Archive ~ 2012

Based in Oxton in Birkenhead, Parkonians RUFC currently field 2, and occasionally 3 rugby teams, playing matches at Holm Lane, with at least one team at home most weekends.

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 3. Additionally they participate in the Powergen Cup, Cheshire Shield and Wirral Floodlight cup competitions.

Parkonians RUFC 1st XV ~ 2012 / 2013

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Parkonians RUFC 2nd XV ~ 2012 / 2013

2ndXV-12 ©2ndXV-12

Parkonians RUFC 3rd XV ~ 2012 / 2013

3rdXV-12 ©3rdXV-12

Parkonians and the Pensby Connection!!

From Richie Beckett...

Richie BeckettI am very proud that I spent the bulk of my teaching career at Pensby High School For Boys. I started there in September 1984 and finished in July 2008 when I took early retirement, so 24 years all told; after all I did teach Maths!

Over the years and especially more recently many lads have made their way to Old Parkonians in Holm Lane, Oxton to play their rugby and/or cricket. Some have stayed whilst others obviously have moved on. They came for various reasons some through me, having a parent already involved in the club, their friends or just word of mouth.

We have made them all most welcome and I have to say they have been/are a credit to themselves, their parents, Pensby and the Parkonians Club. Below I list them although I realise there may be some young men i don't know or have accidentally omitted due to a temporary memory lapse. Advance apologies to those concerned! As I have already mentioned many are currently very much involved in the club.

Gary Phillips, Robbie Potter, Graeme White, Matthew Dawson, Craig Whelan, Karl Whelan, Mark McCormack, Andy Smith, Greg Lindop, Liam Evans, Danny Blyth, Rob Marnick, Mike Marnick, Sean Marnick, Ryan Evans, Ryan Flegg, Gareth Thomas, Kiel Williams, Tom Manger, Pete Shone, Tom Winterburn, Mathew Walker, Jay Kirtland, Danny Williams, Neil Gallimore, Sam Stott, Simon Ward, Carl Richardson, Mark Hunt and Chris Clarke.

Current students include Kieran O'Donnell(Year 12) and Dan Berkson(Year 9). I feel sure that there will be more currently playing Junior Rugby. Please let me know!

I am also forwarding this article to the current headteacher at Pensby High School For Boys, Mr Peter Madden. I am keen that he knows how proud we are of the past and present students of the school and look forward to welcoming many more prospective future playing members to our club in Holm Lane, Oxton. We think it is a great club and feel sure that you would enjoy yourself here. Of course this applies to everyone not just past/present Pensby students!!

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

Training is undertaken on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 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 Andy Smith, the Club Captain on andy.smith@oldparkonians.org.uk

2012 / 2013 Fixtures and Results

 

First XV Fixtures 2012/2013

Date

Competition

Opponents

Venue

KO

Result

Score

25-Aug

Plate

Capenhurst

Home

3:00pm Won: Walkover

01-Sep

League

Knutsford

Away

3:00pm Won 12-20

08-Sep

League

Linley

Home

3:00pm Won 39-0

15-Sep

League

Liverpool University

Away

3:00pm Won 0-41

22-Sep

League

Manchester Meds

Home

3:00pm Lost 13-17

29-Sep

Plate

Southern Nomads

Home

1:00pm Lost 10-30

06-Oct

League

Port Sunlight

Away

3:00pm Lost 41-6

13-Oct

League

Prenton

Home

3:00pm Lost 5-25

20-Oct

League

Trentham

Away

3:00pm Lost 31-19

27-Oct

League

Capenhurst

Home

3:00pm Won 45-7

03-Nov

League

Congleton

Away

2:15pm Won 21-28

10-Nov

 

 

 

2:15pm    

17-Nov

League

Ellesmere Port

Home

2:15pm Lost 12-17

24-Nov

League

Helsby

Away

2:15pm Won 38-17

01-Dec

Nat Jnr Vase

Manchester Meds

Home

2:15pm Lost 12-15

08-Dec

League

Holmes Chapel

Home

2:15pm Postponed

15-Dec

League

Linley

Away

2:15pm Postponed

22-Dec

 

 

 

  No Match

29-Dec

 

 

 

  No Match

2013

05-Jan

League

Liverpool University

Home

2:15pm Postponed

12-Jan

League

Manchester Meds

Away

2:15pm Postponed

19-Jan

 

 

 

  No Match

26-Jan

League

Port Sunlight

Home

2:15pm Postponed

02-Feb

League

Holmes Chapel

Home

2:15pm Won 51-0

09-Feb

League

Prenton

Away

2:15pm Lost 16-7

16-Feb

League

Trentham

Home

2:15pm Won 18-0

23-Feb

League

Manchester Meds

Away

2:15pm Lost 31-0

02-Mar

League

Capenhurst

Away

3:00pm Lost 24-21

09-Mar

League

Congleton

Home

3:00pm Won 31-5

16-Mar

League

Linley

Away

3:00pm Won 17-24

23-Mar

League

Ellesmere Port

Away

3:00pm    

30-Mar

Easter

    3:00pm    

06-Apr

League

Helsby

Home

3:00pm Won 81-0

13-Apr

League

Holmes Chapel

Away

3:00pm Won 12-43

20-Apr

League

Knutsford

Home

3:00pm Won 48-19

27-Apr

League

Liverpool Uni

Home

3:00pm Won 36-31

Second XV Fixtures 2012/2013

25-Aug

 

 

 

3:00pm    

01-Sep

League

Liverpool Collegiate 3

Home

3:00pm Won 29-17

08-Sep

 

West Park

Away

3:00pm Lost 42-20

15-Sep

League

Ormskirk 3

Home

3:00pm Won 64-0

22-Sep

League

Birchfield 2

Away

3:00pm Lost 54-7

29-Sep

League

Crosby St Marys 2

Home

3:00pm Won 50-12

06-Oct

League

Formby Vikings

Home

3:00pm Won 34-7

13-Oct

League

Prenton 2

Away

3:00pm Lost 36-0

20-Oct

League

St Edwards Old Boys 3

Home

3:00pm Won 13-7

27-Oct

League

New Brighton 3

Away

3:00pm Won 5-17

03-Nov

League

Ormskirk 4

Home

2:15pm Won 40-7

10-Nov

 

 

 

2:15pm    

17-Nov

League

Ellesmere Port 2

Away

2:15pm Lost 12-0

24-Nov

League

Eagle 2

Home

2:15pm Won 25-7

01-Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

08-Dec

League

Wirral 4

Away

2:15pm Lost 22-12

15-Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

22-Dec

           

29-Dec

 

 

 

     

2013

05-Jan

League

Ormskirk 3

Away

2:15pm Lost 64-14

12-Jan

League

Birchfield 2

Home

2:15pm Won 29-12

19-Jan

League

Crosby St Marys 2

Away

2:15pm    

26-Jan

League

Formby Vikings

Away

2:15pm    

02-Feb

 

 

 

2:15pm    

09-Feb

League

Prenton 2

Home

2:15pm Drawn 7-7

16-Feb

 

 

 

2:15pm    

23-Feb

League

Ormskirk 4

Away

2:15pm Won 15-62

02-Mar

League

New Brighton 3

Home

3:00pm Won 22-7

09-Mar

League

Ormskirk 4

Away

3:00pm    

16-Mar

Friendly

Crosby St Marys 2

Away

3:00pm Won: Walkover

23-Mar

League

Ellesmere Port 2

Home

3:00pm    

30-Mar

Easter

    3:00pm    

06-Apr

League

Eagle 2

Away

3:00pm Won 20-27

13-Apr

League

Wirral 4

Home

3:00pm Lost 8-29

20-Apr

League

Liverpool Collegiate 3

Away

3:00pm    
27-Apr League Ellesmere Port Away 3:00pm Lost 19-12

Third XV Fixtures 2012/2013

25-Aug

 

 

 

3:00pm    

01-Sep

 

 

 

3:00pm    

08-Sep

 

 

 

3:00pm    

15-Sep

 

 

 

3:00pm    

22-Sep

 

Oldershaw 3

Home

3:00pm    

29-Sep

 

 

 

3:00pm    

06-Oct

 

Anselmians 3

Away

3:00pm    

13-Oct

 

 

 

3:00pm    

20-Oct

 

 

 

3:00pm    

27-Oct

 

Liverpool Collegiate 4

Away

3:00pm    

03-Nov

 

 

 

2:15pm    

10-Nov

 

 

 

2:15pm    

17-Nov

 

Wallasey 2

Home

2:15pm    

24-Nov

 

 

 

2:15pm    

01-Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

08-Dec

 

Port Sunlight

Home

2:15pm    

15-Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

22-Dec

 

 

 

     

29-Dec

 

 

 

2:15pm    

2013

05-Jan

 

 

 

2:15pm    

12-Jan

 

Wallasey 2

Away

2:15pm    

19-Jan

 

 

 

2:15pm    

26-Jan

 

Anselmians 3

Home

2:15pm    

02-Feb

 

 

 

2:15pm    

09-Feb

 

 

 

2:15pm    

16-Feb

 

 

 

2:15pm    

23-Feb

 

Oldershaw 3

Away

2:15pm    

02-Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

09-Mar

 

Liverpool Collegiate 4

Home

3:00pm    

16-Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

23-Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

30-Mar

 

 

 

3:00pm    

06-Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

13-Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

20-Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

27-Apr

 

 

 

3:00pm    

News

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 27th April 2013

RICHIE'S RUGBY ROUND UP FINALE.

The 1st team played what may or may not have been our last league game last Saturday when we entertained Liverpool University. We are due at Ellesmere Port this coming Saturday 4th May but as there is nothing riding on it both clubs might agree not to play it BUT nothing decided yet!!

True to the form the students turned up without a competitive front row!! However, a very evenly contested 11 try contest took place in which we came out narrow victors. Thanks very much to ref, and our speaker from last week's dinner, Colin Kershaw for adjudicating and to Gareth 'Shaggy' Pryce for a wonderful three seasons as Club/1st XV captain.

Result:Oxton Parkonians 36 Liverpool University 31.
Scorers: Tries- Gareth Pryce(2),Mike Byrne(2),Eric Nixon,Liam Evans. Cons- Andy Smith(2),Ben Sadler.
Ref:Colin Kershaw(Liverpool).

The 2nd Team played Ellesmere Port 2nds and went down very narrowly 19-12 in their final league game of the season narrowly missing out on promotion. Thanks very much to Prenton RUFC for letting us play this game at their ground; it is much appreciated.

It has been a wonderful season for Doddy's men he has been an absolute revelation enthusing his men into a very competitive tightly knit unit. Well done, Matt, delighted that you are standing again next season and many congratulations to all your squad too. Also 'au revoir' to Gareth Thomas who is moving to mid Wales and to Hector who will shortly be returning to his native Spain. Good luck to both of you and well played you have been a credit to our Club!!

In addition we were able to put out a side in The Brian 'Gus' Cusick 5 year memorial game for him and his family at Wallasey RUFC. Many thanks to Mike and Josh Bowe and Dave Carroll for coordinating the team and we came out 15-12 victors against a Wallasey/Wallasey School Former Pupils XV in what was a memorable and nostalgic day with plenty of charity fund raising for Foxfield School; even including a try for Steve Lowndes The Cusick family made sure that we had the traditional Aussie White toast to Gus back at the club later on. Very well done to all.

On Sunday thanks to Steve Roper, our community liason officer, we had a tremendous morning of cage rugby courtesy of Chris Chudleigh from Sky Sports School Of Hard Knocks. Our older age groups within the Junior Rugby Section thoroughly enjoyed the session. Many thanks again to both Chris and Steve. A fitting finale to our rugby season at Holm Lane.

All that leaves me to do now is to thank everyone, and I mean everyone, who has been involved in our great Club over the past 9 months for anything and everything that you have been involved in.

Have a wonderful summer; remember where we are and the cricket too. The club is open every Saturday from 1pm onwards (bar at 3pm) and most Sundays too.

Don't forget The Junior Rugby Section Presentation afternoon on Saturday 11th May and the Rugby Club AGM on Wednesday 15th May 8pm in the Clubhouse.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 20th April 2013

EXCELLENT 1ST TEAM WIN AND EXCELLENT DINNER TOO ON A GLORIOUS SPRING DAY AT HOLM LANE!!

Click for more picturesYes, it was a glorious day last Saturday at a sunny Holm Lane with the the grounds looking immaculate thanks to Dave Westwater and his team with the Ist team entertaining Knutsford and with the commencement of the cricket season too the 2nds cricket hosting a strong Westminster Park 1st XI.

Knutsford arrived in 'dribs and drabs' with the game commencing 15 minutes late with them starting with only 14 men; although they were soon up to their full complement. All the waiting around and 'over practising' seemed to put us on the back burner and we started poorly before scoring some excellent tries in what was really a rather patchy end of season game.

Andy Smith was once again on fire and claimed four tries. Knutsford despite their pre match disorganisation must be given full credit for a very spirited display and deserved to score their three tries.

The 2nd Team did not have a game but thanks to Dave Carroll we took a 2nds/3rds to Anselmians 3rds for a friendly going down 26-7 in a very enjoyable game by all accounts. Alan Morris(Snr.) played a full game so well done to both Dave and Alan.

This Saturday 27th April, as things currently stand, there are rearranged league games for both the 1st and 2nd teams with the 1sts playing Liverpool University and the 2nds playing their last league game of the season at a venue yet to be confirmed. If we win there is still a faint chance of promotion but it is out of our hands really.

In addition there is the Brian 'Gus' Cusick Memorial game arranged by his former pupils at Wallasey RUFC 2pm KO; if you can it would be fantastic if people could turn up to play or just turn up to support the Charity Day in aid of Foxfield School.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 48 Knutsford 19
Team: Terry Williams, Geoff Waters, Liam Sadler, Andy Smith, Eric Nixon, Ben Sadler, Gareth Pryce(Captain), Martyn Sharkey, Peter Hillan, Mark Barham, Mike Byrne, Liam Evans, Matt Dooley, Danny Blyth, Ryan Evans, Chris Stott, Harry Mytton, Mark Hillan.
Scorers:Tries-Andy Smith(4), Liam Evans(2), Terry Williams, Liam Sadler. Cons-Terry Williams(2), Ben Sadler, Andy Smith.
Ref:Mark Doyle(Liverpool).

ANNUAL DINNER AND AWARDS

The Annual Dinner once again was a resounding success and we are most thankful for the lovely meal to Chris Hall and his waiting on staff not forgetting the excellent bar service too. Thanks again, Chris, and well done!! We very very pleased to welcome our guest speaker, Colin Kershaw, from the Liverpool and District Refs Society.

Thanks very much, Colin, and hopefully we will see you this Saturday when you are down to referee us. I must thank as well, profusely, our MC Steve Lowndes for undertaking, again, the difficult task that it is!! All the awards are listed below and all richly deserved. I spoke proudly about each recipient on the night and will not repeat it here except to mention our two outgoing committee members.

Eddie Flynn was a fine player for this club, along with representing senior clubs, and a great club captain too. Eddie has been our CRFU Rep. for many a year but now he is standing down. Thanks immensely for all your efforts, Eddie, it has been so much appreciated!! I am delighted to announce that Steve Barnett will be taking over Eddie's role.

As a committee we were absolutely delighted to award our outgoing club captain, Gareth Pryce, the Clubman Of The Year Award; so richly deserved, Gareth, after everything that you have put into the club over the past three seasons. You have been a fine ambassador for the club, very well done!! Andy Smith is the club nomination, I am pleased to say, for the position of club captain which I am sure will be ratified at the Rugby Club AGM on Wednesday 15th May in the clubhouse at 8pm with hopefully a good attendance from club members.

OUR ANNUAL DINNER GUESTS

  • IN ATTENDANCE
    • Colin Kershaw- Guest Speaker and Liverpool Refs Society
    • John Tomkins-Liverpool Refs Society
    • Dave Westwater-Old Parkonians Association/Old Parkonians CC
    • Keith 'Kiwi' Jones- Prenton
    • Terry Grundy- Capenhurst
    • Bob Gurney- Port Sunlight
    • Paul Lewis- New Brighton
    • Colin Dunnachie- Wallasey
    • Simon Spreag- Oldershaw
    • Bob Lloyd- Birkenhead Park
    • Dave Van der Zwan- Wirral
  • ABSENT
    • Cheshire RFU President
    • Anselmians

OXTON PARKONIANS RUFC. ANNUAL AWARDS. 2012-13

  • Players Of The Month:Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Danny Blyth,Craig Hawthorne,Eric Nixon,PaulHillan.
  • Young Player Of The Year: Ben Sadler.
  • Brian 'Gus' Cusick Memorial Award For The Most Improved Player Of The Season:Eric Nixon.
  • The Richie Peters Shield. 2nd Team Player Of The Year:Mark Tucker.
  • Special Club Award: Hector Ruiz
  • Captain's Prize:Liam Evans
  • Long Service and Loyalty Award: Eddie Flynn
  • Player Of The Year: Andy Smith.
  • Clubman Of The Year: Gareth Pryce.

In conclusion, well done to all award winners and many thanks to all players, volunteers of every nature and Committee members along with supporters for all your efforts in what has been a most enjoyable and successful season despite the appalling weather.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 13th April 2013

GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT FOR THE 2NDS AGAINST LOCAL RIVALS WIRRAL!

Click for more picturesThere was high expectation for Matt Dodd's men in their promotion chasing game against old rivals Wirral. Despite a very brave performance victory was not to be our's on the day against a skilled Wirral fifteen. The game was most entertaining with plenty of end to end action taking place.

There was an excellent try from prop Steve Cloney and a good effort from all players with Craig Whelan and Marc Taylor running exceptionally strongly. Sadly, with just one league game left, this probably counts us out of the promotion race but what great spirit this side shows with everyone 'geeing each other on'.

Many thanks to veteran referee, Derek Chamberlain and to the two young touch judges in Liam Westwater and Matthew Burton and thanks to the latter as always for selling the raffle tickets. Also many thanks to this week's match sponsor, Pete Evans, always much appreciated, Pete.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 2nds 8 Wirral 4ths 29
Team:Marc Taylor, Kiel Williams, John Dunning, Craig Whelan, Paul Lennon, Kieran O'Donnell, Mark Hillan, Ian Westwater, Mike Gibbs, Matt Dodd(Captain), Steve Cloney, Gareth Thomas, Justin Danher, Martin Varley, Tony Blease, Simon Dunning, Mark Tucker, Phil Smith.
Scorers:Try-Steve Cloney. Pen-Mark Hillan
Ref:Derek Chamberlain(Liverpool)
Touchjudges:Liam Westwater, Matthew Burton.

The 1st Team travelled to Holmes Chapel and came away with a handsome and comprehensive victory; by all accounts there was plenty of exciting and attacking running with Gareth giving Matt Dooley the Man Of The Match whilst emphasising strong performances from Ben and Liam Sadler, Andy Smith, Eric Nixon and Stotty from the bench frolicking all across the park. In addition Ryan Evans had a strong game according to Liam and Liam Evans had a strong game according to Ryan!!

Result:Holmes Chapel 12 Oxton Parkonians 43
Team:Terry Williams, Eric Nixon, Andy Smith, Liam Sadler, Geoff Waters, Ben Sadler, Gareth Pryce(Captain), Martyn Sharkey, Peter Hillan, Mark Barham, Mike Byrne, Liam Evans, Matt Dooley, Danny Blyth, Ryan Evans, Craig Hawthorne, Chris Stott.
Scorers:Tries-Eric Nixon(2),Andy Smith(2),Terry Williams,Matt Dooley,Ryan Evans. Cons-Ben Sadler(2),Terry Williams(2).

Next Saturday 20th April, Annual Rugby Club Dinner Day, sees the 1sts entertain Knutsford whilst the 2nds have a free league weekend but it is hoped that there will be a 2nds/3rds friendly away to Anselmians 3rds.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 6th April 2013

THIRTEEN TRY ROMP ON A GLORIOUS AFTERNOON AT HOLM LANE.

Firstly, Dave Westwater and his 'groundstaff' should be congratulated for all their hard work in the past week or so in ensuring that both the rugby and cricket grounds are in such excellent condition. The 1st Team rugby pitch was therefore ideally suited to the feast of running rugby that was to ensue against a young, inexperienced but plucky Helsby fifteen.

Click for more pictures Tries for Oxton Parkonians came at fairly regular intervals throughout with all the backs running extremely well with the quality ball provided through the forwards. Andy Smith, Eric Nixon, Liam Sadler and Terry Williams all looked exceptionally dangerous with ball in hand and there were a couple of really lovely tries especially in the first half and a well earned one for the ever popular future Venezualan international, Chris Stott.

Although we might have scored even more tries full credit to the young guns of Helsby for sticking to their task. Also many thanks to referee, Malcolm Irving, who had a good game as well. Four league games to go and it is surely achievable to win three if not all four of them. A very good day for the Parks 1st team and it was good to see all players and a fairly sizeable crowd all enjoying themselves!!

Result: Oxton Parkonians 81 Helsby 0
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Eric Nixon,Ben Sadler,Gareth Pryce(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan,Ryan Evans,Matt Dooley,Harry Mytton,Chris Stott,Justin Danher.
Scorers:Tries- Andy Smith(3),Liam Sadler(2),Eric Nixon(2),Matt Dooley(2),Ryan Evans,Chris Stott,Terry Williams,Harry Mytton. Cons- Terry Williams(4),Ben Sadler(4).
Ref:Malcolm Irving(Liverpool).

The 2nd Team travelled to Eagle where they met a very strong home side but came away magnificent victors by a 27-20 margin with tries from Mark Hillan(2), Geoff Waters,John Dunning and Tony Blease with Mark adding one conversion. Ahother fabulous performance by Doddy's men leaving them still in the promotion race but the remaining two league games will need to be won if there is to be a chance of this happening.

Next week sees the 1st Team travelling to Holmes Chapel with the 2nds entertaining local rivals Wirral 4ths.

Don't forget the Rugby Dinner on Saturday 20th April - tickets available from Kenny Owen priced £15.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 16th March 2013

WELL EARNED VICTORY AT A SOAKING LINLEY

Not for the first time this season did the 1st Team travel with a relatively young and inexperienced squad but as the previous week, when we entertained Congleton, victory was again achieved!

On arriving at Linley we were informed that we would not be playing on the normal pitch and the one we were moved to was indeed some improvement on the usual quagmire! Gareth won the toss and elected to play down the fairly considerable slope which turned out to be a good idea even if we did concede the first try due to some sloppy defending.

However, we soon turned things around and the whole squad played well! We scored three first half tries through Mike Byrne,Danny Blyth and Terry Williams with young Ben Sadler adding two conversions and a penalty leaving the score at the interval 22-5 in our favour.

The second period proved much tougher playing up the hill and we were only able to add a Terry Williams penalty to our scoreline midway through the half whilst conceding two tries and a conversion. We spent a good deal of the second half, defending heroically, camped in our own 22. Victory was deservedly ours but it had been a close affair.

Everyone played well but special mentions should go to the three youngest players, Eric Nixon, Craig Hawthorne and Ben Sadler who were all outstanding as was veteran, Paul Hillan, once more. Chris Stott helping us out at hooker did very well indeed and Sharkey's last ditch tackle will surely not be forgotten!

Thanks very much also to referee, Phil, from the Staffordshire Society and to the Linley club for their generous hospitality they laid on for us at Kidsgrove Cricket Club. A great pity about the English performance in attempting to attain The Six Nations Grand Slam in what turned out to be a woeful effort against a fired up Welsh side. Lastly many thanks to our R&J coach driver, Mike, for his patience and good humour.

Result:Linley 17 Oxton Parkonians 25.
Team:Craig Hawthorne,Geoff Waters,Andy Smith,Terry Williams,Eric Nixon,Ben Sadler,Gareth Pryce(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Chris Stott,Mark Barham,Richie Peters,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan,Liam Sadler,Alan Morris.
Supporters:Richie Beckett,Ken Owen,Keith Aldcroft,Ben Pearson.

It was most disappointing that Crosby St Marys 2nd Team had to concede their league game to us and just as disappointing is the way the match appears to have been called off through Facebook / 'Social Media' instead of through official channels; this is not the way things should be done!!

Also disappointing is that 2nd Team players without a game chose not to travel to Linley either to support or to make up a full complement of replacements. We should not be thinking of ourselves as separate teams but as a whole Club. What also needs to be remembered in any club, whatever the sport, is that it is 1st Team first, 2nd Team second, 3rd Team third etc., etc. or else problems are only built up for the future.

Next Saturday sees league games for both teams against Ellesmere Port with the 1st Team travelling down there and the 2nds playing at Holm Lane.

Remember, now is the time to purchase your Annual Dinner tickets from Ken Owen/the bar. Cost £15; date Saturday 20th April; caterer Chris Hall; sure to be a good night.

Also, don't forget to support the Easter Cricket Social on Sunday 31st March if you are not on the Leeds tour.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 2nd March 2013

NO JOY OR LUCK AT THE CAPE!

We took an exceptionally inexperienced and experimental squad to Capenhurst for our latest league fixture and were very narrowly beaten in a 'ding dong' end to end encounter! I would argue that Cape had the better drilled side but that we had the best two players on the park in Andy Smith and Liam Sadler.

It was three converted tries apiece with the difference being a late penalty goal to our hosts. Craig Hawthorne made his full debut at full back and played most creditably. Andy Smith undoubtedly was our Man Of The Match scoring two tries and kicking three conversions. Liam Sadler, Harry Mytton and Eric Nixon all had good games but unfortunately we were just 'out muscled' up front for much of the game.

Result: Capenhurst 24 Oxton Parkonians 21.
Scorers:Tries- Andy Smith(2), Liam Sadler. Cons- Andy Smith(3)
Team:Craig Hawthorne,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Eric Nixon,Kiel Williams,Ben Sadler,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Liam Evans,Mike Bowe,Mike Byrne,Danny Blyth,Terry Williams.
Ref:Roy Gladden(Liverpool).

The 2nd Team continued their good run of form with an excellent home win 22-7 against New Brighton 3rds. Many thanks to referee Andrew Ventin.

This week the 1st Team entertain Congleton and we also welcome the Cheshire RFU President, Adrian Senn, to Holm Lane. At the moment the 2nds have a free date but are seeking a game from the pool.

Many thanks to last week's match sponsor, Ken Cooke, much appreciated as always. Dinner tickets at £15 for Saturday 20th April will shortly be available from Kenny Owen. Make sure that you snap yours up!!

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 23rd February 2013

NO JOY AWAY AT THE MEDICS

The 1st Team squad travelled away to play the Manchester Medics at Bowden RUFC on an absolutely dreadful pitch, in spite of the fact that it had been dry for the best part of a week. The game was a 'double header' acting as both a league match and the 2nd leg of our National Junior Vase match. We were not at our strongest and only had two replacements when we really needed our full complement of five.

We played down the slope in the first period and almost immediately conceded a converted try which most certainly didn't help our cause. We did bounce back and had a good passage of play through forward drives but we were unable to breach their line. In truth they were a little bit better than us in every single way on the day.

There was much brave and heroic tackling by most but it was never going to be enough. I am very pleased to report that 18 year old Craig Hawthorne came on for his 1st team debut late on in the 2nd half Well done, Craig, you have certainly shown the potential to be a most successful player of the future. Well played Medics and good luck in the next round of the competition.

Result: Manchester Medics 31 Oxton Parkonians 0.
Team:Terry Williams,Geoff Waters,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Eric Nixon,Craig Hawthorne,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Ben Pearson,Mark Barham,Liam Evans,Mike Bowe,Matt Dooley,Danny Blyth,Paul Hillan.

Doddy's 2nd Team had a fantastic ten try 62-15 victory away against Taffy's Ormskirk Lions. Mark Hillan scored a hat trick and for a full report read Taffy's 'blog' below. This Saturday sees the 1sts travel to Capenhurst where we will be hoping for a good performance whilst the 2nds entertain New Brighton 3rds at home.

Both are league games and each has a 3pm KO as is now the case for the remainder of the season.

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

The Origin of Species ~ Saturday 23rd February 2013

A 2nd Team Report from Richie "Taff" Gibbon of Ormskirk

ORMSKIRK LIONS 15-62 OXTON PARKONIANS 2

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you real, but by the seeds that you plant"

Robert Louis Stevenson-1850-1894

You can't hide the fact that a defeat is a defeat and nothing more, and no matter how you try and glorify it, it still says, defeat. But if you search for a raison d'etre and the like you need look no further than the game of rugby union, and in particular the varying fortunes of Kirk Lions and Oxton Parkonians. The former born out of frustration, the latter born out of consolidation, (both clubs once had several teams, now Kirk run four and Parks two, sometimes three), both teams, (Lions and Parks 2nds), have a similar ethos and ambition, play rugby, fairly with passion, good grace and succeed, (obviously I'm still working on that one for the Lions)!

This time last season, the Lions were not doing too badly, (a recent home victory over Parks in the bag), and Matt's lads were suffering from poor form and a fair few regular players missing from the team eventually finishing one place below the Lions at the bottom of the table, how fortunes change, and not by luck may I add. They have their players back, certain ex-first teamers of a certain vintage have dropped down to help out, and Captain Dodd instils a belief in his team which through some hard work and a few setbacks has now arrived at a well deserved second in the league and promotion contenders spot.

Their ten try dominance on Saturday was spectacular at times and slapstickish at others, ( Varley running 10 metres, Burton's blatant intimidation of Taff at restart time, Taff's resultant loss at chicken run time, and the 9 man overlap defended and lost by Bober and Taff as most of the Lions took a jog up the wrong touch line), I digress, a hat trick of tries from man of the match Hillan, two from Turaga and Sadler the younger, (six conversions as well), and one apiece from Kapitan Dodd, serial Lion hunter Lennon and Taff's best mate Burton was rich reward for great endeavour. The whole team contributed to the cause with that Hector chap looking pretty impressive to the eye, and that Whelan chap had a good one too, Craig, Karl?....! But don't be thinking there was only one team playing!

The Lions it must be said contributed heftily to their own demise by not doing the basics correctly, namely over committing at the rucks and not communicating in defensive situations allowing their opponents acres of space to gallop in, (another Varley reference). Still, the Lions continue to play to their remit, namely get them back playing rugby, enjoying themselves whilst allowing us auld arses to continue to wallow in our own history in one last hurrah! Hang on a minute, something is not right here, what can it be?

Yesterday the first green shoots of spring reared their heads amidst the fog of defeat. Was that a bonafide warm up I participated in which included ball skills and stretching? I think it was you know. Was that a sterling last twenty minutes that saw the Lions in the ascendancy scoring three well worked tries, (one from an assist to an assist from an assist from 'Fly-Half ' Taff, catch the ball and fall to the floor present, I thank you. I don't know who was more surprised, me receiving or scrum-half Danny looking up and seeing me there)! Suddenly belief started to come with the Lions backing up their solid scrum with some competent loose play, see, it can be done, so why is that then?

Being the 4th team, we seldom get our own way selection wise, the team was strong early season then our players got grafted to higher plains, so we started again. Lions star man number one, Sean Bober has only played four games for us but is now remembering his game and took full control of the second half effort along with star man two, the Bionic Ulsterman Wayne Clarke, a one man rolling maul, a well taken try and a comic return to the pitch after needing to, ahem, sort his stomach out, what a try stopper! And of course Andrew Slater, the spirit of the Big Dog is strong in this one, his two well taken tries showing that he too is getting back into his stride. Yes Lions, these three woke us up and boy didn't we follow.

I dearly hope Parkonians get the promotion they deserve and hold them as an inspiration to us Lions, last season they wallowed, this season became soaring swallows so why can't the Lions follow suit next season. We have the talent, the spirit and the wherewithal, all we need is some organisation and a bit of hard work. Play for fun, play to win, I didn't see any Parkonians crying yesterday; come to think of it I didn't see any Lions crying either!

The origin of species is alive and well and lurking somewhere in the heart of the Lions of Ormskirk, its only going to take a leap of faith to make it the origin of reality!

Rugby eh? Why the hell not!

Green Army! (A touch of claret)

Taffy.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 9th February 2013

DOUR ENCOUNTER ON A DARK DANK DREARY DAY AT THE DELL!!

Click for more picturesYes, it indeed was a dismal day weatherwise at Prenton Dell where a rather old fashioned game was served up with little in it for much of the game. In truth Prenton always had the edge althought there were times when we might have sneaked it. The first score was a long time coming and when it did it was down to Parkonians giving away silly penalties.

Prenton comfortably slotted through three penalties to lead 9-0 at the break.

We started the second period with a real bang with several powerful surges through the forwards resulting in a dive over for his try by Rob Marnick converted by Andy Smith. Unfortunately we were unable to maintain this momentum and the closer the game came to its conclusion the more Prenton pressed forward but our defending and tackling was heroic which restricted them to only one converted try.

For me our stand out man was veteran, Paul Hillan with Rob Marnick and Ben Pearson having strong games too. Sadly our threequarter line was starved of possession and had very little chance to demonstrate their running qualities. Prenton ran out narrow but deserved winners so this year they claim local bragging rights completing the double over us! I thought Prenton skipper, Jamie Reeve, was outstanding closely followed by back row colleagues, Gareth Tuohy(looking the spit of his father) and Stephen Leahey.

Result: Prenton 16 Oxton Parkonians 7
Team:Terry Williams,Geoff Waters,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Eric Nixon,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Ben Pearson,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Martyn Sharkey,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Matt Dooley,Paul Hillan,Danny Blyth,Rob Marnick.
Ref:Malcolm Irving(Liverpool).

The 2nd Team enjoyed a real batlle in a most enjoyable game against Prenton 2nds at Holm Lane culminating in a thrilling 7-7 draw with skipper Matt Dodd positively gushing about the performance of his team.

Next week sees the 1sts entertain Staffordshire  visitors, Trentham, whilst the 2nds travel across the water to play St Edwarda OB 3rds.Both are league games and each has a 2.15pm KO.

Thursday 7th February sadly marked the 5th anniversary of the passing of legend Brian 'Gus' Cusick and the family were very proud and generous matchday sponsors on Saturday. Many thanks to all the Cusick family.

Also Cris Hall was a match day sponsor this week and Martin Varley the previous week. We thank you all.

ADVANCE NOTICE THE RUGBY CLUB DINNER IS SATURDAY 20TH APRIL. Tickets available from Kenny Owen early March onwards at £15 per head. Please support your Club, it is always an excellent night!!

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

Matt Dodd's 2nd Team Report ~ Saturday 12th January

JUSTICE DAY

Saturday saw the 2nd team take on Birchfield at Holm Lane, in what has been a keenly anticipated game since the farce of an away fixture back in September. On that day the boys were up against a very different Birchfield team, comprising of an almost complete 1st team and what seemed like an endless supply of substitutes. It was a tough experience for all of us on that day and one that certainly was not in the spirit of the game. I told the lads to remember how they felt at the end of that 80 minutes and bring it to the return fixture, where we could set the record straight. The lads clearly listened.

It was a brisk afternoon in Oxton as Parkonians took to the field. The lads knew exactly what needed to be done and what to expect from the opposition. This was going to have to be a disciplined performance, and one where we matched up to Birchfield’s aggressive and physical tactics. What transpired was more than any of us on the pitch or any of the spectators could have expected. Birchfield came to try and bully, intimidate and punch their way to victory.......What Birchfield didn't expect was the progress that this side has made since September. We will not be bullied, we will not be intimidated, and if you do have the nerve to punch us, we will respond only by playing fantastic rugby in order to win the game in the right way. Every single player stepped up to the plate on Saturday and matched Birchfield in every way possible. For this I applaud you all.

The game started with some great Parkonians possession. The front row were working fantastically well with Messrs Gibbs, Dodd and Pearson all carrying the ball into contact, creating the platform for wave after wave of Parkonians attacks. Birchfield defended very well early on as Parkonians pinned them back in their own 22. The breakthrough came on 20 minutes when Parkonians won a penalty 10 meters out. Mark Hillan tapped and gave the ball to the on rushing Dodd who dispatched a defender before touching down to score. Craig Hawthorne converted to make the score 7-0.

Birchfield came back almost straight away and scored a well worked try in the corner. The conversion was missed 7-5 ........game on. Parkonians re asserted their authority on the game straight away with some excellent forward play from the pack, allowing our impressive backs to attack the Birchfield defence. Karl Whelan, John Turaga and Kiel Williams, were in the thick of it during the first half. Soon enough the next try came with the impressive (yet really ill) Paul Hillan crossing to score.

Before half time Parkonians once again camped in the Birchfield half. after some great phases of play Marc Taylor kicked high and long putting the rather angry red headed winger under pressure. Great running from Marc, Paul Hillan and John Dunning forced the angry red head into an error that resulted in a second try for Paul Hillan. It was a really well deserved try for Paul who had worked tirelessly at number 8 for the first 40 minutes of the game. Birchfield were now starting to lose their discipline and further try scoring opportunities were squandered by Parkonians from Birchfield penalties before the referee blew for half time with Parkonians leading 15-5.

At half time Gibbs was substituted for Martyn Sharkey as a previous Calf injury began to flare up. Ben Sadler Came on at fly half with Craig Hawthorne moving into the centre.

The second half started badly for Parkonians. The tempo, intensity and ferocity with which we finished the 1st half was lost and Birchfield came at the lads very hard. Parks gave away penalty after penalty as Birchfield pinned us in our own 22. The try when it came was inevitable. A score in the corner was converted bringing the scores to 15-12. Parkonians realised at this point that more commitment was needed.

From the kick off the boys responded with some great tackling and defensive play. Birchfield who were not having everything their own way started using punches to try and provoke Parks into a response that would distract us from the job at hand. Cometh the hour cometh the man, and the pivotal moment of the match. Kiel Williams chased a kick through from Birchfield, beating the opponent to the ball at the very last moment to touch down, saving a try. Birchfield were furious at this and immediately fell into what can only be described as the worst spell of on the field discipline I have ever seen. Abuse directed at the referee, abuse directed to the spectators, abuse directed to their opponents. Takes turned into flying punches and became late and in some instances off the ball completely.

3 Birchfield players ended up sin binned at different times and another was later sent of for a cynical and highly dangerous tackle on Ben Sadler. Ben didn't react which is a massive credit to him. With the game now stopping and starting at regular intervals due to our opponents ill-discipline Parkonians sensed a victory and moved up a gear. Paul Hillan was replaced by Mark Barham and John Dunning came off injured to be replaced by Martin Varley.

The next try came on the back of a great move from Parkonians with ended up with the forwards securing possession The ball was spun wide through the backs to young Eric Nixon who beat two tackles to score under the posts. Great team try. Ben Sadler converted brilliantly. 22-10. Birchfield were now not even playing rugby. It was more about how many Parkonians they could hurt. Some of the scenes were shameful, and really brought their club into disrepute.

The final say came from the Parkonians forwards who were magnificent all day. A great drive and maul, allowed Ben Pearson to go over in the corner. Once again the crowd reaction was one of the best I have witnessed at Holm Lane. It really did feel like justice was being served, not only for what had been happening on the field of play, but also what had happened at Birchfield in September. Ben converted again to bring the score to 29-12.

The referee was so disgusted with Birchfield’s behaviour and conduct that he decided to blow up 10 minutes early. I think that given the level of violence being directed towards Parkonians by Birchfield, this was the right decision.

Final Score Oxton Parkonians 2nds 29 - Birchfield 2nds 12

JUSTICE DONE!!!!!

A quick mention for the referee who i think did an excellent job in the face of some horrendous intimidation from Birchfield. I think he had a great game. well done. Also well done in the bar afterwards.

I would like to thank every single player who put their bodies on the line during this game. I am so proud of all of you. It was a real privilege to part of a team that maintained their discipline when it would have been very easy to react to what was happening in front of them. We maintained our Club's excellent reputation and for that I thank you. If you want to see an example of how not to enhance your reputation as a rugby club, then look no further than Birchfield. Frankly, and I am sure you will all agree, they were a disgrace to the game and a disgrace to themselves. Even their Chairman delivered abuse to the referee, which was quite frankly laughable. If anyone from Birchfield reads this, you need to take a very long hard look at yourselves. Saturday was simply unacceptable.

Thank you to all of our supporters as well. It was great to hear you all right behind us. It made a huge difference.

Fantastic performances from everyone this week Bowe and Danher were fantastic in the 2nd row, Karl Whelan was outstanding at centre as was Marc Taylor at full back and Kiel Williams on the wing! I could pick out the hole side to be fair! well done every single one of you.

Up to 2nd in the League with two very winnable games to come. St Mary's next week and Formby the week afterwards. Let’s get the wins our season so far deserves and get ourselves right in the mix for the run in.

Team - Gibbs, Dodd (Capt), Pearson, Bowe, Danher, Dunning, Tucker, P.Hillan, M Hillan, Hawthorne, Turaga, Whelan, Williams, Nixon, Taylor subs - Barham, Sharkey, Varley, O Donnell, Thomas, Sadler

Yours in the bar,

Doddy!

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 5th January 2013

VERY SPIRITED 2ND TEAM PERFORMANCE AGAINST A STRONG AND SKILFUL ORMSKIRK XV!

The 1st Team league game scheduled to be played at Holm Lane against Liverpool University was pretty predictably postponed at fairly short notice. Of course this is not the first time this has happened to us against the students and it really is about time that they pulled out of the league structure if they cannot fulfill league fixtures when it doesn't suit them!!

The game will have to be played at a later date in what is already becoming an overcrowded second half of the season.

Click for more pictures Fortunately, Pete Evans was able to fix us up against a pretty strong Birkenhead Park XV at Holm Lane going down by a 25-5 margin. The 1sts could not have a tougher return to league action next Saturday with an away game against Manchester Medics.

I took the opportunity to travel with the 2nds to Ormskirk where they met a very strong experienced 'Kirk 3rd XV which was full of experience, strong scrummagers and powerful runners. I thought our lads acquitted themselves very well although I know they were all deeply disappointed with the result.

No one threw in the towel and there was some formidable defensive work and strong tackling too. Simon Dunning richly deserved his MOM award from skipper Matt Dodd for sticking in so well at tight head prop, against a most experienced and skilful opponent, and for his strong carries in open play.Well played, Simon!!

It was also good to meet up with the Ormskirk 3rds captain, Neil Ainsworth, who I had played against on the same pitch about 10 years ago and whom I had previously taught at Holmwood School, Formby some 30 years ago!!! Also great to catch up with that legendary Ormskirk prop, Blacky, who sadly no longer can play but recalled with some affection the tussles against Ian Jones, Gus and myself over the years.

Finally, a special mention to referee, Martin Woosey, who had a strong game and to all players from both sides who appeared to thoroughly enjoy the game and conducted themselves impeccably on the pitch. A credit to themselves, their clubs and indeed the game of rugby union.

However, in my opinion I find it very sad to report that Taffy's 'Kirk 4ths went down 131-7 at Ellesmere Port 2nds. Doubtless Taffy's Lions never gave in BUT surely it cannot be right that in an amateur match below 1st team level, never mind that it was a league game, was allowed by the referee and opposition to reach thie score?! It cannot be good for the game! However, I would be interested to know what other people's opinions are?

Result: Ormskirk 3rds 64  Oxton Parkonians 2nds 14.
Team:Marc Taylor,Paul Lennon,John Dunning,Karl Whelan,Kiel Williams,Craig Hawthorne,Mark Hillan,Mike Gibbs,Matt Dodd(captain),Simon Dunning,Mike Bowe,Justin Danher,Chris Ashton,Martin Varley,Mark Tucker,Kieran O'Donnell,Mike Kierney.
Scorers:Tries-John Dunning, Matt Dodd. Cons-Craig Hawthorne (2).
Ref:Martin Woosey(NORWIL)

Next week the 2nds have a 'very interesting' league game at Holm Lane against Birchfield 2nds. I know that Doddy and all the team will be very much up for this one; all support would be most welcome!!

Thanks very much to Kenny Owen for his Match Day Sponsorship and to Matthew Burton for running the raffle. May I wish you all a very Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year. Keep on supporting your club!!!

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Boxing Day, 2012

FANTASTIC FESTIVE FEAST AT HOLM LANE!!

There was a fabulous turnout both on and off the field at a sodden Holm Lane where forty two players turned out to contest the 33rd Annual Brothers v Veterans Boxing Day 2012 Challenge for The Beckett Hillan Shield with the Brothers victorious by a 20-3 margin in a closely contested match.

Click for more picturesHowever, the day was tempered by the serious injury to Veterans captain, Chris Hall, who later that evening found out that he had suffered a suspected broken bone in his back and is currently recovering and receiving treatment in Walton Hospital. All at the club, and indeed in the local rugby fraternity, wish you a speedy recovery Chris and all our thoughts are with you and Lesley at this time.

The game was fantastic and never one sided and so a very big thank you to all players who braved the elements and an even bigger thank you to our guest referee and friend , Phil Stokes, from the Liverpool Society who had a very good game and was most suitably attired whilst officiating.Thanks again, Phil!

Great to see people playing who have retired from game or who have never or rarely played rugby union before. So very well done to Carl Handley, Stewie McEwen, Dave 'Haircut 100' Sadler, Eric 'Change Of Code' Nixon Snr.,Glen Pearson, Mike Hawker,Tim Hassall and Simon Smithdale.

It is the time of year when we think of those who are no longer with us and of course their families especially Donny Hawker and Brian 'Gus' Cusick who both loved this day and occasion so much. This year The Donny Hawker Memorial Trophy for The Man Of THe Match went to Donny's close friend, Tony Owens, who played the whole game for the Veterans at the age of 58; a mere whippersnapper! Well done, Tony, I know how much this meant to you! The Graham Eccleson Sombrero TWAT Of The Match for unsavoury on the field behaviour went to Martyn 'Pee Wee' Sharkey?!

Result: Brothers 20 Veterans 3

Teams: BROTHERS:Craig Whelan, Karl Whelan, Sean Marnick, Mark Hillan(Captain), Mike Marnick, Ben Sadler, Liam Sadler, Martyn Sharkey, Peter Hillan, Gareth Thomas, Alan Morris Snr., Paul Morris, Mike Bowe, Liam Evans, Rob Marnick, Ryan Evans, Paul Hillan, John Dunning.

VETERANS:Tony Owens, Mike Hawker, Mark Pearson, Glen Pearson, Chris Hall(Captain), Eric Nixon Jnr., Andy Smith, Ian Westwater, Derek Prescott, Carl Handley, Mark Barham, Steve Stockford, Dominic Verheijen, Chris Ashton, Mark Tucker, Tony Burton, Tim Hassall, Adam Westwater, Dave Sadler, Simon Smithdale, Stewie McEwen, Eric Nixon Snr., Max Prescott, Rob Rawson.

Ref:Phil Stokes(Liverpool).
Touch judges:Richie Beckett, Liam Westwater and Matthew Burton.

It has been a most successful season for the Club with the highlight being the successful completion of the new changing facilities and the refurbishment of the bar and kitchen. We owe a great debt to Paul Corvers and Mike Beckett for driving the project forward after several frustrating years.

We are also very grateful to Peter Johnson who this year made a generous sponsorship towards the project and for sponsoring the 'Love2Shop' 1st and 2nd team kits for season 2012/13. Peter was made an Honorary Life Member of the club in recogonition of his loyalty,support and generosity over the years.

The 1st Team is having a mixed season with some great performances but also some 'blips' as well; we will be looking for a bit more consistency during the second half of the season. Meanwhile the 2nd Team are having a wonderful season so far and are vying for promotion from Division 5 West of the NWIL I would like to pay tribute to both captains Gareth Pryce and Matt Dodd for all their enthusiasm and hard work. The Junior Section, despite the inclement weather, just goes from strength to strength; very well done to all players,coaches,parents and the volunteer helpers who assist in so many different ways!! Long may it continue.

Another very big thank you to Chris Hall our House and Bar Chairman for his unstinting hard work throughout the year and to the bar staff especially Lesley, Lauren and Liz too. Sadly Lauren has left us for pastures new but we look forward to welcoming her back at any time on either side of the bar!!

The Boxing Day Raffle was a great success; thanks to Alan Morris Snr. for overseeing it and to Rebecca and Matthew Burton for selling the tickets. There were several bottle contributions including those from Graham Eccleson and the Hillan family amongst others. Thanks for your generosity.

Finally, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wishing you and the club a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We look forward to seeing everyone at Holm Lane in 2013 and again all the best to Hally in his recovery from his serious injury

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 8th December 2012

A SUCCESSFUL REUNION DAY

Although Saturday brought the enforced postponement of our 1st Team game it was tempered by a most successful day in every other way!

Click for more pictures10am on Saturday morning meant a 1st Team pitch inspection which reluctantly ended in the decision, due to standing water and the heavy underfoot conditions, to postpone the league game against Holmes Chapel. Fortunately, it was agreed that the 3rd Team pitch was just about OK for a 30 minutes each way 3rd Team/Veterans friendly to go ahead which it did with our local visitors Anselmians taking the spoils by a winning margin of 29-7 with Tony Burton scoring a consolation try goaled by Greg Lindop.

Good to see Steve Lowndes,Alan Morris,Stew McEwen, Tony Owens,Simon Smithdale,Gareth Taylor,Steve Barnett amongst others getting a run out.Many, many thanks to Dave Carroll for his organisation and captaincy of the team and to Mike Heyward for refereeing. It is very much appreciated gents. Congratulations too to all players on both sides for entering into the spirit of things in such unpleasant playing conditions.

Click for more picturesOur Annual Reunion Day went ahead as planned and was a great success.

Many thanks to Chris Hall for his excellent catering on the day. His hot and cold running buffet was truly excellent; well done, Chris. As usual Eric Potter played a large hand in the organisation of the day. Thanks, Eric, and for giving everyone a brief lowdown on what has been happening in all aspects of the cleb during 2012. It was especially pleasing to welcome our oldest attendee of the day, Cliff Crozier, at the age of 97 and also John Nuttall, at a sprightly 89. In addition, David Wheaton had travelled from the Cayman Islands to be with us.

It was also great to see our good friend over from Switzerland, Tranmere Rovers Chairman, Peter Johnson, who has recently be given Honorary Life Membership of The Old Parkonians Association; a rare and privileged honour.

Peter JohnsonWe are indebted to Peter in many ways over the years and this was our way of saying thank you!!.

Dave Weswater, our Association Chairman as always had a collection of memorabillia on show and this year included a big screen slide show. Many thanks, Dave and to everyone who attended; it was great to see you all.

Awards of the Day:
Best Dressed: Tony Dever
Unexpected Early Arrival Of The Day: Sid Colvin

Back to the rugby front and the 2nd Team travelled to Wirral 4ths and suffered a disappointing narrow 22-12 defeat. Next Saturday they have no scheduled league game but will probably be seeking a home pool friendly. The 1sts are due to travel to Linley for their next league game and there is a coach booked with an 11.45am meet with room for travelling supporters who would be most welcome.

JUST TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT AS  NORMAL THE 33RD CONSECUTIVE BROTHERS V VETERANS MATCH WILL GO AHEAD ON BOXING DAY(WEDNESDAY 26TH.). ALL PLAYERS AND SPECTATORS ARE MOST WELCOME. THIS YEAR'S REF FROM THE LIVERPOOL SOCIETY IS PHIL STOKES. SEE YOU ALL THERE FOR A 1.30PM KICK OFF.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 1st December 2012

NARROWEST OF DEFEATS IN AN EPIC ENCOUNTER!

NATIONAL JUNIOR VASE NORTH WEST SECTION FINAL. 1ST LEG.

This was another fascinating and tense affair once more and this time the losing margin to the Medics was only 3 points instead of the 4 point margin of the league game which was what it had been when the two sides met at Holm Lane in the league game in October.

Click for more picturesThe Oxton Parkonian players' body language before the start was a trifle too relaxed for yours truly. However, we really came out of the starting blocks firing on all cylinders with the forwards playing a 'pick and go' game at close quarters with all pack members to the fore but especially Alan Williams, Ben Pearson and Richie Peters.

However, the Medics defending was fantastic and we just could not get across their line. Eventually our opponents came into the game and grabbed an unconverted try wide out followed soon after by an easily converted penalty kick. Right at the back end of the first period in injury time we attacked their line and the impressive Eric Nixon, in his second 1st team game, squeezed over in the corner. Unfortunately, Terry was not able to add the extra two points from a difficult kick. This left the half time score 8-5 in the Medics favour and this was to remain the score  for almost the whole of the second period.

Parkonians spent much of this second half defending courageously and we were already into added time when the kind of 'miracle' that we were hoping for actually occurred. Medics once more were attacking along their back line when Andy Smith made the kind of interception that you really can only dream off. We were lucky that it was Andy as he had the pace and legs to make the 90 metre run successfully with Terry adding the conversion leaving us 12-8 to the good.

However, Medics were not finished and managed to score a converted try remarkably in the 10th minute of time added on (not sure where that length of time came from)!

It really had been a scintillating match with no quarter given or asked for. It is not like me to comment on a referee's performance unless it is in the positive! However, I felt that the referee, Malcolm Irving, was too 'picky' and did not allow the game to flow as he said he would do in his pre match talk to the players. If he had played longer advantages it may well have worked against us with them being younger and fitter; but of course we shall never know!!

Could it be that Malcolm was trying too much to impress his two referee mentors on the sidelines?! However, in no way does this excuse some of the derogatory comments from the bank. This is just my observation and I could be wrong?!

We must now travel to Medics for the second leg of the competition on February 23rd. where aggregated scores will decide who contests the Northern Area FInal against the winners of The North Eastern section. Before that we travel to Medics to play the return league encouinter on January 12th. Let me congratulate ALL players on both sides for providing us with a fantastic contest!!

Result:Oxton Parkonians 12 Manchester Medics 15.
Scorers:Tries-Eric Nixon,Andy Smith. Con- Terry Williams.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler, Eric Nixon,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Mark Barham,Ben Pearsom,Mike Byrne,Richie Peters,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Alan Williams,Barry Owens,Ben Sadler,John Dunning,Paul Lennon.
Ref:Malcolm Irving(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team had to forfeit their match in The Raging Bull Plate at Birchfield 2nds which is very unlike us. Well done to John Dunning for providing such eloquent and detailed 2nd team reports these last 2 weeks; excellent!

This Saturday 8th December sees The Annual Players' Reunion Day at the club from 12noon onwards; let,s have a fantastic turnout.

There is a curtain raiser on the 3rd team pitch at lunchtime which will hopefully finish before the 1st team game. Dave Carroll's 3rds/Veterans will entertain Anselmians 3rds/Veterans with the 1st team playing against Holmes Chapel with a 2.15pm KO. The 2nds make the short journey to Wirral 4ths to play their latest league game.

Many thanks last Saturday to Eddie Flynn for his match day sponsorship and to Mathew Burton for once again selling the raffle tickets.See you on Saturday

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

John Dunning's 2nd Team Report ~ Saturday 24th November 2012

Solid performance gives Parks a well-deserved victory

Oxton Parkonians 2nds VS Eagle 2nds

First of all, on behalf of all the lads playing, I would just like to say a big thank you to Dave Westwater for maintaining the pitch as well as he does, it was a major improvement on Ellesmere Ports pitch last week and made a major contribution the final score of this game.

After last week’s poor performance it was imperative that Parks got a victory over Eagle and put in a good performance and that is what Parks did. Eagle started the game with a good high kick which all packs would love to run on to, but it was Spanish import Hector who claimed the ball beautifully and the support from his team mates was quick and strong.

This was how Parks were going to play the opening 20 minutes of this game hard and fast.  After some good forward play the backs were able to play a key role in getting Parks deep into the opposition half with some great kicking from Ben Salder and John Turaga. But this still left the forwards with work to do at the lineouts as the wet conditions made the ball very slippery and last week’s line outs were very poor.

But with some good line out ball from Matt Dodd and good jumping from Hector and Mark Tucker the line outs worked very well. Good set plays from the forwards and intelligent play from the backs would ultimately lead to a well-earned victory.

The first try came not long into the first half with a good steal at the lineout and drive from the pack. Mike Bowe was able to break Eagle’s defensive line, and was only prevented from scoring by Chris "the poacher" Hall who took the ball out on Mike’s hands to claim the try for himself.  Not long after the re-start Parks found themselves deep inside the opposition’s territory again. Some poor penalties given away by Eagle and they were soon to be punished. Some great awareness from Ben Salder caught Eagle asleep off a penalty and Ben was able to cross the try line unopposed.

Eagle did then manage to put some pressure on the Parks defence and got themselves in some good positions. But the Parks defence was solid and the communication between our players was the best I have heard in a long time. Due to vocal and tenacious defence they were able to win back position and clear their lines.

Soon after this we were back down in the opposition half. Another good line out well taken by Mark Tucker and Parks got the drive on. It was then down to the backs to finish it off and a nice little scissors between 10 and 12 and John Turaga skipped his was over the try line. Eagle then again put pressure on the parks line. Eagle got very close the Parks line and due to the physicality of the game a player from each side was given 10 minutes in the sin bin. The Parks player sent to the bin was not the guilty party - it was one of his younger team mates who kept quiet (Craig).  But again the line held firm for half time. At the break 17-0 to Parks.

With the start of the second half came the rain making an already greasy ball much harder to handle. This lead to Parks slipping back into one of the major factors of last week’s defeat, “silly penalties”, and eventually Eagle took advantage of this were able to cross the line and open their account for the day. Score now 17-5.

But soon Alan Williams was on hand to put things back on track with two fantastic tries leading to him being given a well-deserved man of the match. The first try was a pick up from the base of a scrum on the opposition 22. Alan using his strength and pace was able to cut through the Eagle defence and score a great individual try. The second this time coming from open play again sore Alan beat several defenders before crashing over the line making the score 27-5.

27-5 was how the game ended a good result for Parks against a resilient Eagles side that no doubt will be difficult to beat on their own turf.

Every player including the substitutes played well especially Alan Williams and Hector. It was also nice to see young Kieran Hillan joining the 2nd Team squad for his debut and I am sure captain Matt Dodd will be keeping a close eye on young Kieran’s progress over the coming months.

Next week is Cup Week which sees a difficult fixture away at Birchfield. December and January will be testing months with five away games and only one at home to Birchfield. It will be interesting to see if we can maintain are position in the league.

Side: Chris Hall, Matt Dodd (Captain), Mike Gibbs, Mike Bowe, Hector Ruiz, Simon Dunning, Alan Williams, Mark Tucker, Craig Hawthorn, Ben Sadler, Paul Lennon, John Turaga, Dave Gallwey, Kiel Williams, Mark Taylor, Kieran Hillan, Gareth Thomas, Steve Chris (Pirate), Ian Westwater, Nick.

John Dunning (aka the crab)

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 17th November 2012

BATTLE TO THE END IN MUDBATH!

The weather was lovely but the pitch was certainly not!! If it had been raining at lunchtime on Saturday 17th November then this game would most certainly have been postponed. Thanks to the cricket section for the loan of their water hog and the hard work from Alan Morris(Snr) and Geoff Davies the pitch was just about playable?! Both teams were keen to play as was visiting Italian referee, Fabio.

It seemed a great game to have played in and was pleasing on the eye too. It was a real forwards battle with both packs playing well on a pitch which soon became a mudbath. Both teams enjoyed periods of domination especially when the wind was at their backs i.e. Ellesmere Port in the 1st half and Parkonians in the 2nd half. Ellesmere Port often had the upper hand although we were always in it and might have well drawn or even won the game.

The star performers were obviously in the pack with birthday boy, Danny Blyth, having a fine game playing at hooker in the scrums, where we took several against the head, jumping in the line outs and absolutely everwhere in the loose. Rob Marnick joined Danny in having his best game of the season so far; Matt Dooley again played out of position at flanker and as always gave 100% as well as scoring a try.

All the front row played well and Pete Bennett again grafted well with skipper Gareth Pryce putting in a good performance too. Perhaps we were a trifle unlucky but anyway we march onto Helsby this coming Saturday with our heads held high!

Result:Oxton Parkonians 12  Ellesmere Port 17.
Scorers:Tries-Matt Dooley, Andy Smith. Con-Terry Williams.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Andy Smith,Liam Sadler,Geoff Waters,Gareth Pryce(captain),Mark Gaunt,Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Danny Blyth,Ben Pearson,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Richie Peters,Pete Bennett,Matt Dooley,Rob Marnick.
Ref:Fabio Taggi(Italy).

The 2nd Team suffered a disappointing 12-0 defeat away to Ellesmere Port 2nds but were suffering from injuries and unavailabilities. There should be a match report from 'language graduate', John Dunning, to accompany this round up; but I list the team below anyway.  Not sure how Eric played this week as he wasn't in 'the mentions queue' last Saturday tea time?! This week the 2nds entertain Eagle 2nds in a league game.

Result: Ellesmere Port 2nds 12 Oxton Parkonians 2nds 0.
Team:Marc Taylor,Paul Lennon,Karl Whelan,Eric Nixon,Kiel Williams,Ben Sadler,Craig Hawthorne,Mike Gibbs,Chris Sharkey,Chris Hall(captain),Justin Danher,Hector Ruiz,Chris Aston,Simon Dunning,Mark Tucker,Gareth Thomas,Steve Cleary,Mike Bowe.

Click for more picturesIt was wonderful to welcome Fabio to our club as referee on Saturday over here from Italy on 'exchange'. Also good to see fellow refereeing colleagues Federico and Francesco who had been officiating at Wallasey and Prenton as well as their mentors from the Liverpool Society, secretary, Peter Houghton, and up and coming future Premiership referee, Ian Tempest! As always, gentlemen, you are very welcome at Holm Lane.

Many thanks to this week's match day sponsor, Steve Barnett. Much appreciated as always, Steve! I would like to congratulate and thank Liam Evans for completing his sponsored run in Derbyshire towards the end of September and for raising £100 for Club funds. Well done, Liam!

Mike Marnick also completed the run so well done to him also. Plenty of mentions for ex Pensby lads in both this week's round up and in previous weeks as well! There may not be a round up next week as yours truly is taking a sabbatical weekend.

Perhaps alternative reporters will step forward?!

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

John Dunning's 2nd Team Report ~ Saturday 17th November 2012

Ellesmere Port - The Battle of the Bog

This season for Parks 2nds has been the best for a long time, with some fantastic results at home and away. Going into this match against Ellesmere Port Parks sat second in the league on equal points with top of the table St Edwards 3rds. Ellesmere Port were mid table but had picked up a great win last week away at New Brighton in the Cup.

So going into this game Parks were expecting a hard game but victory none the less. However, that was not to be the case. Friday night had seen some heavy rain and this left the pitch in a terrible state with shovels having to be used prior to the game to get rid of standing water, so as you can imagine this wasn’t going to be a fast paced skilfull game but a hard slog with the boot playing a key role in the outcome.

Parks did have a good selection of players but were missing a couple of regulars who would normally be in the starting 15. One of them missing was captain Matt Dodd who had unfortunately another engagement. This, along with the conditions of the pitch, would have disastrous consequences for Parks.

Parks started the game well and had a good period of pressure inside the opposition 22. However in the difficult conditions and with new players involved in the lineout, Parks struggled to win their own ball which allowed the opposition to relieve the lines.

Parks still managed to keep up the pressure but became their own worst enemy and gave away penalty after penalty giving Ellesmere port an opportunity to get into our half. Our defence was solid but with a couple of strong runs from the opposition and a few defenders losing their footing on the quagmire and Ellesmere broke the deadlock. The rest of the half was pretty even with neither team threatening the score. Half time 5-0 to Ellesmere Port.

The second half continued much the same with good defending from both sides but with Parks still unable to secure their own set plays. Twenty minutes in to the second half and some good running from the Ellesmere Port backs got them into our twenty two and again a few silly penalties gave Ellesmere Port the opportunity to drive over the line. A good conversion made it 12-0.

With the pitch now in even worse condition, with both teams started to kick but with the ball sticking in the mud most kicks didn’t find touch or go were the kicker intended. Port were very happy to play out the last 20 minutes of the game like this as neither team threatened to score. There was one good break from winger Paul Lennon when the ball was kept in hand, but as he was closed down he found no support from his team mates and the attack broke down.

Not long after the final whistle blew and Port came away with a deserved victory over a poor performance from Parks who only had themselves to blame with some bad penalties at critical times given away.

On the plus side the defence was good from both sides but we didn’t really create any clear cut chances. There was also good performances from Paul Lennon, Si Dunning, Craig Hawthorn and well done to Mark Tucker for stepping up to 8 and not looking out of place.

Next week sees the visit of Eagle who have not had the best start to this season so a good opportunity for Parks to get back on track. But as with any game we can’t be complacent.

Final Score: Ellesmere Port 12 Parkonians 2nds 0
Side- Chris Hall (Captain),  Chris Sharkey, Mike Gibbs, Justin Danher, Hector Ruiz, Simon Dunning, Chris (The Pirate), Mark Tucker, Craig Hawthorn, Ben Sadler, Paul Lennon, Karl Whelan, Eric Nixon, Kiel Williams, Mark Taylor, Dave Gallwey, Gareth Thomas, Steve Cloney, Mike Bowe (late arrival)

John Dunning (aka the crab)

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 10th November 2012

3RDS LOSE OUT TO LOCAL RIVALS, PRENTON!

The 1st Team had a free league date and the 2nds had received a bye in the 1st round of The Raging Bull Plate meaning that Dave Carroll's 3rd Team provided the only senior rugby action of the weekend. They entertained our closest local rivals, Prenton 3rds, who play every week unlike our 3rds and it certainly showed!

Click for more picturesThe game was played in great spirit and perhaps we did not deserve to lose by such a large margin. No individual mentions this week except many thanks to Dave Carroll for all his hard work in raising and organising the team. Great to see so many people making their first appearance of the season and welcome back; hopefully this will encourage you to play more often.

Also very well done to young Liverpool Society referee, Ben Moore, who had a fine game and surely has a promising future ahead of him. Justin Danher, to his credit, offered to play the whole game for Prenton. Thanks for this, Justin, or did you offer to avoid paying a match fee? And then claiming an away player's free meal and moaning that it didn't come with chips or that your opposite number and close neighbour, Alan Morris, did not buy you a pint!

Great to see old friends from Prenton on the sideline including their President, Brisn 'Bongo' Elkerton, Chairman, Dermot McCluskey, Alan Roberts and Mark Gaunt. Well played to Prenton stalwart, Graham Clarke, even if he did complain about my fairness as a touch judge. Well done to Jeff Sheldon, too, for running the touch for Prenton in the first half before sneaking off unannounced to be replaced by our very own Alan Muir. A good day all round!

Many thanks to 'birthday boy' Barry Fogg for stepping in to sponsor the match; much appreciated, Barry, thank you! Congratulations to our good friend,Capenhurst President, Terry Grundy, for the winning the raffle bottle!

Result: Oxton Parkonians 3rds  19  Prenton 3rds  41
Scorers:Tries-Alan Williams(2),Marc Taylor. Cons- Ben Sadler(2)
Team:Paul Lennon,Chris Beckett,Eric Nixon,Gareth Taylor,Chris Hall,Kiel Williams,Marc Taylor,Ben Sadler,Gareth Thomas,Mark Tucker,Richie Peters,Dave Carroll(captain),Mike Smith,Dominic Verheijen,Alan Williams,Alan Morris,Phil Byrne, Chris 'Pirate Pete' Aston(surname as promised),Justin 'Prenton Meal Ticket' Danher.
Ref:Ben Moore(Liverpool).

Next week the 1sts and 2nds both have challenging league games against Ellesmere Port. 1sts at home and 2nds away KO 2.15pm.

REMEMBER SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW DUE AND IF UNPAID BY 1ST DECEMBER YOUR MEMBERSHIP CEASES!

Early notice of Annual Players Reunion Day on Saturday 8th December from 12 noon onwards.

Many of our junior sides were in action at Holm Lane on Sunday against West Park and Liverpool Collegiate; winning or losing they were all played in great spirit. Well done to all players, coaches, parents, helpers and supporters.Reports should soon be available as normal on Parkonians Junior Rugby RUFC Pitchero website.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 3rd November 2012

TWO TERRIFIC TRIUMPHS!!

The 1st Team travelled to Congleton with once again a much changed side ravaged by injury and unavailability. However, to the team's credit they stuck at it and came away with the victory and bonus point! Congleton, most certainly, had had their chances and were dominant in the forwards and perhaps they were too generous in attempting to involve their backs in so many attacking moves.

With a limited amount of ball, in contrast, our back line looked consistently dangerous. Our best players were our points scorers Andy Smith, Geoff Waters and Terry Williams; along with Liam Sadler and Ryan Evans who battled bravely at the back of  a retreating scrummage. I have been most impressed with Geoff since his return to the side; well done and keep it up! Terry kicked four absolutely vital conversions two of which were really difficult!! There were promising debuts from winger, Kiel Williams, and prop, Mike Gibbs.

Also mentioning Richie Peters who once again stepped up to the mark and my apologies, Richie, for omitting you from my report a fortnight ago, at Trentham, when indeed you had played well!! We had problems with the first phase and the subsequent lack of possesion but there was a real team spirit in the side and we dug in and grafted until the final whistle! It was good to welcome back Rob Marnick and Ben Rees who played whilst not really ready to return just yet; but they both appreciated that we were thin on the ground.

What has impressed me the last three weeks has been the grit and determination on display in direct contrast to the matches versus Southern Nomads and Port Sunlight. Whatever team takes the field of play let us continue with thie approach! In conclusion I would like to thank the Congleton chairman, Russ Williams, and his committee for inviting myself, Alan, Steve and Chris to their pre-match meal. We thoroughly enjoyed it, the generous hospitality and the meal was lovely!!

Result:Congleton 21 Oxton Parkonians 28
Scorers:Tries-Andy Smith(2),Geoff Waters(2). Cons-Terry Williams(4)
Team:Terry Williams,Kiel Williams,Geoff Waters,Andy Smith,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Liam Sadler,Martyn Sharkey,Mark Barham,Richie Peters,Mike Gibbs,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Rob Marnick,Danny Blyth,Ryan Evans,Ben Rees.
Ref:Rod Turner(Manchester)

The 2nd Team led by 'Captain Fantastic (Elton Dodd)' and his 'Browndirt Cowboys' enjoyed welcoming Taffy's Ormskirk Lions aka. the '999 Crew' to 'The Pleasuredome' of Holm Lane. A scintillating contest took place especially if you listen to/read the accounts of the skippers Messrs Dodd and Gibbon.

Parkonians had two Men Of The Match according to both captains and reliable spectators; one modest, one less so. They were Eric (or is it Ed now) 'The Bullet' Nixon and Mark 'Johnny Come Lately' Tucker. Both had fine games with Eric scoring two tries. This was a super performance by our 2nds against plucky and admirable opponents who were superbly led by our former Taff who has certainly improved his playing skills over the last couple of seasons!

What I really put it down to, though, was the rugby lessons I taught him when he was a pupil at Cwmcarn Comprehensive School and I did my teaching practice there in the spring of 1976.

Excellent match report too, Taff, and you did get there first. In the words of another Welsh band, Taff, The Stereophonics 'Maybe Tomorrow'!! Good banter all round; wonderful to see you once again Mr. Gibbon. Before I forget Chris Hall, our veteran now, also had a fine game and had a hand in four of our tries. Paul Lennon ,too, received favourable reports. Finally both Taff and I would like to recognise how much Si Dunning has come on as a player.

Result Oxton Parkonians 2nds  40  Ormskirk Lions(Green Army)  7.
Scorers:Tries-Eric/Ed Nixon(2),Mike Bowe,John Turaga,Karl Whelan,Paul Lennon. Cons- Ben Sadler(5)
Team:Craig Whelan,Paul Lennon,Karl Whelan,John Turaga,Eric Nixon,Ben Sadler,Craig Hawthorne,Chris Hall,Simon Dunning,Gareth Thomas,Mike Bowe,Justin Danher,Mark Tucker,Hector Ruiz,Matt Dodd(captain),Lee Morris,Chris 'The Pirate' (surname to follow after another couple of games).

This week sees free dates for the 1st and 2nd teams leaving the 3rds to entertain us, hopefully, at Holm Lane in a friendly against as yet unknown opponents.KO 2.15pm.; as all games are now until the end of February. I am sure you will all join me in wishing this week's injured players Mike Gibbs and Craig Hawthorne a very speedy recovery indeed!

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

Saturday 3rd November ~ Which Way To Kyffin?

A 2nd Team Report from Richie "Taff" Gibbon of Ormskirk

OXTON PARKONIANS 2 40-7 ORMSKIRK LIONS.

The green and grey and red and white 
The fading glow of this dark amber sky 
He sits and prays for the light to die 
To show the life hidden from our eyes

“Which way to Kyffin”, James Dean Bradfield, 2006.

These words by Manic Street Preacher, Bradfield, seem quite fitting to events at Holm Lane. A fine day for rugby with a keen breeze and watery sunlight all encompassed in Autumn’s colourful gown and the Greens and Reds, (well maroon actually but lets not be picky), gracing the pitch. If Welsh artist, Sir John “Kyffin” Williams were alive I’m sure he would have set his easel up on the bank and painted yet another landscape masterpiece. It was left to the artisans of Ormskirk and Parkonians to serve up a feast of rugby instead, they did not disappoint.

Both sides started with running intentions but Kirk appeared to have the upper hand in the forwards and smartly attacked the Parks try line but a combination of tight defence and wrong options denied the Lions. Parks quickly seized on Kirk errors and forced the Green men to back pedal and from one such incident Parks moved the ball quickly through the hands to score a try against the run of play to steal a 7-0 lead! Straight back come the Lions with a cracking try from debonair centre, Shafi James after a tidy assist from returning centre Robertson, 7-7, well I’ll be darned, this here game is on!

Unfortunately the Lions hadn’t learned from their previous mistakes, and although they rampaged at the home sides defence, frequent errors allowed Parkonians to grind their way back down into the Kirk 22 and from a resultant penalty young Nixon was able to crash over in the corner after a nice assist from the Flying Pie himself, Chris Hall! 12-7 to Parks was not insurmountable and once again the Lions set about reparations, and once again errors allowed Parks to turn over the ball after a promising Lions sortie led by Roper, Taff and Bewick. Unfortunately for the Lions, the resultant Parks attack found one third of TeamLambBowe, yep, ex winger turned 2nd row grandson of Gus, Mike Bowe. His 30 metre grunt and crash through Kirks finest matadors left a trail of green shirts grounded in the mud, and Ean Quirk clamped to his back like a limpet! It was like trying to stop a vociferous rhino stung by a wasp, and when he was finally brought down he was over the line and Parks were now 19-7 to the good. Sometimes as the opposition, you just have to admire good rugby and talent, best opposition try against us so far this season, #Taff facts.

At half-time the talk was bullish and 12 points was not a deficit impossible to overcome, but the Lions main strength in recent games was not in evidence this week, namely the fabled bench! Fordy’s knee gave up on him after a great first 40 and with no forward subs we were always going to struggle. Dan and Russ came on to jiggle the back line which allowed young Beard to have a go at flanking, well, he is Welsh, and 50, and always willing to have a go at new things, remind you of anyone Parks?

Anyway, the pendulum swung towards Parks who now slowly but surely gained the upper hand at scrum time, pushing back a visibly tiring Lions pack though home side errors and adequate Lions defence scuppered many chances for Parks. But something had to give and constant stretching of the Lions defence allowed 3 further tries for Parks, (one for habitual Kirk try line haunter, Lennon), another for Young Nixon and was it Whelan the other? But Kirk never gave up and constantly probed Parks defence for openings, notably Quirk, Bewick, James and Robertson being the threats but the Oxton outfit was organized and efficient in stopping Kirk sorties. I particularly like the way the match ended, last play, Kirk losing but on the offensive, Parks under the cosh, Captain Dodds gets his hands on the egg, looks up and kicks to touch! No elongation of the match, no need to score extra points, and don’t let your opponents get a consolation! One captain nods in respect to the other, (I had kicked to touch early on in the match).

It didn’t feel like a 40 point defeat to be honest, I guess it was the fact that Parks were more clinical and direct than us with Mark Tucker and Ed Nixon being their stand out players. One had a long talk with Ed, (amongst many old friends may I add), and I was impressed by his enthusiasm and his respect for the game of rugby, his love of Parkonians and his attempts to get me back at Holm Lane, all this backed up by a great performance on the pitch, as they say in Liverpool, deffo one to watch, pleasure meeting and talking to you Ed.

And as for the Lions, great effort from Callum Sibely playing his first full game this season alongside his captain in the boiler room and for stepping into the big boots of Dave Compton jumping at 2. I accept your own self criticism Callum but remind you that you stepped up when the captain called and without your efforts we would have been looking very sick at the line-outs! It was nice so see Quirky back at 9 and Robbo at 13 alongside leading try scorer Shafi, and hats off to Cardiff’s very own Kev Beard playing his second full game on the trot at full-back then blindside flanking, Dan Baillie for showing us what we are missing whilst he is in Sheffield, Russ for being Russ and wondering how he was going to get a black eye past the Mrs, Al and Pete out there on the lonely wings waiting for Parkonian juggernauts to hit them, and Fordy for a great 50 mins at 8 until the knee went, all Lions as usual.

But Lions star-man had to go to Kirk’s answer to Michael Winner, Sam Bewick who played possibly his best performance since returning to rugby. Great awareness, ball skills, tackling, nowty rucking and general all round play. I’ve had problems picking Sam to start with all the players vying for the coveted back-row spots, (previously mentioned in other reports). This performance puts a compelling case forward for his continued starting place at the very least. You make your own mark in life; Sam made a big one yesterday, well done Sam Bewick, Lions man of the match.

So Mr Beckett, you want brevity of words with no subterfuge and alacrity of thought? Thing is what inspires a man is what he reads or hears about himself from others. Many capable rugby players are lost in brevity and subterfuge and maybe never quite aspire high enough as a consequence. No one rugby report is wrong or right and I often remember badgering you for a mention of the little things I perceived I had done right, playing rugby for Parks. I left Parks to pursue a dream to prove I could play rugby at my age and at this level. Some of the comments I got yesterday about my playing improvement were all I needed to know that I had achieved one of my goals. I think you once accused me and Si Dunning in a report, of continually being offside to no effect. It was a start; I had been mentioned for rugby, poor rugby, but rugby nonetheless!

I will continue my tales of uprisings and social gatherings in the vain hope that it inspires more non gifted rugby players to transform to a Taff or a Dunning or even a Nixon for which ever club they choose. I chose the two best for my late rugby career and am well happy that one of my longish poetic prose type reports features Parkonians and Kirk together, two great clubs, one ethos, rugby!

Which way to Kyffin? Through your eyes and all that surrounds you.

Green Army! (And a bit of maroon just this once)

Taffy.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 27th October 2012

TWO CRACKING RESULTS!

The first team returned to winning ways with a seven try romp over a plucky Capenhurst team on a lovely autumn afternoon on a perfect pitch for running rugby and that is what we got with all the Parkonian backs enjoying themselves but especially young Andy Smith!!

Click for more picturesHowever, the game did start slowly with neither side threatening each other's line in the opening 15 minutes! It was the first of Andy Smith's four tries which opened the scoring just before the 20 minute mark with Barry Owens adding the conversion. Two further tries from Liam Sadler and Barry Owens followed leaving the half time score 19-0 in our favour.

There was a golden period midway through the second half which saw a further four tries being added. Three going to Andy Smith and one to the tireless Geoff Waters. We did relax towards the end allowing Cape back into the game and they deservedly gained a consolation try. However, this was much more like it from Oxton Parkonians with many players having strong games; indeed there were no poor performances!

Pick of the backs was obviously, four try, Andy Smith but also running and supporting well were Craig Whelan,Geoff Waters and skipper, Gareth Pryce. All the front row played well with Mark Barham to the fore. Danny Blyth was everywhere as usual and not 'too offside' this week either!! Apologies to any players who have not had a personal mention especially those who were in the queue for one!! Also many thanks to ref John McDaid who had a sound game as normal. We will seek to maintain this kind of form when we travel to Congleton this Saturday(2.15pm. KO).

Result:Oxton Parkonians 45 Capenhurst 7.
Sorers:Tries-Andy Smith(4),Liam Sadler,Barry Owens,Geoff Waters. Cons-Barry Owens(3),Liam Sadler(2)
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Andy Smith,Geoff Waters,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Liam Sadler,Mark Gaunt,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Ben Pearson,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Pete Bennett,Liam Evans,Danny Blyth,Ryan Evans,Alan Williams.
Ref:John McDaid(Liverpool).

Despite many changes, injuries and unavailabilities"The Happy 2nds" won again with a fabulous triumph away over New Brighton 3rds!! It was good to remind former players on the opposition team, who we introduced to the game, in Les Donnelly and Tom Macksy what they are missing out on!!

Paul Lennon described his two try tango skipper, Matt Dodd, as truly awesome and a leader of pure inspiration!! Sorry, Paul, but there was no reciprocation towards yourself from Matt! Matt mentions the following players as having had very strong games once again; Kiel Williams, John Dunning, Eric Nixon, Mike Gibbs(Mr. Consistent) and Simon Dunning(superb). A real battling performance full of grit and determination! Many congratulations also to Mark Tucker as his date on Saturday night appeared to go well we are led to believe!!

Result: New Brighton 3rds 5 Oxton Parkonians 2nds 17
Scorers:Tries-Matt Dodd(2),Mike Bowe. Con- Ben Sadler.
Team:Paul Lennon,Kiel Williams,Eric Nixon,John Dunning,Chris Hall,Karl Whelan,Ben Sadler,Mike Gibbs,Simon Dunning,Gareth Thomas,Justin Danher,Mike Bowe,Mark Tucker,Hector Ruiz,Matt Dodd(captain),Dave Carroll and Chris(?)

This week sees the 2nds entertain Ormskirk 4ths(Taffy's Green Army; by the way can anyone understand his mega long match reports full of social history,uprisings and prose and poetry?) KO 2.15pm at Holm Lane.

Many thanks to Jay Barham for his work on putting out/collecting in flags and post protectors and for his kicking tee duties. Much appreciated,Jay! Yours truly was match day sponsor this week. It was good to welcome our friend from Capenhurst their President,Terry Grundy, even if he did mistake Dave Sadler(Liam and Ben's dad) for Bongo!! Don't tell big Kev(veteran Cape prop) that Terry is a paid up member of our club also! Finally, to clear up a point with Prenton RUFC. Yes, they were deserved winners of both 1st and 2nd team league games on Saturday 13th October; there were no match reports as I was away on holiday and had made my apologies for my absence to Robbie Harrison! However, a series of photos of both games are available on this website below my round up of Saturday 20th October.

Finally, finally!! There is a report in the October edition, Page 9, of the RFU "Touchline" magazine, which can be viewed online, re. our completed clubhouse refurbishment and our RFU accreditation status with an accompanying photograph!

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 20th October 2012

SO MUCH, MUCH BETTER THIS WEEK!!

After last week's most disappointing results against our closest local rivals, Prenton, it is so much better to report on very much improved performances by both teams!! For a change this week I shall commence with the 2nd team report!

ABSOLUTELY AWESOME 2ND TEAM PERFORMANCE!!

Skipper Matt Dodd was positively bubbling with enthusiasm, excitement and alcohol when I returned to the clubhouse from the 1st team game at Trentham. Matt exudes everything that is great about the amateur side of rugby union and personally I hope that he will stay as captain for several seasons?!

The 2's were playing the previously unbeaten table topping St Edwards Old Boys 3rd team. Following the game they were still top of the table but no longer unbeaten!!

Our 2nd team had put in their display of the season so far with an awesome performance by all 17 players with much ferocious tackling,good support play and team spirit being shown. Matt does not wish me to hold back in his/my praise of the team!! So very well done to all concerned; also a big thank you to Alan Muir for running the touch on the driveway side despite persistent verbal abuse from one of the St Edwards wingers resulting in this player being sin binned.

It is also pleasing to note that three veteran club stalwarts in Keith Aldcroft, Ken Owen and Dave Smith also praised the 2nds performance but perhaps not quite as lavishly as Matt. As chairman I think it is great that so many young players and relatively new members are enjoying themselves and developing their playing skills at the same time too. Let it continue! Everyone at the club wishes former 2nd teamer, Darren Brammelow, all the best at his new club, Moore RUFC; Darren has left due to the distance he had to travel to play for us.

Result:Oxton Parkonians 2  13 St Edwards Old Boys 3   7
Team:Craig Hawthorne,Paul Lennon,Eric Nixon,Karl Whelan,Kiel Williams,John Turaga,Ben Sadler,Mike Gibbs,Matt Dodd(captain),Gareth Thomas,Justin Danher,Mike Bowe,Mark Tucker,Hector Ruiz,Phil Smith,Simon Dunning,Chris Hall.
Scorers:Tries-Paul Lennon,John Turaga. Pen-Ben Sadler.

FIRSTS BATTLE BRAVELY AT TRENTHAM!

After four defeats on the bounce obviously we were in need of a morae boosting performance and that is exactly what the first team provided apart from the opening quarter of this match by which time we were 19-0 in arrears! From then on our performance was magnificent from the whole team and we were desperately unlucky not to get something out of this game in my opinion!We scored three good tries but had another two tries disallowed and were so unfortunate to concede an interception try as well.

That is not to take anything away from a well organised Trentham side who will challenge for promotion. I am never critical of referees and I am not going to start now as for most part Staffordshire Society referee, Paul Daniels, had a good game. However, he was unsighted fpr Geoff Waters disallowed try close to me. Geoff had grounded the ball but by the time the ref arrived Trentham players had lifted Geoff and the ball from the ground. At a higher level the assistant referee/TMO would have guided the ref into awarding the try. Mike Byrne's disallowed try was perhaps more controversial in that the ref was 'misguided' belatedly by the Trentham 'touchjudge(s)'!! Gripe over!

We had players carrying injuries and many changes and the lads who stepped up from the 2nd team were magnificent especially Geoff Waters and John Dunning. Well done lads!! If there was going to be a MOM it would be a close run thing between the team effort as a whole, Geoff Waters and Alan Williams at No 8. Everyone raised their game in the second half and I honestly believe if we had been able to play for an extra 10/15 minutes then we may well have sneaked it. Yes, there is plenty to work on, especially the rucking, but if we play like we did in the second half then surely it won't be long before we return to winning ways! As chairman I was proud of our players and our club Many thanks to our 'new' driver, Mike, from R&J for his patience and good humour; much appreciated, Mike!

Result: Trentham 31 Oxton Parkonians 19.
Team:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Barry Owens,Geoff Waters,John Dunning,Gareth Pryce(captain),Liam Sadler,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Richie Peters,Danny Blyth,Ryan Evans,Alan Williams,Paul Hillan.
Scorers:Tries-Craig Whelan,Mike Byrne,Terry Williams. Cons-Terry Williams(2).
Ref:Paul Daniels(Staffordshire).
Supporters:Steve Lowndes,Richie Beckett,Chris Williams,Terry Marnick,Rob Marnick,Mike Marnick.

This week sees two very 'interesting' league games for the club. The 1sts entertain a much improved Capenhurst side at Holm Lane whilst the 2nds make the short journey to New Brighton to play their 3rds who are level on league points with us! Both these games have a 3pm KO but after this week we revert to 2.15pm start times until the beginning of March.

NOW FOR A VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER, PLEASE, FROM OUR CLUB TREASURER, STEVE WILLIAMS. FOR THOSE THAT HAVE NOT PAID THEIR ANNUAL SUBS (BOTH PLAYING AND NON-PLAYING) THEY ARE DUE AND NEED PAYING ASAP AND BY 30TH NOVEMBER AT THE LATEST!!!

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

The Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 13th October 2012

With Richie on holiday, there isn't a Roundup from him this week.

Some pictures of the two maches against Prenton are available - the 1st XV lost 5-25 at home and the 2nd XV were beaten 36-0 over at Prenton, giving the local rivals a clean sweep on the day!

So, congratulations to Prenton, though we look forward to the return on the 9th February!

Click for more pictures Click for more pictures

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 6th October 2012

WELL BEATEN AT SUNLIGHT BUT 2NDS CLAIM EXCELLENT VICTORY AGAINST THE VIKINGS

Not too much to say really about the 1st team game this week so I shall sum it up in a couple of sentences!

We were well beaten at Port Sunlight against a young, sprightly very much 'up for it' side who never allowed us to settle and thoroughly deserved their victory!

Danny Blyth worked hard for us and debutant replacement Mark Gaunt did his best to impress when he came on. Needless to say we will be aiming for a big improvement in our next league game this Saturday at Holm Lane when we entertain our closest local rivals, Prenton. A large vocal support as usual will be called for! KO 3pm.

Result: Port Sunlight 41 Oxton Parkonians 6
Team:Terry Williams,John Dunning,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Matt Dooley,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Paul Hillan,Ben Pearson,Liam Evans,Mike Byrne,Danny Blyth,Ryan Flegg,Ryan Evans. Reps:Mark Barham,Pete Bennett,Mark Gaunt,Paul Lennon.
Scorer:Pens-Terry Williams(2)
Ref:Greg Carlton(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team against Formby Vikings at Holm Lane claimed their 4th league victory of the season, so far, in a 'handsome' comprehensive win. Captain, Matt Dodd, was delighted with the game and with himself in that he was able to manage the full 80 minutes after recent injury problems! We were strong up front, technically sound with much great support work.

Matt is very pleased with the great team spirit that has developed. Let it continue! Man Of The Match this week is the ever improving full back, Marc Taylor Well played, Marc, and keep it up! 'Twat Of The Match' is last week's MOM, Mark Tucker, for his 'racist' behaviour when he kicked team mate, Hector, in the head; accidentally of course!!

Hector continues to enjoy his rugby with us and his standard of play is constantly developing. Chris Hall was delighted to return to the fold after injury and came into the front row for the last 15 minutes.Welcome back, Chris. The 2nds also play Prenton, in a big league game for them, away at Prenton Dell this coming Saturday 3pm KO.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 2nds 34 Formby Vikings 1sts 7
Scorers:Tries-Geoff Waters(2),Marc Taylor,Eric Nixon,Matt Dodd. Cons-John Turaga(3). Pen-John Turaga.
Team:Marc Taylor,Eric Nixon,John Turaga,Geoff Waters,Kiel Williams,Craig Hawthorne,Ian Westwater,Mike Gibbs,Mark Tucker,Matt Dodd(captain),Richie Peters,Hector Ruiz,Simon Dunning,Martin Varley,Justin Danher. Reps:Darren Brammelow,Chris Hall,Keith Jones.

   Many thanks to this week's Match Day Sponsors, birthday boys Tony Burton and Derek Prescott and also to next week's sponsor, another birthday boy in Ben Pearson. Well done to this week's raffle lad, Mathew Burton, you are doing a good job and not forgetting Kara(hope I have spelt it right) Hillan for 'doing' the raffle the previous evening at the cricket presentation night. You are the stars of the future!

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 29nd September 2012

PARKS GO 'CRASHING' OUT OF THE PLATE

Click for more pictures Most disappointingly, Parkonians were comfortably outplayed by our guests from the Isle Of Man, Southern Nomads in the Semi Final of the Cheshire Plate. We were understrength but this can be no excuse for a very under par performance.

Nomads played towards Holm Lane in the first half with the wind at their backs and dominated for much of the half. They opened the scoring through two penalties from their fly half, Mark Young, adding a try from centre, Gerard Landels, which was converted by Mark Young giving them a 13-0 interval lead.

Parkonians rallied at the beginning of the second half scoring an unconverted try from returning flanker, Danny Blyth, who had a good game. Matt Dooley also played well and gave his all out of position at blindside flanker. However, the game soon reverted once more to Nomads dominance with further tries coming fom second row,Steve McHugh, and scrum half,Dave Horan, with Mark Young adding a conversion.

We gained a consolation try through plucky play by Liam Sadler who was back playing at centre this week. Shortly before the final whistle my Man Of The Match for Nomads centre Gerard Landels scored his 2nd try of the game. Nomads voted their Man Of The Match as Dave Horan.

We had put in an 'off colour' performance whilst our visitors deservedly went through to the Plate Final to defend their title against as yet unknown opponents. It was lovely to welcome their chairman, Dave Parkes, his players and supporters to Holm Lane to return the excellent hospitality that we received on our visit there last year.

A special mention too to referee, Gary Williams, a South Walian(Mountain Ash to be precise), who was on exchange from the Oxfordshire Society! Gary had a fine game and used commendable common sense throughout the game.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 10 ~ Southern Nomads(IOM) 30
Scorers:Tries-Danny Blyth,Liam Sadler.
Team:Craig Whelan.Barry Owens,Mike Tobin,Liam Sadler,John Dunning,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Ben Pearson,Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Liam Evans,Mike Bowe,Matt Dooley,Danny Blyth,Ben Rees. Reps:Chris Sharkey,Darren Brammelow.
Ref:Gary Williams(Oxford)

Click for more pictures The 'Happy 2's' were also at home and played on the main pitch straight after the 1sts and comprehensively beat Crosby St Marys 2nds 50-12 in a somewhat flattering scoreline against brave opponents who never threw in the towel.

However, this was a most pleasing display, especially in the second half ,in front of a large Holm Lane crowd which built uo as the afternoon progressed. Particularly impressive for the Parks were Mark Tucker, skipper, Matt Dodd's Man Of The Match, Geoff 'Dizzy' Waters and youngsters Craig Hawthorne, Kiel Williams and Marc Taylor.

Great to welcome back to Holm Lane ex-players Tony and Benji Dever. St Marys skipper, Tony Ohlssen and greying brother, Peter. Highlight for me was the try scored by Tony's son who went off on a mazing Deveresque run calling at many bus stops on the Wirral before finally crashing down under the posts!!

Click for more picturesAgain mention to the referee,in this case Mike Shearman, who had a very good game too; he was being assessed by our good friend,John Turner.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 2 50 ~ Crosby St Marys 2 12
Squad:Craig Hawthorne,Eric Nixon(Jnr.),Karl Whelan,Geoff Waters,Paul Lennon,Ben Sadler,Ian Westwater,Mike Gibbs,Matt Dodd(captain),Peter Hillan,Mark Barham,Richie Peters,Lee Morris,Mark Tucker,Simon Dunning,Alan Williams,Martin Varley,Darren Brammelow,Marc Taylor,Kiel Williams.
Ref:Mike Shearman(Liverpool)

It was great to welcome old friends this week amongst others Paul Byrne,Tony Owens,Steve Taylor,Steve Rimmer and Phil Casserley.

Angela Cannell-Cumine, our RFU Rep, was also a welcome visitor who was in the area on a sad occasion for the funeral of her mother, Eve, who had been so heavily involved in youth clubs and summer play schemes for many years on the Wirral. Her late husband, Gil Cannell, had been a loyal servant to the club and will be remembered by so many, including yours truly, for getting them started at the club when he skippered the 5th and 6th teams in the late 60's/early 70's.

Many thanks to this week's Matchday Sponsor, Alan Muir. Much appreciated as always, Alan.

Also thank you to 2nd team touch judge, young Liam Westwater, for selling the raffle tickets so promptly and with the minimum of fuss!

Next Saturday hopefully will see a return to form for the 1st Team when they make the short journey to play the youthful Port Sunlight side whilst the 2nds entertain Formby Vikings at Holm Lane. Let's 'see you there' as normal.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 22nd September 2012

NARROW DEFEAT AFTER A THRILLING ENCOUNTER!!

The large crowd gathered at Holm Lane last Saturday were engrossed by a gripping match which could hve gone either way between two sides who surely will be vying for promotion come next Spring. Manchester Medics were probably the best organised team that we have hosted in recent years and on balance probably just about deserved their narrow victory though Parkonians most certainly had opportunities to claim victory as well.

Click for more picturesThere was never more than six points difference in the score line throughout the 80 minutes. Medics opened the scoring through a good backs movement after 10 minutes and converted this try giving them a 7-0 lead. Parkonians came more and more into the game as the half wore on with Terry Williams kicking two penalties leaving an interval scoreline of 6-7.

Medics again started strongly in the second period and careless mistakes led to them gaining an unconverted try early on giving them a 12-6 lead. Parkonians had made changes at half time and came storming back into the action and after a powerful driving maul Alan Williams crashed over with brother Terry converting giving us a narrow 13-12 lead. Once more Medics were stung into action and gradually began to apply the pressure and eventually gained an unconverted try wide out again after good running from their backs.

Much as Parkonians tried they never really got back into putting sustianed pressure on our visitors and indeed spent the last five minutes defending their line in 'Clubhouse Corner'. When the final whistle went both the home supporters and players were left extremely disappointed with the result. Ryan Flegg, our recent signing from Caldy, had had a magnificent game. Very well played, Ryan! Ben Rees is returning to form after coming back from injury and both Craig Whelan and Matt Dooley on the wings had fine games. Andy Smith suffered an injury late on and everyone in the club wishes him a speedy recovery.

Many congratulations to all players on both sides for putting on such a wonderful spectacle. Referee Dave Hickey, new to the area and the Liverpool Society, also had a fine game. Well done, Dave, and it was good to welcome old friends in Duncan Gibb and Ralph Savill who were mentoring/advising him.

Last but not least many thanks once again to our wonderful support from the 'Holm Lane Bank'.

Result: Oxton Parkonians 13 Manchester Medics 17.

Squad:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,John Turaga,Andy Smith,Mike Tobin,Matt Dooley,John Dunning,Gareth Pryce(captain),Liam Sadler,Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Alan Williams,Mark Barham,Ben Pearson,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Paul Hillan,Ryan Flegg,Pete Bennett,Ben Rees.

Scorers:Try-Alan Williams. Pens-Terry Williams(2). Con-Terry Williams.

Ref:Dave Hickey(Liverpool)

The 2nd Team travelled to Birchfield 2nds and suffered a very heavy 7-54 loss. However, skipper, Matt Dodd, on his return to the Club was extremely unhappy and understandably so!! Birchfield had no 1st team game and had 'loaded' their team with first team players. In addition they used more than the allowed number of replacements and 'interchanges'. The North West Intermediate League have been informed and we await their investigation. Whilst the 1st team game was everything that the sport of Rugby Union embraces the 2nd team match surely did not?!

Next Saturday 29th September, hopefully, sees a 'double header' at Holm Lane on the 1st Team pitch with the 1st Team hosting Southern Nomads(IOM) in the semi final of the Cheshire Plate; seeking revenge for last year's defeat in the same competition!

This match has a 1pm or shortly after kick off and will be followed by the 2nd Team league game at 3:00pm when we entertain Crosby St Marys 2nds.

Let's have your normal vocal support for both games and make sure you're not late. You have been warned!! Many thanks to this week's match day sponsor, Steve Williams. Much appreciated as always.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chiarman/Press Officer. Oxton Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 15th September 2012

TWO STUNNING VICTORIES! 105-0!!

Although I was absent from the club yesterday I can briefly report upon two electrifying victories for the club. The 1st team travelled to Liverpool University Medics and came away convincing winners by the clear margin of 41-0. Seven tries were scored; two from Andy Smith with others coming from Liam Evans, Matt Dooley, Craig Whelan, Ryan Evans and John Dunning. Terry Williams added three conversions.

This is now three league victories out of three with this Saturday seeing us entertain the highly promising Manchester Medics side in what should be a highly entertaining encounter at Holm Lane. The normal fantastic support is called for!!

Result: Liverpool Univ Medics 0 Oxton Parkonians 41.

The 2nd Team entertained Ormskirk 3rds and cruised to a fantastic 64-0 victory with ten tries being scored. However, in what was a superb all round performance winning came at a price with Jamie Lamb rupturing his cruciate ligaments meaning that he may be out for the rest of the season. In addition skipper Matt Dodd was up at A&E on Sunday with a recurring knee problem.This Saturday 'The Happy 2's' travel to Birchfield 2nds for their latest league outing. Good luck, lads!

Result: Oxton Parkonians 2nds 64 Ormskirk 3rds 0

Scorers:Tries-Geoff Waters(2),Mike Bowe(2),Mark 'The Rolls Royce' Tucker(2),John Turaga,Alan Williams,Kiel Williams,Eric Nixon. Cons-Ben Sadler(7).

This week's matchday sponsor was Alan Morris(Snr.). Many thanks, Alan!!

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 8th September 2012

GOODBYE TO AN OLD FRIEND ON A GLORIOUS LATE SUMMER'S AFTERNOON, OFFICIAL OPENING OF NEW FACILITIES  AND COMFORTABLE FIRST FIFTEEN VICTORY TOO!

Bob BellA true Old Parkonian legend, Bob Bell, who had passed away last Sunday was honoured with a minute silence before both the 1st XI Cricket and 1st XV Rugby matches at Holm Lane on Saturday 8th September.

The new facilities at the Club were officially opened at 1pm followed by a buffet for all development members who have contributed so heavily both financially and otherwise over the past 5 years or more. Many thanks to you all!! The guests included our Oldest Parkonian, Cliff Crozier, aged 97.

Later in the afternoon the 1st team entertained old rivals, Linley, on a truly beautiful late summer's afternoon. The first half was a real spectacle of running rugby and who knows how much Parkonians would have led by at the interval if there hadn't been so many handling errors. However, there was much to enthuse about at half time with a 25-0 scoreline in our favour.

Click for more picturesThe 2nd half especially early on was a much quieter affair but we sprung to life in the last 15 minutes and Andy Smith ran in two lovely tries. Linley never threw in the towel and battled bravely throughout. Referee Peter Barnett had a strong game as well.

Harry Mytton shone on his home debut and bagged himself a try as well! Welcome to the Club, Harry! Andy Smith had another good game with Liam Evans continuing his development with another sound game and no injury worries either for brother, Ryan, who competed throughout. Chris Sharkey had started at hooker and did well but was outshone by relative, Martyn, who carried the ball forward well only spilling it once; looking much fitter, Sharks, keep it up! Chris was first in the queue for a mention even approaching me before the game which not even Ben Pearson has done or not yet anyway!

Also good to see John Dunning back in the squad with a debut from the bench for Kiel Williams; another recruit from the Pensby Academy! Mustn't forget a big welcome back to Liam Sadler who made a cameo appearance his first since his horrific injury at Buxton last January. So,yes, a very promising start to the season but with plenty to work on!! This division, I feel, is going to be the highest standard for a few years and whilst it is our own performance we look to there are several other teams who are going to be 'up there' as well! Must mention the support which was fantastic with a crowd of around 150 in attendance!!

Result:Oxton Parkonians 39 Linley 0.

Squad:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,John Turaga,Andy Smith,John Dunning,Gareth Pryce(captain),Harry Mytton,Martyn Sharkey,Chris Sharkey,Mark Barham,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Ryan Evans,Pete Bennett,Paul Hillan,Pete Hillan,Barry Owens,Liam Sadler,Kiel Williams

Scorers:Tries-Andy Smith(2),Harry Mytton,John Turaga,Craig Whelan. Cons-Terry Williams(3),Barry Owens. Pens- Terry Williams(2).

Ref:Peter Barnett(Liverpool)

Attendance:153.

The 'Happy 2's' travelled to West Park to play their 3rds in a friendly and they competed strongly against a team who play in a division higher.Skipper Matt Dodd reported to me that this was a very spirited team performance with us dominating the first quarter and for periods in the second half as well. This is all very encouraging for the future and all the lads really enjoy themselves too!! Weekly Man Of The Match was two try Alan Williams. Justin Danher had a strong game coming off the bench and also scored an excellent try Well done to 'Doddy' and his 'Diddy' men on such a promising start!

Result:West Park 3rds 42 Oxton Parkonians 2nds 20.

Squad:Marc Taylor,Eric Nixon,Karl Whelan,Alan Williams,Jose Diego,Ben Sadler,Ian Westwater,Mike Gibbs,Matt Dodd(captain),Gareth Thomas,Richie Peters,Hector Riaz,Mark Tucker,Martin Varley,Ben('Return Of The Mack')Pearson,Justin Danher,Dom Verheijen,Derek Prescott.

Scorers:Tries-Alan Williams(2),Justin Danher,Eric Nixon.

Next week there are league games for both sides with the 1sts travelling to Liverpool University and the 2nds entertaining Ormskirk 3rds at Holm Lane. Doddy has asked for a good home support for his team so if you are not travelling to the University please turn up and shout them on.

No' round up' from me next week! Do I have a temporary replacement? Many thanks to Mal Evans for his match day sponsorship.As always it is much appreciated.

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

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Saturday 1st September 2012

'TWO GLORIOUS VICTORIES ON A LOVELY OPENING DAY OF THE SEASON'

You could tell it was the start of a brand new rugby season! Why you may ask? It was warm, sunny, the kids are nearly back at school and the cricket season is nearly over. After a lousy summer the good weather will now be with us and the cry from the players will be 'water, WATER'!

Oxton Parkonians RUFC 1st and 2nd teams recorded their opening wins under the rugby club's new title. The 1sts travelled to Knutsford and came aware deserved 20-12 victors in a promising if not totally convincing performance in which the new lads played well. It was a good team performance with much sound defensive work especially by the backs needing to take place.

Everyone played their part but I feel Andy Smith and Pete Bennett are worthy of special mentions and also to Barry Owens who had his first propping experience. Well done, Barry, and welcome to the front row union!! Talking of the front row Chris Sharkey looked useful when he came on!! Obviously there will be much sterner tests ahead. We had started very well and maybe if we had played a wider game, especially in the first half, we would have ended up being much more convincing victors.

Result Knutsford 12 Oxton Parkonians 20.
Squad:Terry Williams,Craig Whelan,Mike Tobin,John Turaga,Matt Dooley,Andy Smith,Gareth Pryce(captain),Martyn Sharkey,Peter Hillan,Chris Sharkey,Mark Barham,Barry Owens,Mike Byrne,Liam Evans,Pete Bennett,Ryan Evans,Paul Hillan,Liam Sadler
Scorers:Tries-Andy Smith,Mike Byrne. Cons-Terry Williams(2). Pens- Terry Williams(2)

The 2nds opened their league campaign against Liverpool Collegiate 3rds who include the evergreen Paul Walsh, aged 52, as their captain, with a convincing 29-17 victory or was it a 27-19 result?! New captain Matt Dodd was delighted with everyone's performance and he wishes to thank Hector and Jose for playing for the opposition.

He says there was much good support play on display and wishes the team to go by the title of 'The Happy 2's' Ben Sadler was voted 'Man Of The Match' Matt looks forward to welcoming all his squad to training each Wednesday evening along with the 1st team squad of course! There are several players to return to both teams so the competition for places will be healthily 'hotting up'. 

Result Oxton Parkonians 2nds 29 Liverpool Collegiate 3rds 17.
Squad:Matt Moore,Paul 'Casanova' Lennon,GeoffWaters,Karl Whelan,Mark Taylor,Ben Sadler,Mark Hillan,Matt Dodd(captain),Mark Tucker,Jamie Lamb,Richie Peters,Justin    Danher,Simon Dunning,John Dunning,Lee Morris,Martin Varley,Eric Nixon,Mike Bowe,Kiel Williams,Steve Cloney..
Scorers:Tries-Geoff Waters(2),Ben Sadler,Jamie Lamb.Cons-Ben Sadler(3). Pen-Ben Sadler
Ref:Dave Sixsmith(Liverpool). Thanks  as always, Dave, and for the useful advice about missing items such as a mirror, hairdryer and trouser press in the referee's room!!

This Saturday sees the 1sts in league action against visitors Linley with the 2nds having a free league date but hopefully travelling to West Park 3rds for a friendly. Your support as always will be much appreciated. Thanks to Matt Dodd for being last week's matchday sponsor and to Jess Price for selling the raffle tickets.

Yours In Sport.
Richie Beckett. Chairman/Press officer. Oxton Parkonians RUFC.

Richie's Rugby Roundup ~ Chairman's Message, Season 2012/13

Well here it is then, at long last, the commencement of the 2012/13 rugby union season with the 1st team starting with an away league game at Knutsford (their ground is a new venue at Knutsford Academy, Lilac Avenue; on the right just as you are coming in to Knutsford from the M6 direction; the players will be changing at the cricket club on another site).

The 2nd team host Liverpool Collegiate, also in a league game, at Holm Lane.

Both games have a 3pm KO. The 3rd team hopefully commence their programme of friendlies on Saturday 22nd September- so watch this space...

There has been plenty of really good news over the summer months! The major news is the completion of our new facilities including four fully refurbished changing rooms, refs/umpires room, showers and toilet facilities for players. In addition front of house are brand new social toilets, and a fully refurbished bar and kitchen area.

Many thanks must go to all at Wirral Builders for all their hard work and for keeping to the deadlines set. Paul Corvers, especially, and Mike Beckett deserve much praise for all their determined efforts over the years in driving the project forward. There have also been may other members of the Association who have made major contributions as well not forgetting the financial contributions made by development members over the past few years.

Well done to everyone and there will be a celebration/'official opening' of the new facilities at Holm Lane at 1pm. prior to the 1st team cricket and rugby games on Saturday 8th September. Well done to all concerned.

We are more than extremely grateful to Tranmere Rovers Chairman, Peter Johnson, and the Peter Johnson Foundation Trust for his most generous sponsorship/donation. Peter is an Old Parkonian of 'Gus' Cusick, Dave Westwater vintage and has always shown a keen interest in the club! The Trust will be the 1st and 2nd team shirt sponsors for the 2012/13 season and the shirts will carry the 'love2shop' logo.

Many, many thanks once again for your considerable generosity, Peter, it is very much appreciated!! Also many thanks to Ben Pearson, Eric Potter and Steve Williams for co-ordinating this sponsorship/donation.

Gareth Pryce remains as Club Captain for a third year with Matt Dodd coming in as 2nd team captain and Dave Carroll as 3rd team captain. Best wishes go to all three of them and all players for a successful season. The 1st team especially will be vying for promotion this time around after missing out so narrowly last term. However, South Lancs/Cheshire 3 is a tough division indeed and will be even stronger, I feel, this season.

We should be up there but Prenton and Port Sunlight are both young developing teams and I am sure the relegated teams, Ellesmere Port and Trentham, will pose a threat as will Manchester Medics last year's champions of North Lancs. 2 who have moved sideways and never forgetting Holmes Chapel as well The 2nds remain in NWIL Division 5 West but will aim to be much more competitive than last year.

I am delighted to announce that we received the runners up award last season from the Liverpool Refs. Society for the most hospitable,fair and friendly club! This is excellent news and I would like to see this situation maintained or even bettered. So on match days there is to be only friendly banter as always from 'the bank'. We also need to be aware that, sadly, many of our older/experienced refs are having to give up the whistle. They are being replaced by a much younger and ambitious breed of refs and all players and spectators need to be aware of this.

Hopefully, there are plenty of you out there wishing to be Match Day Sponsors. It is a minimum of £20 and we buy the bottle; please see Alan Morris(Snr.) to book a date of your choosing!

We were supposed to entertain Capenhurst in the Quarter Finals ot the Cheshire Plate last Saturday but unfortunately they withdrew giving us a bye into the Semis further details will follow. A date for your diaries is Annual Reunion Day on Saturday 8th December when the 1st team entertain Holmes Chapel. Make sure you make a note of it and don't miss out!!

I would be very grateful if I was to receive some feedback about the 'Roundup' i.e. what you like/don't like and I am looking for other contributors especially regarding match reports. I would ask everyone to be fully supportive of our successful and expanding Junior Section. Their news etc. can be found on our 'sister' Pitchero website.

The rugby club is now to be known locally and in the local media as Oxton Parkonians RUFC with the aim being to give us a greater local identity! This was voted on at a rugby club EGM held in mid- June. However there are a couple of points of clarification which need to be explained.

Firstly, this is only the rugby club which has changed its name; the cricket club and the association remain Old Parkonians. Secondly, we did not realise that we had passed the 31st May RFU deadline for annual notification for a club to change its 'title'; so we will need to apply formally once again well in advance of 31st May 2013 to change our name.

The implication of this is that for this coming season if  you look at fixtures/results on the RFU website/RFU North website and The Rugby Paper we will still be Parkonians. Of course it will still be 'taxi to/from the Old Parks rugby club'?

I wish you all players, non playing members,refs, guests, visitors,and perhaps even opponents, a truly enjoyable and xsuccessful season and let's ensure we maintain our high standards both on and off the pitch.

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

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.