Photos

The Association now uses Flickr to store and make available photos, with over 1,500 uploaded to date - see the Album Collection

A collection of a few older photographs is below for your perusal - click on the pictures to see the full sized versions.

Season 2008 / 2009

Sunday 14th December ~ Junior Rugby

Junior Rugby at Parkonians - see the item in the News section for further information...

The Helsby Game

Season 2007 / 2008

Sunday 9th March ~ The Brian Cusick Memorial Game

Parkonians & Prenton before the game

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After the game a glass rose bowl was presented to Sandra Cusick.
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The signed match ball was presented to Brian's grandchildren
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Some of Gus's crew - Mark Pearson, Alan Morris, Ritchie Beckett, Phil Casserley and Dave Smith
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Saturday 2nd February ~ 1st & 3rd XV -v- Caldy

(Photos from David Harrison)

Saturday 26th January ~ 2nd XV -v- Mossley Hill ~ Won 17:14

Not the best of games in very muddy conditions but an interception try by Paul Disbury in the first half and a good try made by Dave Gallwey and finished of by Steve Blyth helped Parkonians to a deserved 17 - 14 win.

Saturday 15th December ~ The Past Players' Reunion


Saturday 1st December ~ Three Teams - Three Wins

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1st Team v Prenton (away)
Won: 15-17
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2nd Team v Prenton (home)
Won: 15-7
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3rd Team v Southport (home)
Won: 26-12

1st Team Match Report ~ Ben Larsson

It was fitting that on the first day of winter that the westerly breeze blew stiffly across Prenton’s sloshy pitch, setting the scene for season 2007/2008’s first Prenton/Oxton Derby. Indeed, Tony Berkson’s sideline presence alone provided an effective indicator of the significance of this game, an ancient ritual of passions rooted deep in local rivalry. Collars were turned up against the chill wind, shoulders were hunched and mutterings of disbelief about your correspondent’s choice of attire were passed. 

The referee bothered to meander over and postpone the kickoff by 15 minutes, a move confirming Parkonian suspicions that Prenton were seeking to merely forestall the inevitable.

Once the game was underway, an early exchange of penalties saw the game rooted to the middle of the pitch. Prenton then managed to string a couple of handy phases together, their lumbering second rower bursting through a couple of ineffectual would-be tackles and it taking a belter of a ball-and-all tackle by Alan Williams to bring the big fella down and save an early try. With the ball being recycled back through Prenton’s backline, a weak attempt at an early field goal (that’s the Wilkinson effect for you) was unsuccessfully made.

Around the 15th minute, Mark Hillan released Craig Whelan up the right flank in a sharp move which took some hasty Prenton cover defence to shut down. Only a minute later saw Terry Williams fumble an otherwise decent pass, with one man to beat and the line beckoning from 22 metres out.

Prenton drove play downfield via the afore-mentioned stiff breeze and exerted sufficient pressure through a series of handy pick and drives to force a penalty that was duly converted – 3-0 Prenton.

The next 10 minutes saw Prenton camped down in the Parkonians quarter, useful driving forward play and an awkwardly angled sun conspiring to keep Parkonians on the back foot. It was only Parkonians’ rock solid defence that saw the scoreline maintained, with the “Holm Lane Exocet” (Matty Dooley) letting each of the Prenton blokes know exactly where he was.

Then, the 35th minute saw the highlight of the match and likely the best try that will be seen at Prenton all year. Against the run of play, having just struggled out of their own quarter, Parkonians’ Mike Marnick fell on a loose ball and fed Mark Hillan, who gave the hunking form of Allan Williams a piece of the action, who put brother Terry into a gap. Terry offloaded to the omnipresent Matty Dooley as he fell, who sent it back to Allan as the tryline loomed. Swarming defence forced Allan into an overhead basketball pass to an evergreen Steve Blyth, who was horrified at the prospect of plunging over and quickly got rid of the pill to eventual tryscorer, Gareth “Shaggy” Price. The croud exploded, triumphant fists were raised and Prenton realised that the jig was up – who could overcome a team that was capable of stringing together tries like that? A quick conversion later and the score was 7-3.

Alas, it was Parkonians getting a little carried away with that screamer of a try that saw Prenton back within striking distance less than three minutes later in the shadow of half time. Pete “Bling” Hillan tried to stem the tide by dazzling them with tricks learnt from 25 years in the front row and a 24 carat gold chain that would have made Ali G jealous. The flash from the veteran hooker’s chain was sufficient, however, to dazzle the ref to the extent where he missed the blatant forward pass a minute later that led to Prenton’s opening try on the tick of half time. The conversion was kicked and Prenton went to the break up 10-7.

The restart for the second half saw Matty Dooley continue his hard-hitting form, driving their right winger into touch in another display of outstanding cover defence. A minute later, and Mark Hillan’s weaving, jinking run ended in a high tackle from which the penalty was taken and kicked, drawing the match level and the breeze showing no sign of abating at Parkonian’s backs. Prenton’s drop-kicked restart went out on the full, indicating the extent to which they were rattled.

Play subsequently swung back and forth until Steve Blithe bolted up the right flank in a manner belying his many years, feeding Shaggy who linked up with to Barry Owens via Terry Williams. Barry still had plenty to do, but managed to knock enough Prenton blokes out of his way to reach over his head, avoiding any suggestion of a double movement, and (allegedly) plant the ball for Parkonian’s second try. The fact that the left-hand post was utilised to hide the ultimately spilt ball from the ref did nothing to detract from Barry’s bustling run – 17-10 Parkonians.

Mark Hillan’s great cover in the 50th minute prevented a likely Prenton try, but much of the tone of the second half was illustrated by Prenton’s subsequent pinching of the Parkonian lineout throw, their knock on a moment later saving Parkonian’s blushes.

A series of missed tackles 6 minutes later saw Prenton surge to within a couple of metres of the Parkonian line, and a desperate series of try saving tackles saw Steve Blythe sent to the sideline to rue his alleged misdeeds at the bottom of the ruck. Quick hands from the resulting penalty saw the Prenton right winger stroll over without a hand laid on him – still 17-15 Parkonians (the kick was never going over from that angle into that breeze).

It wasn’t until the 64th minute that the moment arrived that the entire crowd and both teams had been waiting for – a bit of biffo. No handbags here, this was an Oxton-Prenton Derby, and little was being held back. The Prenton fullback had fallen for something inside Pete Hillan’s bag of tricks, and after dishing some out and copping some back, was still keen to go with the ref standing between them. His looseness saw a red card being waved in his direction, with the Old Parks warrior receiving 10 in the bin for his indiscretion.

Paul Hillan’s introduction from the bench and welcome return after some months on the sideline sent a ripple of excitement through the crowd – his reputation for skulduggery, thieving broken play expertise and heavy hitting is recognised far and wide. Unfortunately, it was the former of these attributes that saw him penalised for an off the ball interference with a Prenton outside back. A pulled penalty conversion saved Paul’s blushes and saw the score remain 17-15.

74th minute – Andy Smith, on a welcome sojourn back from Sheffield’s ubiquitous booze/lusty wenches scene, thumped the Prenton fly-half into touch and let him know all about it. Less than a minute later, Andy put his boot to a loose ball on the deck and narrowly lost a foot race to the stationary ball deep in the Prenton quarter. A poor Prenton clearance and an even poorer collision between Paul Hillan and Martin Varley saw play break down in the centre of the paddock.

Craig Whelan put his head down (not hearing Barry’s screams from inside) 10 metres out late in the match and, in scenes reminiscent of the RWC final, was bundled into touch before slamming the ball down in the corner. The last minutes of the match saw Prenton recklessly throwing the ball around behind their own tryline like the Fijian national 7s side, but the whistle blew and Old Parks had secured a tense, imperfect but ultimately highly satisfying victory over their old rivals Prenton, making it two on the trot and seeing them jump over Ellesmere Port and Mossley Hill to 8th on the table.

Man of the Match: Matt Dooley

Match Correspondent – Ben Larsson

Saturday 17th November 2007 ~ Parkonians 2nd XV v Hoylake 2nd XV

(Photos from David Harrison)

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Alan Muir, Kenny Cooke,
Alan Morris and Ritchie Beckett