Winnington Park 3 Broughton Park 19
Saturday saw the visit of south Manchester based club Broughton Park, who sat third in the table and looking to continue their promotion form over an injury depleted and youthful Winnington side.
Winnington started the game with no fewer than eight colts (under 20s) players in the line-up, and were up against an experienced and well drilled visiting team. It was Broughton who put the early pressure on Winnington, but good organisation and resolute defending ensured that Broughton were unable to cross the whitewash.
Park soon settled into the game, and the confidence grew as they spent a prolonged period in attack, and it was the turn of Broughton Park to defend. Walsh, playing out of position at fly half was calling the shots in offence, feeding Richardson and Cross who continually broke the gain line. McGibbon was dominating the lineout and the young front row of Sant, Robbins and Burgess were creating problems for the opposing front line.
30 minutes into the game, Park turned the pressure into points and took a deserved lead through an Archer penalty to make it 3-0, but with minutes remaining in the first half, Park found themselves back on defence, conceding a penalty which the Broughton fly half Mapp sliced into the corner for a lineout. Broughton caught and used their extra bulk to drive over for a try which was converted by O’Brian to make the half time score 3-7. A disappointing end to a half in which Winnington were the better team.
Park struggled to get any real momentum in the second half, and despite showing glimpses of attacking flair, it was always from deep and they didn’t really threaten the oppositions try line. Midway, into the second period Park realised they had to throw caution to the wind, but when a promising move involving the stalwart Patterson brothers (Christopher and Mark) broke down, Broughton were quick to pounce on the ball and showed good hands to score in the corner to make the score 3-14.
Injuries to Sant and Stubbs saw Taylor and Carlton introduced to the fold, but they could do little to influence the result. A try in the last minute of the game by O’Brian gave a scoreline which flattered the visitors, and could ultimately condemn Winnington to relegation.
Park can take much heart from the performance, particularly fine performances from the youngsters including, man on the match Ryan McGibbon, along with Alfred Evans, Tim Charlton, Joe Robins, and Bob Sant.
Team:- Sant (Taylor), Robbins, Burgess, Christopher Patterson, Stubbs (Charlton), Cross, McGibbon, Richardson, Barton, Welsh, Mark Patterson, Pheonix, Evans, Shaw, Archer, (sub not used Warr)