside the first quarter of an hour wiping out our 14 point advantage from the first leg. In essence this was a poor match with Parkonians gradually improving as the match progressed while at the same time Mossley Hill's performance deteriorated; thankfully!

We had opportunities to progress to the next round but didn't really deserve to at the end of the day because depite plenty of possession, territory and spirirt we lacked the killer instinct! It was good to see Andy Smith back completing the whole game and getting onto the scoresheet too. The players who came in certainly did not let us down and no one really had a poor game but neither was anyone outstanding too.

Many thanks to referee, Phil Stokes, who had a good game.

Result: Parkonians 8 Mossley Hill 28.
Scorer: Try- Andy Smith. Pen-Andy Smith
Team:Craig Whelan,Paul Lennon,LiamEvans,Geoff Waters,Mike Bowe,Andy Smith,Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Ryan Evans,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees(captain).Reps:Mark Barham,Chris Sharkey.
Ref:Phil Stokes(Liverpool)

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The knock on effect for the 2nd Team was that they were, unfortunately, very much weakened for their Raging Bull Plate cup game and went down 36-3.

In the course of the match, Captain Tony Burton, suffered an injury which may well keep him out for the remainder of the season; wishing you a speedy recovery, Tony!

This coming Saturday the 1st Team are away in the league at Linley with a coach booked so supporters as always are most welcome; the meet at the club is 11.30am prompt. The 2nds have a league game versus Hoylake 2nds at Holm Lane. Both games kick off at 2.15pm.

Last Saturday saw the Cusick family's annual match day sponsorship in memory of the late great Brian 'Gus' Cusick who so sadly passed away four years ago on 7th February 2008.

Click for more picturesIt was good to see Sandra and other family members at the game on Saturday; we really appreciate this generous sponsorship and thank you for it! The Aussie White toast was to Gus!!

It was my absolute pleasure to make a formal presentation, after last Saturday's game, to long serving Life Member, volunteer and Club Vice President, Eric Potter.

Eric has been recognised by the RFU Volunteer Programme for his long service and loyalty to the club and I was able to present him with his RFU VIP tie and RFU VIP cuff links; very well done.

Eric, you are very deserving of this prestigious award!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/ Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

2nd Team Report from Tony Burton ~ Saturday 21st January 2012

A welcome victory was had on Saturday by the 2nd XV against a big Mossley Hill side. Before the game, individuals seemed to be contemplating our last outing against Mossley Hill in the league, when they beat us by 40 plus points and were very subdued in the Clubhouse. This was to change at the start of the game.

In a swirling wind, Parkonians came out firing on all cylinders and enjoyed the majority of the possession with good interaction between the forwards and backs driving forward putting constant pressure on the MH defensive line. MH made a number of tackles in their own 22 resulting in a Park forward driving onwards only to lose the ball, MH picking up and then running through our line to score and duly convert against the run of play.

Our equaliser came after further pressure by the forwards allowed the ball to be passed to the left and Geoff Waters crashing over for his first try. MH then scored from another mistake by us where a wild pass went awry, which was picked up by a MH player and after a couple of passes scored in the corner.

We replied straight from our kick off with Liam Evans catching the ball, passing it through a number of hands which included forwards and backs until it went to Geoff who went over for try number 2.

In the second half, the game played out much as the first, we dominated up front in all areas of the field in line- outs, rucks, mauls and scrummaging even though the ball was dropped onto their 2nd rows feet, we continued to drive them off the ball. Eventually a try did come from Popeye who after a fantastic drive from the forwards that went from our 10 yard line was on the end (or stole) the ball and went over. Our final try came after excellent counter defence work on the ½ way line by our backs which enabled the ball to be passed out to Geoff who went in for his hat-trick.

Apart from winning, one of the hi-lights of the game was when we won a line out on our 22, the ball going to Tucker who dummied their flanker and scrum half at the back of the line and then proceeded to run up field before he was hauled down on their 10 yard line. He then came off injured, but the sideline think it was just to tell us about it.
We played well and thoroughly deserved this victory but just a few comments to add in the way we played, which I hope we learn from rather than taking them as negative.

  • We worked well in our pods up to a point when one man went by himself and either lost the ball or gave away a penalty for holding on – look for support before going.
  • White line fever hit a number of people – we went as individuals when support play or overlaps were available.
  • Individuals standing around at the back of rucks or mauls – need to either get involved and drive or look to get out of the channels.
  • Kicking the ball high against the wind – enough said!

The final score of 12 – 24 doesn’t give a true reflection of the ball or territory that we had but it was a win in the cup and as a reward we have a home tie against Tydesley in the next round on February 11. 

We have got Prenton at home this weekend and obviously, we have a big squad, especially when the 3rd XV don’t have a game, but we are trying to use the rolling subs properly and will attempt to give as much game time to everyone as we can. Don’t get upset if not selected but keep trying to make your individual positions your own.

Man of the match – Geoff Waters (jug still owing) 

Tony Burton

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 21st January 2012

FANTASTIC CUP VICTORY FOR THE 2NDS AWAY AT MOSSLEY HILL!!

The 2nds travelled across the water tp play high flying Mossley Hill 2nds in the 2nd Round of the Raging Bull Plate and came away with a fantastic 24-12 triumph. Congratulations to captain Tony Burton and all of his squad. Geoff 'Dizzy' Waters scored a hat trick of tries with Pete Bennett adding another; Alan Williams converting two of them. The next round of the Plate is scheduled for Saturday 11th February with opponents and venue as yet unknown.

The 3rds played familiar opponents in Ellesmere Port 3rds at a windswept Holm Lane. An entertaining game ensued with an end result a 12-12 draw which was eminently fair. Many thanks to Martin Roden for refereeing this game so well and at such short notice too (about 20 minutes in fact)!!

Well done to Dave Carroll for once again captaining and organising the side and for setting such a fine example to the younger players on show. Good to see youngsters such as Kiel Williams, Ben Sadler, Kieran O'Donnell and John Banks enjoying their rugby and continuing to improve as well.

The 1sts did not have a game but have dropped back to 3rd place following Holmes Chapel's 19-10 home victory over Liverpool University. This makes this coming Saturday 28th January fixture at 4th placed Buxton even more vital.

The meet is 11am at the club; a coach is booked and spectators are very welcome, space for about 10 excuding playing squad etc. Please be prompt. The 2nds have a local league derby against Prenton 2nds captained by former Parkonian in Mark 'Giggsy' Peers now playing hooker! This match is at Holm Lane with a 2.15pm KO.

Many thanks to this week's match day sponsor, Pete Evans. Much appreciated as always, Pete!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 14th January 2012

THIRTEEN TRY SCORING SPREE AT HOLM LANE AGAINST A BRAVE BUT WEAKENED HELSBY.

On a lovely day for running rugby and on a pitch in very good condition Parkonians delivered a thirteen try feast of entertainment for their normal large following.

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The first try came within the first two minutes with Parkonians kicking off seeing the ever lively Ben Pearson chase and catch this kick off and drive his way up the field before setting up a ruck for quick ball which was passed along the backs giving the impressive Liam Sadler his first try of the match.

Two further tries were scored in the next five minutes giving a score of 17-0 after only eight minutes of play. However, this scoring rate was not maintained due to the brave and determined play of a much weakened Helsby side and an easing off the gas by ourselves. Late on in the first half, after a 'tryless' 25 minute period, two further tries were scored one of which was converted leaving the interval score at 29-0.

The second half was most entertaining and saw plenty of skilful rugby by Parkonians running in eight tries four of which were converted. This was a really good team performance albeit that it wasn't the sternest of tests! Particularly impressive were joint Men Of The Match Danny Blyth and Scott Lamb and of course hat trick hero, Liam Sadler. I thought that captain, Gareth Pryce, also had a fine game too including a brace of tries.

Having said that everyone in the squad really is worth a mention! Some need it others don't so well played also to Ben Pearson, Barry Owens(my favourite 'critic') and of course Uncle Paul 'Mr Greedy' Wigfield who had for the first time his two nephews, Liam and Ryan Evans alongside him in the team. Finally well worth a mention is Stotty who given that he can not practise his sprinting on an oil rig scored a fine try even if he missed one or two others!

Again I have to compliment the Helsby lads for their 'never say die' attitude, fighting spirirt and not an ounce of complaint either; they have done well to keep going and much of this is down to two veteran stalwarts in Tony Ryder and Terry O'Neill for their loyalty and organisation; well done gents and good luck for the rest of the season and beyond.

Referee, Paul Harrison, had a strong game and seemed to enjoy himself which is surely what it is all about. This victory keeps us in second place behind runaway leaders Wallasey who notched up their fourteenth consecutive victory coming away 67-3 victors at Knutsford.

Third placed Holmes Chapel had a narrow 10-5 victory against Prenton at The Dell. Holmes Chapel are due to play their game in hand next Saturday at home to Liverpool University which if victorious would see them move ahead of us into second place. Our next opponets Buxton remain in fourth place after a 27-10 win at Capenhust.

Result:Parkonians 77 Helsby 0.
Scorers:Tries-Liam Sadler(3),Gareth Pryce(2),Scott Lamb(2),Geoff Waters,Liam Evans,Peter Hillan,Paul Wigfield,Chris Stott,Rob Marnick. Cons-Barry Owens(5),Liam Sadler.
Team:Craig Whelan,Liam Evans,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Geoff Waters,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Ben Pearson,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Ryan Evans,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees. Reps:Martyn Sharkey,Paul Wigfield,Rob Marnick,Matt Dooley,Chris Stott.
Ref:Paul Harrison(Liverpool)
Joint Men Of The Match:Danny Blyth and Scott Lamb

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The 2nds also played at home to local rivals Wirral 4ths losing narrowly 10-5 in what appeared a good and keenly contested game well refereed by Liverpool Society referee Andy Townsend who always enjoys his visits to Holm Lane.

Next week the 2nds travel across the water to play Mossley Hill 2nds in the Second Round of The Raging Bull Plate in what is sure to be a tough encounter.

With the 1sts having a free date perhaps some of our loyal followers might travel to support Tony's team.

We hope to run a 3rd team next Saturday at home with opponents from the fixture pool. Advance notice of the 1st team game at Buxton on Saturday 28th January; a 33 seater coach has been booked so there are around 10 spaces available for supporters so to be sure of 'booking' your place let Gareth Pryce or Alan Morris Senior know.

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Finally, many thanks to match day sponsor, Martin 'Mr Placid' Varley; no fighting this week, thank goodness! As always your sponsorship is much appreciated.

Many thanks too to Dave Taylor and 7 Waves local community radio(92.1 FM) for our mentions on air at half time and full time on his programme (2-6pm Saturday afternoons); pity we didn't make the chat show at half 5 when Gareth was prepared to give a live interview!!

Your In Sport. Richie Beckett.
Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 7th January 2012

HARD FOUGHT WIN AS ALWAYS AT CAPE AGAINST A USEFUL AND DETERMINED TEAM.

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Yes, as always it was a hard earned win away against a dogged Capenhurst side as always.Although Parkonians won by a 15 point margin it was a game where nothing could be taken for granted! We had injuries, unavailabilities and cry offs (not excuses) and ended up travelling with only two replacements both of whom were backs.

This also meant both Ben Pearson and Scott Lamb having to play out of their normal starting positions; well done to both of you! The pitch was heavy and the wind very strong indeed not helping playing conditions at all.

However, although it wasn't really a great team performance we did score five tries gaining the maximum five points.

There were several very good individual performances on the day with Mike Byrne given the Man Of The Match just ahead of several other players who had very good games such as Liam Sadler,Ben Rees,Danny Blyth and Matt Dooley, some awesome tackling, Matt, as ever!! Also good to see Junior Turaga coming off the replacement bench for his 1st team debut. Well played, Junior!

It was just the kind of game we needed to get the New Year up and running before some tough challenges ahead. Compliments to Capenhurst for their performance on the field of play and for their generous hospitality off it and also thanks to referee, Phil Stokes.It was also another very good turn out from our travelling supporters as so often is the case; the players do really appreciate it even if they don't always say so! Could I just ask that you remember to concentrate your efforts on supporting the lads and perhaps be a little less critical of the referee even if you think he isn't perhaps having a very good game; thank you!

Result:Capenhurst 19 Parkonians 34
Scorers:Tries-Liam Sadler(2),Ben Rees,Matt Dooley,Craig Whelan.Cons-Liam Sadler(3).Pen-Liam Sadler
Team:Craig Whelan,Geoff Waters,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees. Reps-Karl Whelan,Junior Turaga.
Ref:Phil Stokes(Liverpool)
Match Day Sponsor:Mark Pearson. Many thanks, Mark, and happy birthday as well!

The 2nd Team travelled to play Taffy's Ormskirk Lions and his report is on their website as usual (and below) and as he says, in much more eloquent language than this, it was a very keenly contested game indeed with 'Kirk finishing up as narrow 20-17 victors. What Taffy fails to mention, other than in passing, was the highlight of the day a 'punch up/ fight/ handbags at dawn' between himself and our own' Mr Placid', Martin Varley! Shame on you both!! Anyway, it kept the troops entertained.

This week sees a home double header with both teams having league games; the 1sts versus Helsby and the 2nds against Wirral 4ths. Both games kick off at 2.15pm which is the case until the end of February.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year whether you are a Parkonian or not!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett.Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Take the Power Back ~ Saturday 7th January 2012

2nd Team Report from Richie "Taff" Gibbon

Ormskirk Lions 20 Parkonians 2nds 17

In the right light, study becomes insight
But the system that dissed us
Teaches us to read and write

Rage Against The Machine, Take The Power Back, 1992.

Guile and bravery are required in any sport, in rugby they are essential. No amount of skill or technique can withstand the onslaught of sheer determination and self belief. Throw in youthful exuberance and a few grizzled veterans and what do you get? Ormskirk Lions is the answer. 

If the Formby win was the GCSE, then this game was the A level, passed with all the above attributes in a match not for the faint hearted. Yes Ormskirk, the Lions roared today. Read on......

After a rousing team talk from Taff and Richmond, and another sprightly Alan Rees warm up, the Lions raced out of the starting blocks to take the game to Old Parks and soon found themselves 5-0 up thanks to some great forward play finished off by returnee centre, Ean Quirk, and dominated both territory and possession for the first quarter but amazingly no more scores were forthcoming, mainly due to some excellent Old Parks defence.

Parks soon turned this defence into attack, and now it was their turn to dominate and the Lions to defend. Wave after wave of Parks attackers, namely Prescott, Burton, Brownlow and Dunning were repelled by some grim Lions defending, exemplified by Parks danger man Dodd getting over the line only for some sharp Lions thinking seeing the ball disappear from his hands before grounding!, (I even witnessed a perfect dump tackle performed by the one and only, Russ Brennan). But Parks weren’t to be denied, and took advantage of a quick tap penalty to send captain Tony Burton over in the corner right on the stroke of half-time!

5-5 at the interval, game on!

And from the off, Parks stormed towards the Lions’ line after Peter Bennett caught the kick off and rumbled into Kirk territory, leaving the Lions flat-footed, and from the resultant rolling maul, basically Taff v Old Parks, they scored a converted try, who scored? Didn’t notice as I was too busy bollocking the lads so, many apologies, but I’m sure someone will put me straight on that point! 5-12, bugger! Been here before, Kirk crumble, Parks get big win, we rue missed chance!

So last season that thinking! A Lions team enraged is an unstoppable force these days, and surging runs by Baillie, (several of the mesmerizing varieties), Robertson, and the smash and boom of the forwards, eventually saw 17year old, Josh ‘The Tank’ Williams stomp through the Parks defence, via ref, Brian Ball, to score a great try to bring the Lions Back to 10-12. The dander is up, the belief is there, Baillie is everywhere! Two storming efforts from young Dan, (I could use many words to describe them, but just accept that they were excellent), put the Lions back into the lead at 20-12 and well in control.

But Parks were not done, and once more came hunting for glory, scoring a well worked try in the corner; I saw the hand but not the face, so again no name. Thankfully though the missed conversion still gave the Lions a slender 3 point advantage, however, repeated Parks attacks threatened to spoil the Lions’ efforts, but a combination of great drift defence and a couple of dropped balls kept the Lions’ lead intact, and if Ian Critchley had been 10 years younger, a Chris Hall moment, (ask Old Parks), may have wrapped the game up there and then, but 60 yards is a fair way at our age so his resultant kick to touch secured valuable field position, which the Lions held onto until the bell tolled for the Parkonians!

A cracking game to be honest; fights, fierce tackles, great rugby, what more can you ask for. Parks posed massive questions of this new age Kirk Lions team, which were answered superbly in what I can only describe as a monumental team effort. The times I got up from a ruck to see a green line of defenders in unison were numerous and heartening to see, something we failed to do early season, lessons learned I feel.

Honorable mentions, the entire Parks team: great effort lads only undone by some Baillie magic, you know your star will rise again, keep the faith. Lions heroes were many but notably, Quirk, Baillie, Robertson, Woodhead, Grant and possibly that old Welsh war horse in the 2nd row; lets be honest, who did have a bad game? Answers on a postcard please.

Star-man though goes to my 2nd row colleague, the considerably younger and more talented, Josh Williams. Was it his deafening roar at every scrum that galvanized his elder partner into feats of derring do?, or was it his collection of the ball at the restarts allied to his boomtastic runs that lifted the Lions to higher plains? 17 years old! Inspired Josh, and inspiring in a season of inspiration for me, all I can add is very well done Josh, man of the match.

If you listen carefully, you can hear Russ Brennan polishing his new boots!

Green Army!

Taffy

Where Are They Now? by Richie Beckett ~ January 2012

I thought it might be interesting to list clubs who Parkonians RUFC 1st XV have not played for at least 5/10 years but whom we played regularly in bygone years; I have NOT included clubs where our lower adult teams still play them or have done fairly recently. The reasons are varied as you will see!

NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE:
Old Instonians(merged became Prenton),Old Rockferrians(merged became Prenton),Old Birkonian,Hightown,Speke Old Boys(aka.South Liverpool, Whitehouse Park, Runcorn), Old Salians, Halton, Vulcan.

OUT OF AREA/NO LONGER PLAYING LEAGUE RUGBY:
Colwyn Bay, Wrexham, Delyn(now Flint), Old Baileans, Fylde 2, Eccles, Aspull, Chester College

CURRENTLY ABOVE OUR STANDARD:
Macclesfield(National 1), Caldy(2 North), Lymm, Altrincham Kersal(3 North), Whitchurch(Midlands 1 West), Sandbach, Northwich(formerly Mid Cheshire Colleges), Leigh(North 1 West), Warrington, Winnington Park, Tyldesley, Ashton on Mersey(South Lancs/Cheshire 1), Dukinfield, Oswestry,Trentham(South Lancs/Cheshire 2).

There are other clubs but I think we may well have played them in the last 5 years! However, I feel it is likely that I will have missed out a club or two as well ; let me know! I think it is almost certain that Parkonians 1st XV have beaten EVERY club on the above list on at least one occasion in the Club's history!!

Cheers.
Richie Beckett, Chairman, Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Boxing Day 2011

FABULOUS FESTIVE FAYRE!!

Yes indeed it was 'fabulous festive fayre' at a bright, breezy and incredibly mild Holm Lane on Boxing Day Monday 2011. This was in complete contrast to the previous year when it had been the coldest and snowiest of all Brothers v Veterans games. This year's 32nd annual contest was one of the best yet in a very evenly contested affair with the Brothers being narrow victors by a 26-17 margin. Conditions underfoot were good and the players enthusiastic enough for a 35 minutes each way contest.

The early exchanges were very even and it was some time before the Brothers opened the scoring through a Junior Turaga try. The rest of the opening period belonged to the Brothers and it was they who led at half time 19-3. However, the Veterans came back with a bang and at one time narrowed the score to only 19-17 through two tries from the excellent Ben 'Tic Tac' Rees.before the Brothers hit back with a converted try to seal the game once again.

Many thanks to Mike Heyward for refereeing the game so well and so fairly!! I was also pleased that players from other clubs felt welcome to join us both on and off the field; the crowd must have been the largest for years if not the largest ever which will have led to a much needed and welcomed bar take!!

The Donny Hawker Memorial Trophy Men Of The Match Awards went to Tony Owens(Veterans), the oldest player on the day, and to young 21 year old Gareth Thomas(Brothers),  for the second year running. Moaners Of The Day went to Barry Owens(Veterans) for claiming to not yet being a veteran and for severe after match criticism of his Dad and to Alan Morris(Brothers) for being far too old to be a brother still when he was the second oldest on the pitch and for giving your Chairman continuous stick about his touch judging abilities!! Youngest player of the day went to another Pensby Academy product, Kieran O'Donnell; well played, Kieran.

On a more serious note it is especially at this time that we remember legendary figures such as Donny Hawker and Brian 'Gus' Cusick who both loved this day so much! Also we should remember club members who passed away this past year including Les Marguerie and George Parr. Sadly I have to inform you of the passing of two well known local rugby people over the Christmas period. Firstly, Tony Atherton who played for Merseyside Police and Birkenhead Park before qualifying as a coach firstly at Instonians then more famously as Director Of Rugby at Caldy overseeing the onset of their most successful period as a rugby club.

Secondly, and only a day later, a well known and respected former Liverpool Society referee, Vernon Schwarz, passed on. He was a good friend to the club as well as being a one time teaching colleague of both Gus and myself. He loved Gus dearly and was much senior to him in their posts at Wallasey School but had incredible difficulty controlling him on the field!! Vernon also was Deputy Head at Pensby High School For Boys where so many of our current players were educated. We remember all these gentleman dearly and think of their families at this difficult time!

On a different note it was fabulous on Boxing Day to see so many past Club Captains whom we don't see so often;including John Maher,Haydn Owen,Billy Lloyd and Dave Browne for example. Also good to see Robbie Knight, a more frequently visiting former Club Captain accompanied by his good friend, Peter Browne. Great also to see, as always, newly elected Vice President, Eric Potter. The club would like to thank Eric for his continuing weekly support of both the rugby and cicket sections adult and junior sections; it is much appreciated, Eric!

It has been a good season for the rugby club so far with the 1st XV second in the league table and still in the National Junior Vase. The junior rugby section continuess to go from strength to strength with ever increasing player numbers and coaches and to evenly contested game against other clubs. Congratulations to all concerned let's keep it going and let us hope that we are in newly refurbished changing accomadation in the earlier part of 2012!

Result:Brothers 26 Veterans 17.
Teams:Veterans:Paul Lennon,Mike Hawker,Chris Hall(captain),Barry Owens,John Dunning,Mark Pearson,Tony Owens,Derek Prescott,Matt Dodd,Mark Barham,Tony Burton,Steve Stockford,Danny Blyth,Phil Smith,Ben Rees,Steve Copple,Graham Clarke,Tim Hassall,Jed Smith.
 Brothers:Craig Whelan,Karl Whelan,Liam Sadler,Ryan Evans,Kieran O'Donnell,Ben Sadler,Mark Hillan(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Gareth Thomas,Alan Morris,Paul Morris,Paul Hillan,Chris Sharkey,Alan Williams,Paul Wigfield,Mike Byrne,Junior TuragaMike Bowe,Josh Bowe,Adam Westwater,George O'Donnell.
Ref:Mike Heyward(Club).Many thanks again, Mike!
Match Day Sponsors: Thanks to you all as always!! It is much appreciated.

The next scheduled games are on Saturday 7th January with both 1st and 2nd teams having league games. The 1sts are away to Capenhurst and the 2nds away to Ormskirk 4ths(Taffy's mob) both KO 2.15pm. We are hoping for a 3rd team pool game at Holm Lane. May I on behalf of the club wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 17th December 2011

NOMADS VICTORIOUS AS PARKONIANS LOSE OUT IN A WILD AND WINTRY ISLE OF MAN

Southern Nomads were overjoyed by their thoroughly deserved victory over Parkonians in the Semi Final of The Cheshire Plate to set them up for a Final meeting with Prenton, at a yet to be decided neutral venue, scheduled for Easter Saturday 7th April.

It was a long day in every sense of the way for the club from the Wirral. We were on our way, courtesy of R & J Travel, from The Swan car park on Saturday morning at 6.45am. to Liverpool Airport. Our flight was due to leave at 8.45am but we had a long delay finally departing at 11.25am. We had been due to kick off at 12 noon but we had landed 10 minutes later than this with kick off being put back to 1.30pm.

The venue also had to be changed due to waterlogging from King Williams College to a very exposed Castle Shimmen school playing fields. The overhead conditions were dire with frequent hail and sleet showers being driven in directly across the ground by a near gale force wind. Despite the bitter wintry conditions the playing surface was in remarkably good condition.

Well enough of the preamble and on to the actual game itself. The more experienced Parkonians side definitely started on the offensive and might have scored on a couple of occasions but the Nomads defence was both strong and determined. Eventually, close to the 30 minute mark, after a series of rucks the visitors took the lead through an unconverted try from Paul Wigfield.

The hosts hit back in the closing minutes of the half to score a converted try leaving them with a narrow 7-5 lead at the interval; there had been nothing in it in what had been a very keenly contested first period of play. Unfortunately, Parkonians had suffered injuries. Firstly, prop Ben Pearson had to leave the field to be replaced by Mark Barham then Scott Lamb suffered a broken nose in an accidental clash to be replaced by the ever energetic Danny Blyth.

Finally, Liam Sadler suffered a broken rib after a cynical stamping incident just prior to half time. This meant that Bernie Carey who hadn't played for at least 10 years, but had volunteered to make up the playing numbers when we had a late withdrawal, was now required to play a full half in the second row with Rob Marnick having to drop into the backs after having had a strong 40 minutes himself. Bernie didn't let us down scummaging well and carrying the ball forward powerfully, thanks, Bernie!

Despite all these enforced changes Parkonians again started well and dominated both territory and possession but just could not score due to a combination of their own mistakes and stout resilient Nomads defensive tackling. Now prop Martyn Sharkey had to leave the field due to injury to be bravely replaced by the already injured Ben Pearson. As the weather closed in once more Parkonians lack of a score led to firstly frustration then not surprisingly to tiredness.

Sensing this the large Nomads crowd buoyed their enthusiastic young team up and it was they who finished the stronger in the last 15 minutes or so of play, scoring two tries one of which was converted. This left Nomads as deserved 19-5 victors after a game which seemed to have lasted for ever. Naturally the island team and their numerous supporters were elated in what may have been the biggest game in their 30 year history.

To me Peter Hillan had been the Parkonians Man Of The Match although the opposition gave it to Paul Wigfield. Paul Hillan also had a strong game as did Rob Marnick. I was also impressed by the play and bravery of stand in wingers Chris Hall and John Dunning who not only did well but were also fully exposed to the elements. However, all players and referee, Tony Heggs, should be praised for their performances on a day which will surely not be forgotten for many reasons!! Also, well done to all supporters for their enthusiam in the icy conditions.

So it was off to to The Bay Hotel in Port Erin for the after match hospitality. A great pub, and a great time with generous helpings of beer and food; thanks, Southern Nomads. Then it was Protours travel back to Douglas and The Palace Hotel for a traditional Parkonian Isle Of Man night out by  the mainland club who have probably made the most trips over to the Island of any English club in their 83 year history. We even gave a renditon of our 1980 tour song'We Sailed To The Isle Of Man....' aka 'Sloop John B' (The Beach Boys) in The Bay Hotel.

Many thanks to Vaughan Paddock from Nomads on their side for all his hard work and organisation and on our side to Kenny Owen and captain, Gareth Pryce. Finally thanks to the lads who lovingly cared for my fleece and for so long, too! It was much appreciated!!

Result:Southern Nomads 19 Parkonians 5.
Scorer: Try-Paul Wigfield
Team:Craig Whelan,John Dunning,Liam Evans,Liam Sadler,Chris Hall,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick,Paul Hillan,Paul Wigfield. Reps:Mark Barham,Danny Blyth,Bernie Carey.
Also In Attendance:Steve Lowndes,Alan Morris,Richie Beckett,George O'Donnell,Mark Pearson.
Ref:Tony Heggs(Liverpool/IOM)

Back at home the 2nds were playing out a 5-5 draw at Holm Lane against New Brighton 3rds in a league game. Well done, lads!

Please remember Brothers v Veterans on Boxing Day Monday (1.30pm KO); as usual ALL players and spectators most welcome. All that leaves is for me to wish all club members both past and present a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Wezzie's Second Team Report ~ Saturday 17th December 2011

MUD WRESTLERS ON SHOW AT HOLM LANE

Click for more pictures

Snow, sleet and a biting wind did not prevent the 2nd XV vs. New Brighton XV game taking place on the 2nd pitch.

Snoods, balaclavas and woolies were the order of day for the sizeable number of spectators.

Nobody was keener for the game to take place than Gareth Thomas who was 21 this week, he was out on the ground at 8-30 forking the worst of the 'lakes', it was worth it as he played very well.

It ended all square at 5-5, our crash over try scored by Tony Burton.

Well done to all the players, referee Dave Grundy, touch judge Matthew Burton, spectators and Lorraine Prescott for sharing her bottle of Port.

A fair result.

Dave Westwater

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 10th December 2011

WALLASEY MAKE IT 12 OUT OF 12 GOING INTO THE CHRISTMAS BREAK AFTER A MIGHTY SCARE AT PARKONIANS!!

In front of a large crowd (more than the 121 watching Caldy in National League Division 2 North I am sure) Wallasey were made to work very hard for their 12th consecutive win of the campaign by a feisty and determined Parkonian side.

Whilst last week I thought we weren't quite good enough to edge it against Holmes Chapel I still find it hard to believe, even 48 hours later, that we came out of last Saturday's game empty handed, not even a bonus point! We were the better side for much of the first hour and but for the disallowed try, midway through the second period, by Geoff Waters when Barry Owens was adjudged to have passed forward we would surely have finished as victors. To Wallasey's credit they competed throughout and definitely finished the stronger of the two teams in the last 15 minutes; in addition they have said all this in a very fair match report on their own website!!

Parkonians started off with a bang and certainly put a load of pressure on Wallasey in the opening minutes with plenty of forward sorties. The scrum was going exceptionally well and this continued throuthout; very well done to all five front rowers on the day Martyn Sharkey, Alan Williams, Ben Pearson, Mark Barham and Peter Hillan. We did not have everything our own way at the line out but Scott Lamb again spoilt a lot of opposition ball at No. 2. Parkonians took the lead through a Liam Sadler penalty on the 15 minute mark but Wallasey soon hit back through a Paul Lewis penalty before Liam hit another penalty to leave the interval score 6-3 in our favour.

Matt Dooley had to leave the field at the interval following a hard knock right on the referee's half time whistle. Hope you head isn't still sore, Matt?!

The home side continued to pressurise the league leaders who were bginning to become rather indisciplined giving away several penalties enabling Liam Sadler to add two more goal kicks giving a 12-3 scoreline in our favour with around 20 minutes remaining. Following the try that never was the pendulum swing the way of our visitors and it was their turn to apply the pressure resulting in three tries to them one of which was converted.

None of us these were stunning touchdowns rather a product of our own mistakes. The final whistle went much to the relief and jubilation of the Wallasey players and their very healthy travelling support. Parkonian players and supporters were left very disappointed indeed but the players should take pride in their performance as this may well have been Wallasey's hardest game so far this season.

A big well done to all players on both sides for playing their hearts out; some of the defending and tackling was awesome. Great to see so many supporteres, too, from both sides enjoying themselves in the true spirit of the game in what was certainly a nerve jangling affair. I thought Peter Houghton the referee, had a good game too; he was certainly kept busy with plenty to look out for and his player management skills were there for all to see! Well done, Peter.!

So it is off to the Isle Of Man this Saturday 17th December to play Southern Nomads in The Semi Final of the Cheshire Plate at King Williams College, Castletown(12 noon KO).to see who plays Prenton in the final, after their 20-15 Semi Final victory over Port Sunlight. All travelling squad members are reminded that the meet is 6.45am prompt at The Swan car park and that photo ID is required for the airport.

Result:Parkonians 12 Wallasey 20.
Scorer:Pens-Liam Sadler(4)
Team:Craig Whelan,Geoff Waters,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick,Paul Hillan,Ben Rees.Reps:Danny Blyth,Mark Barham,Peter Hillan,Ryan Evans,Liam Evans.
Ref:Peter Houghton(Liverpool)
Match Day Sponsors: The FT Club. Many thanks as always gentlemen!

The 2nd Team's league game away at Formby Vikings was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and they declined our offer of playing at Holm Lane! The 2nds will be hoping for better luck when they entertain New Brighton 3rds in the league at Holm Lane on Saturday.

THAT TIME OF YEAR HAS COME ROUND AGAIN SO QUICKLY!! YES IT IS THE 32ND ANNUAL CONSECUTIVE BROTHERS V VETERANS GAME ON BOXING DAY MONDAY 26TH(1.30PM KO ). ALL PLAYERS AND SPECTATORS ARE VERY WELCOME INCLUDING THOSE FROM OTHER LOCAL CLUBS AND WE ARE STILL ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A REFEREE OR TWO OR THREE; JUST TURN UP ON THE DAY OR LET ME KNOW BEFOREHAND!! SEE YOU ALL THERE.

Finally this week I would like to mention a Club unsung hero in Alan Muir who carries out a weekly pitch inspection prior to the match; clearing off rubbish and other undesired items from the field of play!! This is now an RFU recommended code of practice. In addition, Alan, often then goes on to assist Dave Westwater and others with car parking duties which can be a busy task on a Saturday such as the last one. Many thanks, Alan!!

We are thinking of trying to run an 'A' team game on either/or Christmas Eve Saturday/New Year's Eve Saturday so please let your Team Captain or someone at the Club know if you like the sound of this idea; whatever is decided the sooner we know the better..

Yours In Sport. and Compliments Of The Season.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 3rd December 2011

DISAPPOINTING NARROW DEFEAT TO A RESILIENT CHAPEL ON A SUCCESSFUL REUNION DAY!

Parkonians fell to their first defeat for 3 months against a strong and resilient Holmes Chapel side. In truth the game could have gone either way with both teams tackling and defending heroically throughout!! We played into the very strong wind blowing towards Holm Lane in the first half. Chapel were unable to take advantage of the elements with Parkonains defending superbly leaving a 0-0 interval scoreline.

The home side started the second period strongly but were unable to break through and indeed it was Holmes Chapel who took the lead with a converted breakaway try. Penalty kicks at goal were missed by both sides before Terry Williams slotted one through in front of the posts leaving the score at 3-7 with 20 minutes remaining.

Parkonians continued to apply sustained pressure especially in the dying minutes but just could not get the necessary try. It was now the turn of Chapel to defend stoutly and to take the honours on the day!! No individual mentions this week but congratulations to all players on both sides for producing such an exciting and tense spectacle!! We move on, however, to another 'big one' next Saturday 10th. when we entertain previously unbeaten league leaders, Wallasey, at Holm Lane(2.15pm.); bring it on!!

Result:Parkonians 3 Holmes Chapel 7
Scorer:Pen-Terry Williams
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Karl Whelan,John Turaga,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Barham,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees.Reps:Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Hillan.
Ref:Mike Callan(Liverpool)
Matchday Sponsors:Eric Potter,Sid Colvin and Owen Butler. Thank you gents. Very much appreciated as always!

 The 2nd Team also played at home in an excellent match before eventually going down 20-8 to Liverpool Collegiate.

The Annual Reunion day was very well attended and was a huge success. Thanks very much to Eric Potter for his organisation once more; he has been doing this since 1986. Also many thanks to Pete Evans for his catering on the day and to Chris Hall and his bar team Lesley, Lauren and Liz for all their hard work!!

Great to see so many old faces don't leave it another year before returning to Holm Lane and many thanks for your generous donations! Looking forward to seeing both Owen Butler and Ged Dollard next Saturday. Owen is going to persuade Ged that it is his turn to be matchday sponsor!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 26th November 2011

STORMER OF A GAME AT A WINDSWEPT MOSSLEY HILL!!

What a brilliant performance Parkonians produced, in The National Junior Vase. Northern Division. Pool 1. 1st Leg, against formidable opponents Mossly Hill in dreadful conditions on a difficult pitch.

The near gale force wind swept directly from the Mersey across the pitch up the slope meaning that the majority of the play was on the opposite side to the sizeable Parkonian support who again outnumbered their hosts; the players do really appreciate this following. The game was very 'even steven' in the first 20 minutes until Parkonians opened the scoring through Paul Hillan from a tap penalty; the try was unconverted.

Mossley Hill hit back soon after with an unconverted try of their own after formidable forward pressure to leave the half time score at 5-5. For a fair period after that it looked like that might have been the final score but Parkonians had other ideas and scored two excellent converted tries through Terry Williams and Matt Dooley which puts us in a good position for the 2nd leg at Holm Lane on Saturday 11th February.

The game was a real thriller with both sides giving it 'their all' meaning that there were a fair amount of injuries and plenty of rolling substitutions. Again there were no real weaknesses excepting that we struggled in the scrum in the last quarter.

So another great team performance but I do feel that I have to give my Man Of The Match award to Rob Marnick who was outstanding and absolutely everywhere. Very strong individual performances too from Danny Blyth,captain Gareth Pryce, Ben Rees, Alan Williams,Ben Pearson, Mark Hillan and Scott Lamb once again! Many thanks to 3rd team captain Dave Carroll for acting as front row replacement even though he only got a couple of minutes right at the end.

Again well played to all players on both sides and to referee, Stephen Rainey, who did well in difficult conditions for rugby!

Result:Mossley Hill 5 Parkonians 19
Scorers:Tries-Paul Hillan,Terry Williams,Matt Dooley. Cons-Liam Sadler,Terry Williams.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Ryan Evans,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Mark Barham,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Paul Hillan,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees.Reps:Rob Marnick,Paul Wigfield,Peter Hillan,Karl Whelan,Dave Carroll.
Ref:Stephen Rainey(Liverpool)
Matchday Sponsor:Chris 'Haircut Of The Day' Beckett. Many thanks, Chris, and for actually doing the raffle!

The 2nd Team had an excellent 17-17 result at Eagle, always a tough place to go. They are now under the leadership of Tony Burton after several years captaincy from Richie Peters. Many thanks, Richie!

This Saturday sees Players Reunion Day at the club from 12 noon onwards; everyone is most welcome. The 1st team are at home in yet another tough league game with Holmes Chapel providing the opposition so we hope for even extra support from the line this week! The 2nds are also at home with a league game against Liverpool Collegiate. Hope to see everyone there on Saturday for another successful day both on and off the pitch.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 19th November 2011

IMPORTANT HARD WON VICTORY OVER A DOGGED SUNLIGHT SIDE.

This was indeed a stern test against a young and resillient up and coming Sunlight team who never 'threw in the towel' all afternoon in the gloom of Leverhulme Fields. There were never going to be many scores in this one with both sides defending so heroically.

Parkonians always looked dangerous when they spread the ball wide to unleash the powerful running skills of centres Barry Owens and Liam Sadler; perhaps this option should have been chosen more frequently! Both these players had exceptionally good games. The lineout was most impressive with both the ever improving Scott Lamb and 'birthday boy' Danny Blyth performing bravely and skilfully.

I am reminded by the front row lifters that I should mention them also; so there I have done it Ben, Mark and Martyn and of cours to the other lifters too. Alan Williams again carried the ball strongly as did Paul Hillan who even popped up on the wing to score his try. There was also a promising debut from the bench for Ryan Evans who signed up for last week joining us from Caldy. Ryan is just 20 and a very promising young player who can feature in several positions. He joins brother, Liam, in the 1st team squad and brings the ex Penby School contingent up to seven! You are most welcome, Ryan!

This was indeed an important victory against a good side who could cause problems to anyone in this division this season without perhaps being quite ready for a promotion push just yet. Anyway, well played Sunlight!

Congratulations to all 20 Parkonian 1st team squad players on the day you all showed that everyone is 'really up for it' this season and many thanks to all travelling supporters; we certainly out numbered their touchline!! This same away support will be required this coming Saturday when we are away at Mossley Hill in the first leg of The National Junior Vase so, yes, it is yet again another big game. Do remember that it is a 2.15pm kick off which will remain the case until the end of February. Well done to Scott Lamb on being the October Player Of the Month; richly deserved, Scott!

Result:Port Sunlight 0 Parkonians 13
Scorers: Tries-Barry Owens, Paul Hillan. Pen- Liam Sadler.
Team:Craig Whelan,Karl Whelan,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,John Turaga,Gareth Pryce(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Wigfield. Reps:Mark Hillan,Paul Hillan,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Ryan Evans.
Ref:Terry Clarke(Liverpool)
Match Day Sponsor:Terry Marnick. Many thanks, Terry, and once again to your employers Probe Investigations UK Ltd for their generous sponsorship of both the rugby and cricket sections of the club this season!!

The 2nd & 3rd Teams had a joint friendly against Ellesmere Port 2nds/3rds showing a most improved performance running out 35-0 victors. Well done to all players and especially to Man Of The Match, Mark Tucker. Thanks very much to Mike Heyward for refereeing.

This week the 2nds travel to Eagle for their next league game with the 3rds hoping to pick up a home pool game. Could I remind everyone that subs are now almost overdue if you pay by cash/cheque; so please see Steve Williams/Tony Burton or myself if you still haven't paid! Another reminder that it is the Past Players Reunion in the clubhouse a week on Saturday 3rd December, 12 noon onwards. Could I also encourage as many people to attend as possible and my personal plea is for as many past club captains to attend, it would be fantastic to see you all again!

FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE BY UNDER 13 TEAM AT HOME TO A CLASSY CHESTER TEAM

On a lovely sunny Autumn Sunday morning our Under 13 team hosted a strong and classy Chester team who had beaten us by an unknown cricket score at their place only a few weeks ago. That the score was 0-0 after 25 minutes shows the fantastic improvement that the squad, captained by Ben Mitchell, have made.

The score  was 12-7 to Chester at half time with Parkonians scoring a lovely fast hands try through Matthew Darlington excellently converted by Luke Robinson. The Parkonian lads competed bravely in the first few minutes of the second half but gradually tired going down 43-7 at full time a result they didn't deserve There had been strong games from Dave Flynn,Luke Robinson,Callum McLoughlin, Roy Triggs and Myles Cooke-Cowan but in reality all boys played really well so well done to all of you along with referee, Ian Westwater and coaches Martin Varley and Eddie Flynn.

The game had been played in an excellent spirit throughout so well done to all Chester players, supporters and coaches too, it surely is what Rugby Union is all about!! Next week the squad travel to Birkenhead Park for their next game. This currently is our oldest junior age group team so they are our future in 4/5 years so they are richly deserving of our support indeed along with all the other junior teams.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 12th November 2011

SEVEN TRY SCORING SPREE AGAINST A PLUCKY UNIVERSITY SIDE!!

Saturday  saw a perfect day weather and pitchwise for a festival of running rugby and it was the slightly older Parkonian side who produced it in an extemely entertaining game! Our opponents were a plucky Liverpool University side who had only lost one league game to date away at Buxton.

Parkonians took the lead in the very first minute with a very fine try finished by Craig Whelan. The first period produced another try through Liam Sadler who also kicked a penalty. However, sloppy defending just before half time let the students in for an unconverted try leaving the score at the interval 13-5 in Parkonians favour.

The second period started exactly the same as the first with a try coming in the first minute again. There were five tries in all during the second half with three of them being converted by Liam. Tries in this half went to Liam again, Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb, Paul Wigfield and Barry Owens.

It had been an awesome team effort again with several outstanding individual performances. Very worthy of mention, and in no particular order, are Alan Williams,Liam Sadler,Ben I'm Surely Due A Mention' Pearson,Danny 'Mad Dog' Blyth, Martyn Sharkey and Barry Owens.

However, this is a slight injustice as everyone of the 19 squad members played their hearts out. Well done all of you! There was fantastic off field support again with nearly 100 in attendance once more to witness a fantastic spectacle. Our student opposition deserve credit for competing throughout and for their excellent socialising in the bar after.

John McDaid had a good game as referee too. This was a splendid match for Parkonians but the tough games come thick and fast with a tricky away fixture this Saturday at Port Sunlight(2.15pm KO) who defeated Prenton 25-12 on Saturday; we know what we're up against so let's have the usual away travelling support.

Result:Parkonians 44 Liverpool University 5
Scorers:Tries-Liam Sadler(2),Craig Whelan,Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb,Paul Wigfield,Barry Owens. Cons-Liam Sadler(3). Pen-Liam Sadler.
Team:Craig Whelan,Liam Evans,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,John Turaga,Gareth Pryce(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees.Reps:Mark Hillan,Paul Hillan,Mark Barham,Paul Wigfield.
Ref:John McDaid(Liverpool)
Match Day Sponsor:Keith Aldcroft. Many thanks, Keith!

'OUT AND ABOUT'

The 2nd Team had a tough away game against league leaders Mossley Hill and performed heroically ultimately but went down 0-41.

There was no 3rd Team game last week.

Sunday saw very exciting and close Under 8 and Under 10 games at Holm Lane against Wallasey. As always well done to all young players, their coaches, parents and supporters. The Junior Section is going from 'strength to strength'.

Sunday pm saw me wander up to Prenton Dell to watch a very feisty and entertaining Senior Colts league encounter between Prenton and Oldershaw with Prenton being victorious 24-10. Well done, again, to all players and up and coming young referee, Mike Walsh!

Yours truly and 'her indoors'  had an excellent weekend the previous week in Solihull due to the generous hospitality once more of good friends, Dave and Anne Adams. I saw  two very good games of rugby at Old Yardleians RUFC; on Saurday afternoon their 3rds losing 32-8 to an excellent Walsall 3rds team and then on Sunday morning watching Dave's very talented Under 16 team thrash a spirited Woodrush squad 55-12.

This is the kind of rugby that our junior section will be able to look forward to in 3 or 4 years time! We went to a firework party at Edwardian RUFC on Saturday night who had been National Junior Vase finalists last season and they were full of their tales, 6 months later, of their wonderful day out at Twickenham and the generous hopitality shown them at HQ. Surely something for Parkonians RUFC to aspire to this season?!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett.Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 29nd October 2011

ALMOST AS CLOSE AS IT GETS!!

A truly titanic struggle of a local derby took place at a cold, damp and windy Prenton Dell on Saturday afternoon when traditional local rivals from either side of Woodchurch Road went 'head to head' for the first time this season.

Parkonians had the advantage of the slope in the first half and made good use of it being dominant throughout almost the entire first 40 minutes but only had the pushover try courtesy of No 8, Ben Rees, to show for it converted by Liam Sadler leaving the half time score 7-0 in our favour. Parkonians had really taken the game to their opponents and the scrummaging had been awesome.

The first ten minutes of the second half continued in the same vein with Parkonians continuing to put Prenton under intense pressure adding a Liam Sadler penalty to increase the lead to 10-0. However, the game now completely changed round with Prenton camping down in the clubhouse corner in front of their supporters eventually scoring an unconverted try at close quarters through replacement prop, Dave Ball.

Soon after, Connor Farrell added a penalty leaving the score at 10-8 in Parkonians favour with a tense 15 minutes plus stoppage time remaining. There was staunch defending throughout by the visitors and Prenton thought that they had a good shout for a 'try' that was not given.

There were to be no further scores and this left Parkonians to take the spoils on the day taking their third successive league victory over Prenton. This leaves us in second place in the league behind unbeaten local rivals, Wallasey. The 1st team have a free date next Saturday before taking on third place Liverpool University at Holm Lane on Saturday 12th November.

Back to the Prenton match. Did Parkonians deserve it?

Probably just about but we could have had no complaints if we had drawn or even lost; our scrummaging had been immense throughout and the tackling and defensive cover work fantastic!! Well played to all the front rowers Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson and Mark Barham.

The work rate from back rowers Rob Marnick and Ben Rees was incredible along with another true captain's game from Gareth Pryce playing out of position at full back. Prenton are a good young side led passionately by the youthful No 8, Jamie Reeve, and will beat most sides in this division this season as long as it in't us at Holm Lane on the first Saturday of March next year!

Thanks to the large travelling Parkonian support and the reappearance of Paul 'Lord Lucan' Byrne!! Highlight of the day for me was Micky Canagh managing a tiny smile at 6.30pm after 2 hours of goading from yours truly. Brian 'Bongo' Elkerton failed to 'do' a speech, again!! And was there a raffle either?

Thanks to Rob Harrison and Kiwi for their hospitality as always. Hope this report satisfies one of the 'regular readers' from Prenton, Alan Roberts!! Finally thanks to ref, John Littleton, for overseeing the match and obviously enjoying it too and mixing so well with players and supporters from both sides in the clubhouse afterwards. Well done, John!

Result: Prenton 8 Parkonians 10.
Scorers:Try-Ben Rees.Con-Liam Sadler.Pen-Liam Sadler.
Team:Gareth Pryce(captain),Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,John Turaga,Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Paul Hillan,Ben Rees. Reps:Danny Blyth,Karl Whelan,Mark Barham,Peter Hillan.
Ref:John Littleton(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team unfortunately went down 0-62 at home to St Edwards Old Boys but will be hoping for better things nexr Saturday 5th November when they entertain Ormskirk 3rds at Holm Lane.

Please note that all games should now kick off at 2.15pm until the end of February.

There won't be a round up next week as yours truly and 'her indoors' pay a visit to former Caerleon College pal, Dave Adams, and his wife in Solihull combining this with my annual visit to Old Yardleians RUFC who we played when we toured Birmingham in 2008.' Round Up' will return on Saturday 12th November. Hard luck, Prenton, well played Parks!!

Yours In Sport,
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 22nd October 2011

SAME SCORELINE AS LAST WEEK AND SAME SORT OF PERFORMANCE TOO!!

Parkonians 1st XV produced a 19-14 winning scoreline in the league at home to Linley last Saturday which was a replica of the same winning margin the previous week against Holmes Chapel in the Cheshire Plate.

Things started well enough with an excellent try scored by captain, Gareth Pryce, inside the first 5 minutes with Terry Williams adding the conversion. However, much of the first period belonged to our visitors from the North Midlands who scored two converted tries against the strong wind blowing from the Holm Lane end.

Things were beginning to look a little bleak until Alan Williams, who had a superb game, scored a fine try in front of the clubhouse. Gareth added the difficult conversion claiming later that this was his first points scored from the boot in 1st team rugby. By the way apologies to Alan Williams for crediting his try the previous week to brother, Terry, both on this website and in the media

The second half against the wind brought about a much improved Parkonian performance putting Linley under sustained pressure for much of the time with another good try being scored far out on the left by Matt Dooley with Gareth failing to convert the difficult kick. We tried in vain to score again to claim the bonus point! In fact it was Linley who finished the stronger with some stout defensive work required. An important victory, just, against a much improved Linley team from the past 2 seasons. It was a good spectacle so credit to all players on both sides and to referee Brian Harris who performed well too.

Alan Williams and Gareth Pryce were excellent along with Matt Dooley who as well as scoring his try produced some of his bone crunching special tackles!! Mentions also to Rob Marnick, Danny ('When Did I Last Have A Mention') Blyth and Scott Lamb who all played very well too! Veteran and former club captain, Paul Disbury, enjoyed a 15 minute cameo at scrum half.

Also good to see Peter Hillan back in the mix after recent injury setbacks. This Saturday will provide us with the normal stern test away at Prenton in our first league encounter of the season at Prenton Dell so let's be having a good travelling support; no excuses as many of you can walk there meaning that you will be able to stay after for a pint or three whatever the result!!

Result:Parkonians 19 Linley 14
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Paul Hillan,Liam Evans,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Wigfield. Reps:Peter Hillan,Ben Pearson,Liam Sadler,John Turaga,Paul Disbury.
Scorers:Tries-Gareth Pryce,Alan Williams,Matt Dooley. Cons-Terry Williams,Gareth Pryce
Ref:Brian Harris(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team suffered a heavy defeat away at high flying Hoylake 2nds and this week travel to St Edwards Old Boys.

The 3rds entertained our Welsh friends from Rhos who sent over a strong squad so all credit to Dave Carroll's team for only going down by the narrow margin of 21-12! Well done to Dave for raising a full team of both veterans and novices.Many thanks to former member and Birkenhead School teacher, Martin Roden, for reffing.

Good to see Hector from Spain continuing to enjoy both his rugby and the club; you are most welcome, Hector.

Barry Fogg played another full game and it was good to see Simon Smithdale returning to the fray. Dave is hoping for a home pool game this Saturady numbers permitting!! You can always just turn up like Stewie McEwen, who played a full game after an absence of about 10 years, last week. If you only fancy 10/15 mins I am sure Dave will be able to accomodate you Dave Browne, Dave Knight,Aaron Devitt et al!! Many thanks to last week's match day sponsor, Association treasurer, Steve Williams. Much appreciated as always.

I am sure Steve would wish me to mention Annual Subs once again from players and non players alike; so let's be having them, then!!

Well done to all Junior Section players, parents and coaches on their entertaining games last Sunday morning at Holm Lane against Wirral and Caldy. I especially enjoyed the U11 game against Wirral. I am pleased to note that there is a gradually improving spectating support for the junior matches from the adult rugby section. Keep it coming!

The grounds continue to look and play in excellent fetter this Autumn so many thanks as always to Dave Westwater,Ted Keaney,Steve Roberts,Russell Heaynes and other helpers.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 15th October 2011

CLOSE, TENSE GAME LEADS TO PARKS BOOKING THEIR SEMI FINAL PLATE ENCOUNTER IN THE IoM!!

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Terry Grundy clearly prefers
the hospitality at Holm Lane!

This was no pretty game and no place for the faint hearted either on or off the pitch! Either Parkonians or their visitors Holmes Chapel could have taken this Cheshire Plate Quarter Final, it was that close.

In truth neither side played that well and there were far too many petty incidents from both teams. Having said that we edged it in games that in the previous two seasons we would have lost. There were no real stars on the day but I do have to mention a couple of people.

Firstly, Captain, Gareth Pryce, who once again led from the front playing both skilfully and bravely soaking up a fair amount of poorly presented possession!! Scott Lamb was equally courageous winning plenty of ball at the front of the line out competing bravely despite the illegal interference from the opposition especially in the first half.

Liam Sadler scored two very good tries but in truth should have scored at least two more!! Congratulations to Liam on being Player Of The Month in September and very well done to his Mum, Jackie, for drinking his reward/award down in one!!

This win means we are in the Semi Final of the Cheshire Plate Competition away against Southern Nomads RUFC(Port Erin, Isle Of Man); this venue has been confirmed but the date has not as yet; watch this space and check your passports?!

We return to league action at Holm Lane this Saturday when Linley provide our opposition. I am sure that we will improve on last week's performance and as Chairman I along with Steve Lowndes as coach and Gareth as captain will be looking for that control and self discipline that has served us so well in previous weeks!

Result: Parkonians 19 Holmes Chapel 14
Scorers:Tries-Liam Sadler(2),Terry Williams. Cons-Terry Williams(2)
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,LiamEvans,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Scott Lamb,Mike Byrne,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Wigfield. Reps:Mark Barham,Paul Hillan,Chris Sharkey,Josh Bowe.
Ref:Malcolm Irving(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team also played at home amd they too edged it but in a real thriller with veteran Chris Hall scoring the winning try against Birchfield 2nds with a scoreline of 30-29!! Matt 'The Toad/Mr Too Busy' migbt just do a report on this one as he was not playing, watched the full game and was spotted speaking into his dictaphone at length!

Who is taller Matt Moore or Simon Dunning? Answers on a plain postcard please to their 'friend' Paul Lennon who posed this teasing question.

Many thanks to Nick Adams from the Liverpool Society for reffing the 2nd team game.

This week they have a very testing local derby away to Hoylake 2nds. Well done to big Richie and the lads and all the best for this week as well.

Many thanks to Sue Morris, the raffle manager's wife, for being last week's match day sponsor. It is much appreciated as always.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman? Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 8th October 2011

WILLIAMS' 22 POINTS HELPS PARKONIANS POWER ON!

So ran the headline in last Monday's Daily Post rugby union column!!

Certainly Terry's three tries, two conversions and penalty goal made a large contribution to our telling victory at Knutsford on a dank and damp afternoon against good and gutsy young opponents. Now Knutsford may not challenge for promotion this season but they are certainly capable of giving every side in this division a most competitive and testing game! Parkonians scored early on through Terry in a well worked backs move which saw him score under the posts.

Knutsford soon came back and levelled the scores at 7-7. We scored a further try through Paul Wigfield from a penalty and Terry added a penalty goal to give us a half time lead of 15-7 in what had not been a totally convincing first half.

The second period saw us play as well as we have done all season with a further four tries being added. This again was a real team performance with all 19 squad members seeing action and all making a positive contribution. It is time I mentioned some of the older campaigners.

Paul Hillan had a very strong running and tackling game with evergreen scrum half, Mark Hillan, and fly half/captain Gareth Pryce both playing decisive roles with Gareth making excellent first time tackles. Paul Wigfield made a big difference when he came on after 25 minutes.

Well done to all players and to the spectators who travelled on such a miserable afternoon weather wise! This coming Saturday sees a break from league action with a home game at Holm Lane against Holmes Chapel in the Quarter Final of the Cheshire Plate.

Result: Knutsford 14 Parkonians 37
Scorers:Tries- Terry Williams(3), Paul Wigfield(2), Liam Evans. Cons- Terry Williams(2) Pen- Terry Williams
Team: Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,John Turaga,Liam Sadler,Barry Owens,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan. Reps:Mark Barham,Paul Wigfield,Liam Evans,Chris Sharkey

The 2nd Team had 'a bad day at the office' going down 44-0 at Prenton but for the second week running we ran a 3rd team this week they played a strong Anselmians 3rd team and only went down 12-5.

Welcome back to Barry Fogg who thoroughly enjoyed his game and the team also included former club captains, Paul Disbury and Peter Hillan, who were also buzzing after the game in the clubhouse.

Our thoughts are with Robbie Jones who suffered a bad injury in the previous week's 3rd team game against Ellesmere Port. Robbie had an operation on his Achilles tendon last week and he will be out of action for 3/4 months; we are thinking of you and all of us wish you a good recovery.

This week the 2nds are also at home in a league game against Birchfield 2nds. The 3rds will hopefully be seeking a pool game but will have to play away with both 1sts and 2nds at home. Some of the junior teams had matches against Helsby at home last Sunday the highlight being an excellent and entertaining Under 13 victory by 54 points to 17. This was a good comeback for the squad after a heavy defeat at Chester the previous week. Yours truly was greatly impressed by the Parkonians' standard of passing, handling and tackling and by the gutsy performance from our opponents, Helsby!!

This coming Sunday the Under 13's have a local derby away at Anselmians.  Well done to all the players and coaches from both sides. Many thanks to last week's matchday sponsor, Ben Pearson, much appreciated as always. Finally a timely reminder that all playing and non-playing subscriptions are due if you pay by cash/cheque. Please see Steve Williams,Tony Burton or Chris Hall/Mal Evans at the bar or myself.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chaiman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 1st October 2011

BUXTON BEATEN IN BRUISING BATTLE AT HOLM LANE

"'They offered nothing against us except four long range penalties, that's the facts." This quotation is an extract from the Buxton RUFC website's match report on their game at Parkonians last Saturday!.

Now to the real facts.!!!

This was a bruising encounter played in a very sporting manner with all players from both sides making a full contribution as well as an excellent refereeing performance from Peter Barnett. Yes, the result could have gone either way and perhaps a draw would have been fair but whoever wins on the day in a match like this probably deserves it. The facts are that both sides offered plenty and, yes, it was no game for the purist/neutral but for the partisan non fee paying crowd, an incredible 127 in number, including a fair number from Buxton, it was a humdinger with never more than six points in it. 3-0,6-0.6-3,6-8,9-8,12-8; goodness it was tense!!

How the players put in such a high octane performance in the seering Wirral heat; well one wonders.

It is the fact that this was a game largely dominated by the defences due to the excellence of the first time tackling from both sides with the gain line rarely being breached. Terry Williams just has to be the Parkonian man of the match showing such cool nerve in slotting home his four penalties two of which were difficult long range efforts. Well done, Terry!!

Good to see both Ben Pearson and Tom Sutton returning to the fray for the first time this campaign; hoefully not just 'one offs' gents! Anyway glad to have you both back. Mention has to be made of Rob Marnick who continues to be everywhere in every game he plays and there was a strong performance also from near veteran, Paul Hillan. In essence everyone played their part with no obvious weakness on show; a real team performance and a really big win so well done to all players and thanks to the large crowd for their fantastic support. It will surely be another 'battle' in the return at Buxton in late January; weather permitting of course. Next week sees the 1st team at Knutsford in what has, in recent years, been a high scoring and entertaining game.

Result:Parkonians 12 Buxton 8
Scorers: Pens-Terry Williams(4)
Team:Terry Williams,Barry Owens,John Turaga,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan.
Reps:Craig Whelan,Ben Pearson,Tom Sutton,Peter Hillan,Josh Bowe
Ref:Peter Barnett(Liverpool)
MOM:Terry Williams
Match Day Sponsor:Richie Beckett

The 2nd Team lost away to a strong Wirral 4ths 33-10 and have another away local derby this Saturday at archrivals, Prenton, always a delight to win at Prenton Dell!!

The 3rd Team took to the field for the first time this season thanks to the fantastic effort put in by captain, Dave Carroll. Well done, Dave! A 14 a side match was played against Ellesmere Port 3rds with the Port ending 30-5 victors. Many thanks to club member, Mike Heyward for reffing this one as well as one of the junior games on Sunday.

Also well done to Alan Morris(Snr.) for playing in this game and for his continued efforts in raising so much neede money for the club on the Match Day Raffle.

Sunday saw the first Junior Section games of the season at Holm Lane and what a fantastic turnout it was with the Under 7 to Under 11 teams playing Caldy as well as an Under 13 team travelling to Chester. Well done to all players, coaches and parents.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Hon. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 24th September 2011

'TON IS UP'! SIZZLING SIXTY THREE POINT SCORING SPREE AT HELSBY!!

It certainly was a ton up for Parkonians RUFC last Saturday with the two teams' combined points tally well over the hundred mark.

The 1sts travelled to play a much weakened Helsby side who really struggled to put out a team so full marks to them for honouring the fixture and especially well done to their stand in hooker young Stan Garner who had never played there before!!

At times it was one way traffic but we still should have scored more often if it hadn't been for so many small handling errors. However, there were some pretty impressive individual performances especially from Mike Byrne(MOM), great try, Byrney, John Turaga and Liam Sadler with Alan Williams continuing to play well in the enforced absence of hooker, Pete Hillan , hope to see you back soon, Pete!

Congratulation to Les Donnelly on his 1st team league debut, I was impressed, Les, and to Jim Bennett for a good refereeing performance. In fact well done to all players as it was a pretty good team performance!! A really good atmosphere is developing both within the team and indeed the whole club and the challenge this season is for both teams to really put up a stern challenge for promotion. Having said that there is a much tougher test ahead for the 1st team this coming Saturday when an ever improving Buxton provide the opposition at Holm Lane(3pm.). Let's be having your positive and vocal support if you are a retired player!!

Result:Helsby 6 Parkonians 63
Scorers: Tries-John Turaga(2),Liam Sadler(2),Rob Marnick,Craig Whelan,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Gareth Pryce.Cons-Terry Williams(6).Pens-Terry Williams(2).
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,John Turaga,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan.
Reps:Chris Hall,Les Donnelly, Tony Burton
Ref:Jim Bennett(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team entertained Taffy's 'Super Green Army' aka Richie Gibbons Ormskirk 4th team and for a completely unbiased report go on the Ormskirk RUFC website!! (Also, see the writeup below...) Anyway, Parks 2's were victorious by the narrow margin of 50 points to 7.

Junior Turaga scoerd a bat trick of tries, well done, Les Junior, and I believe our own 'Billy Whizz', Paul Lennon, scored a couple too; and 'Mr Too Busy' to do a match report last week, Matt 'The Toad' Dodd eagerly rushed over to tell me that he had scored a try for the second week running and that it is his 33rd. birthday tghis coming Saturday, and all are welcome to buy him a drink?!

So well done to Matt, of course, and for his matchday sponsorship much appreciated as always; also to Richie Peters' for his ever enthusiastic captaincy!! Great to see you Taffy and I am sure the return game at Green Lane, Ormskirk will be a shade closer!!

This week the 2nds play at Clatterbridge against Wirral 4ths who have started strongly. Could i please ask that those of you who pay your subscription as a cash payment do so asap. to Steve Williams, Tony Burton, myself or Mal Evans/Chris Hall at the bar. So far I have been generally impressed by both on the field and off the field discipline. Please let this continue. Enjoy your rugby!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Hon Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

2nd Team Report ~ Saturday 24th September

From Richie "Taff" Gibbon...

PARKONIAN 2NDS 50-7 ORMSKIRK LIONS

REDEMPTION DAY PART 1

‘Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forward’

Victor Kiam, American entrepreneur

Not everything you see will give you the full facts, but if the above  score line tells you anything, it should be that Parkonians scored more than The Lions.

What it doesn’t point to is the great 60 minutes of competitive rugby that saw the Green men strive to turn the form book on its head and take the game to the Old Parkonians. If you remove the last 20 minutes from the match we would have succumbed 17-7 but a brave defeat at that! More on that later.

Parks took an early lead scoring an unconverted try down the Lions right flank, but as ever so far this season, The Lions roared back with some splendid work by the forwards so see outside centre Gareth Dowling cross under the posts for a quick riposte, converted by Ian Critchley to see the Lions  lead 7-5.

This led to an interesting phase of the game with ferocious loose play from both sides. No quarter asked, no quarter given as they say! However, the next score came from Old Parks when somehow Parks front-row specialist, Matty ‘The Toad’ Dodd, went on a 20metre jolly down the right wing to score under the posts! Audacious at best, body blow to The Lions though! The subsequent conversion made the score 12-7, and with half-time upon us, the interval team talk would be interesting!

The new half started much the same as the first with Kirk attacking enterprise undone by a silly mistake, (by the ref not us), to see Parks new legend, Junior Turanga score the first of a hat-trick of tries. With the score now  17-7 in favour of Old Parks, The Lions went on a concerted period of pressure on the Parks defence but despite forward domination and clever back play, The Parkonian defence stood resolute. So despite 3 or 4 massive efforts, The Lions had nothing to show for their endeavour and unfortunately nowt left in the tank!

Tries from Turanga, 2, Lennon, 2 and Bowe put the Lions down but to our credit, 14 men did not give up as I have come to expect from my Lions, The Pride of Ormskirk!  Final score 50-7, harsh but true. Big Richie’s Parkonians have developed that hard edge that teams need to compete and we will do well to learn from this. We threw the kitchen sink at them and they withstood all and cut us down when we tired! Pure and simple, end of.
Well done Parkonians and thanks for the game and hospitality. I look forward to seeing my old mates at Green Lane in the return match. But until then, good luck for the rest of the season.

And my Lions, they always make me proud and I am proud to lead them. Big performances from forwards Richmond, Quirk, Sibely, Chesworth and yours truly, the former 4 being invaluable members of my team. Without them life would be much harder. The backs performances were as big with Kenderick nailing down the 9 shirt in my eyes, Dowling proving he can play anywhere and fly half Glover making me smile and wince in equal measures. Useful cameos from Bennett making his season debut and Morrison, injured before the start gamely coming on and having a stormer! Once again Wolfman Tamblyn defied logic and size and tackled like his name suggests. And new boy Parlour showing glimpses of what’s to come. Once again thanks lads.

One lad shone like a beacon. The one and only Shafi James: Eco Warrior. Big hits and strong runs, Old Parks were impressed mate, I was positively drooling. There is a saying in Wales, Calon Lan, roughly translated as big hearted, that’s you Shafi blud, well done.

Birchfield home next wk lads. 80 MINS this time please!

Taffy.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 17th September 2011

COMFORTABLE CRUISE TO VICTORY OVER A BRAVE CAPE TEAM

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Last Saturday saw the Parkonian 1st XV turn on the style and cruise to a comfortable victory over a brave, young and devoloping Capenhurst team. Losing the toss and playing with the wind behind them Parks took total control in the first half leading at the interval 22-0.

The second half against the wind was a much more even contest. This was a very good team performance with no stand out Man Of The Match although I was very impressed by the returning John Turaga who scored a brace of tries; equally impressive was Terry Williams who scored two tries as well with 40th birthday boy, Paul Wigfield, also getting on the scoresheet. Scott Lamb again demonstrated his ever improving play.

In reality if our handling was a little better and perhaps we didn't try to complicate things we could have scored two or three more tries. Mention should also be made of referee, Paul Harrison, who had a strong game; well done, Paul!

I am sure there will be sterner tests ahead for our potentially exciting team! The 2nds went down 37-24 at New Brighton.

This Saturday 24th September sees both teams in league action with the 1sts at Helsby and the 2nds at home to Taffy's Ormskirk 4th team; tickets are on sale now!!

Result: Parkonians 27 Capenhurst 5
Scorers:Tries-Terry Williams(2),John Turaga(2),Paul Wigfield. Con-Terry Williams.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,John Turaga,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Martyn Sharkey,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Paul Hillan,Rob Marnick,Paul Wigfield.Reps:Josh Bowe,Danny Blyth,Tony Burton.
Ref:Paul Harrison(Liverpool)

Many thanks as always to our matchday sponsor, Terry Grundy, President of Capenhurst RUFC. Never mind what 'Big Kev' says, Terry, Parkonians will always be your second home?!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Hon. Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Sefton 4th’s vs. Parkonians 2’s ~ Saturday 3rd September 2011

It’s been a long time waiting, but at last the 2011-2012 Rugby season got underway on Saturday. This is my 3rd full season with the club and this season has been met with more anticipation than any of the previous two. The whole club has been buzzing and Saturday could not come soon enough for both the 1st and 2nd teams.

For the mighty 2nds it was the beginning of our 3rd season in the Salford University league. It was also the 3rd season under Big Richie Peters captaincy. The high level of performance over the past couple have years have seen expectations set high this term, and the 2nd team gathered on Saturday for a tough looking first game of the season away at Sefton where we would play their 4th team

The game started bang on 3pm in cool and overcast conditions. Parks immediately started to assert their authority on proceedings with some strong rucking and mauling from the front eight. Sefton immediately knew that they were up against a pack that was strong, mobile and fierce in the tackle. On several occasions in the early stages Sefton players were cut down as they could find no way through the Parkonian’s line.

It was the front 8 that fashioned the 1st try of the game. Some excellent work by the front row in a maul led to Martyn Sharkey crashing over for the first try of the match. It was a try made and finished by the impressive Parkonian's pack. With the conversion missed the game re-started with the lad’s right back onto the attack. The Sefton side was on the back foot and by the time Alan Williams crashed over for the 2nd try of the game they still hadn’t made any progress inside the Parkonian's half of the field. Alan broke from the side of a maul well supported by Mark Tucker, but Alan didn’t need as he used his strength to ground the ball to make it 10-0.

The 3rd try of the first was the first glimpse of what the Parkonian’s back line are capable of when given good ball by the forwards. Once again the front 8 secured the ball to give Wezzie the chance to spin a long pass out to Richie Peters who then fed Mike Bowe who drew a man and off loaded to Les Donnerlly, Les still had some work to do but with great pace cut through the Sefton defense to score supply. 15-0. The conversion was missed once again.

The next incident saw yours truly knocked out by the Boot of Ian Westwater!! You may remember last season in one of my match reports I questioned the number brain cells that Wessy had left to damage playing rugby. In an unashamed fit of revenge for these comments Wezzie decided to take the ball from the back of a maul and kick over the top. In further evidence suggesting Wezzie’s grey matter is on the decline he got my head confused for the ball and clobbered me instead. I have no further memory of the incident, but shall be having words with Westwater when I next see him. I was rolled of the pitch with no idea who or where I was. Thanks Wezzie – MATE!.

Derek Prescott entered the fray most put out that he had to put out his cigarette that he was enjoying on the sideline. Degsy took over at tight head and slotted straight in.
The half time whistle came and it was time for Parkonian’s to make some changes. On came the flying Pie Chris Hall in the centre, Martin Varley 2nd row and Jamie Bowen at Full back. Matt Moore moved to Scrum Half as Wessy succumbed to a leg injury obviously caused my head.

The second half started in much the same vein as the first. Parkonian’s played dominant rugby in the forwards. Janice, Degsy and Sharkey dominated up front leaving Sefton with no answers. Chris Hall wasn’t on the pitch for 10 minutes before he showed everyone that he still had the magic scoring a cracking try which was set up by Alan Williams kicking long over the flat Sefton Defence which the Flying Pie chased all the way and carried the ball over the line - then he converted his own try to make the score 22 – 0.

It was then time for some more changes. On came Simon Dunning at Hooker for Janice, Tom McKay on the wing for Paul Lennon and Peter Bennett onto the back row for John Dunning. The changes did little to upset Parks rhythm. Mike Bowe scores a cracking try from an excellent move created by the backs, and this time it was converted.

The final few minutes were scrappy with some defending needing to be done by the lads which they did very well indeed. The final Whistle went leaving the Final score 27-0 to the lads. Massive well done

Final Score Sefton 4th’s – 0 and Parkonians 2nd’s 27

My man of the match goes to Martyn Sharkey. Martyn was imperious in the front row, and epic when making a re appearance from the bench for Alan Williams at number 8! Well in lad great game.

Special mentions also to Janice, who played well at Hooker and Peter Bennett who I thought was excellent when coming off the bench, Les Donnelly who improves all the time. Well done boys.
Every one of the lads was excellent today. Each of the Subs were terrific when they came on as well. It was so pleasing for the boys to see such a good number making them selves available for the game. It would be great if we could have that number every single week.

This is going to be a long and taxing season for the mighty twos. And your continued commitment would be appreciated.

It’s a home game next week against Formby please all make your selves available. And also try and get to training on Wednesday. Remember we are one big team this year and we all need to train in order to get better.

Well done one and all.
Yours in the bar with a slightly sore head
Matt (The Toad) Dodd
P.S this is done to the best of my memory which isn’t saying much.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 3rd September 2011

DREAM START FOR BOTH TEAMS ON OPENING SATURDAY OF THE SEASON

110903-beckett-westwater ©110903-beckett-westwater

Chairmen of Cricket (Dave Westwater) and
Rugby (Richie Beckett) at the start of the season.

Both Parkonian RUFC teams started the season with comprehensive victories between them scoring 77 points and only conceding 5.

At Holm Lane the weather was miserable but the rugby on show was certainly the direct opposite! Against a plucky Congleton side who 'never threw in the towel' the 1st XV put on an entertaining game of attacking rugby scoring four tries in each half and indeed might have scored more if our forwards had been a little more dominant.

The back line up all looked very exciting with the ball in hand and this augurs well for the future.

Liam Sadler most certainly was 'MOM' scoring a hat trick of tries. Josh Bowe scored on his 1st team debut but was withdrawn from the action on the half hour with a hamstring strain; your Grandad, Brian 'Gus' Cusick, would certainly have been proud of you as well as brother, Mike, who scored in the 2nds as well; well done to both of you!!

John Turaga playing at outside centre scored on his return after several years absence. Also returning to the fray after a long absence was Simon Smithdale who played at No 8 and is now, although it is hard to believe, classed as a veteran! Simon's performance was lively to say the least but it was probably in his best interests that he was replaced after an hour! Congratulations to both John and Simon and welcome back.

This was a most promising performance which can still be improved on though and I would encourage all players to attend Wednesday night training on a regular basis. Finally, a special mention to the referee, Terry Clarke, who certainly 'no spring chicken' turned in a very solid performance indeed. Well done, Terry!

Result: Parkonians 50 Congleton 5
Scorers: Tries-Liam Sadler(3),Terry Williams,Matt Dooley,Josh Bowe,John Turaga,Craig Whelan. Cons-Terry Williams(5)
Team:Terry Williams,Josh Bowe(Craig Whelan 30),John Turaga,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley(Tony Burton 71),Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Hillan,Mike Cardus(Paul Wigfield 40),Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Scott Lamb,Paul Hillan,Rob Marnick,Simon Smithdale(Liam Evans 60).

The 2nds also had a convincing victory away in the league at Sefton 4ths winning 27-0. A report may follow if Matt 'The Toad' Dodd recovers his memory as he informs me he is suffering from concussion received in the line of duty!!

Anway well done to Richie Peters and all of his team. This week again both teams have league games seeing the 1sts at Wallasey in a local derby and the 2nds at home to Formby Vikings both with 3pm kick offs.

Thanks to this week's match day sponsor Club Coach, Steve Lowndes, and to all members who supported the raffle. As always it is much appreciated; and finally I would like to thank Richie 'Our Taff' Gibbon for last week's match report.

Hope your season goes well Taffy except in the World Cup and of course certainly not when Ormskirk play us!

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett.Chairman/Press Officer. Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Pre-Season Report

This Saturday 3rd September heralds the beginning of what should be an exciting season for Parkonians RUFC.

The 1st XV again captained by Gareth Pryce start with a home league fixture against Congleton (3pm. KO) in South Lancs/Cheshire Division 3. The club has also been invited into the Cheshire Plate and National Junior Vase competitions.

The 2nd XV once again led by Richie Peters start with an away league game at Sefton 4ths. in North West League Division 5 West; they also will be participating in the Raging Bull Plate.

In my position as Rugby Club Chairman could I ask you all as players and non-players alike to pay your annual subscription promptly!

Could I also ask for your continued good and sporting conduct both on and off the field in the coming year. We are also looking for match day sponsors please contact Alan Morris(Snr.) or myself. Enjoy your season!!

Yours In Sport,
Richie Beckett.
Chairman Of Rugby/Press Officer, Parkonians RUFC.

Old Parkonians Silence the Lions Roar ~ Saturday 27th August

From Richie "Taff" Gibbon...

Old Parkonians 33-19 Ormskirk Lions

‘As far as men go, its not what they are that interests me, but what they can become’
Jean Paul Satre, French Philosopher, 1905-1980
     ...A very apt quote

Saturday 27th August saw Ormskirk Rugby club kick off the new season with a friendly match away at Old Parkonians based on the Wirral.

With a mixed Squad of senior players, led by new 4th team captain Richie Taff Gibbon, the Lions started the game brightly with some strong forward play led by pack leader Dawson and some probing runs from the backs with new scrum half Dowling linking well with fly half Glover and centre paring Essex and McKeown. But Parkonians slowly ground their way into the game and when awarded a penalty 10 metres out on the left wing, Parks number 8 Alan Williams took full advantage of a slowly retreating Lions defence to crash over for an unconverted try in the corner.

Kirk were in no mood to surrender though and quickly regained their composure to once again take it to the home defence and some fierce midfield rucking by the Green men saw the ball fed out quickly to the left flank which found 19 year old hooker Rhys Williams in bullish mood. His subsequent 20 metre charge evading 5 tacklers left both teams in awe as he crashed over in the corner to level the score with the conversion missed. Fantastic Rhys!

Parks now realised it was game on and their tactical changes for more experienced players paid dividends twice in a ten minute spell before half-time which yielded two converted tries to make the score 19-5 at the interval. Sparse reward for all of Ormskirk endeavours!

Worse was to follow when a sleepy Lions team conceded two soft tries after half-time, the pick being that of veteran prop 42 year old Chris Hall going on an audacious 20metre jolly to score under the posts! Whatever young Rhys can do eh! At 33-5 Kirk could have folded but thanks to a superb try saving tackle by winger Justin Lyons on Parks speed Merchant Paul Lennon and under the guidance of ex- Waterloo player Alex Lambie, now on for Glover at 10, the Lions roared again, with Lambie and his brother Steve, making his Ormskirk debut, linking well with open side Tasker to score under the posts after a concerted spell of Kirk pressure on the Parks defence. A Lambie Tasker sandwich indeed! And this was duly replicated 5 mins later after a colossal scrum by the Lions eight once again saw Lambie feed his brother to score. Boy did that feel good!

With the score now at 33-19 kirk saw a chance of a famous victory, but  with ball possession squandered at 3 successive line outs on the Parks line the chance of the win slipped away as the game played out to the referees final whistle. Message to self: impose captains will more forcefully and listen to advice. P.S Don’t swear when addressing sir………P.P.S, LOVE IT!

All who played today made me proud in what was a sterling effort against a quality team. The club has made massive strides this summer and it showed today. If we can all bring this enthusiasm to every match it will be a good season. I can honestly say everyone played their hearts out for the cause, 26 men of the match. As for Parkonians, well all I can say is a big thanks. Great hosts, competitive but fair on the field and always close to my heart. A great place to make my captaincy debut. I hope we gave you a good work out for the coming season. All the best for the season lads.

One more thing, as I told my lads yesterday,  yes I know I kissed the Parkonians shirt after the match, but read the quote above and remember this, Parks relit the rugby fire in me, but now I play, captain and generally frequent Ormskirk RUFC as a result of that excellent tutelage. Never forget from whence you came say I

Richie Taff Gibbon