West Park 17, Bowdon 18
A LATE, late drop-goal by Bowdon’s talented fly-half Conor Armstrong consigned West Park to a defeat despite leading 17-3 after an hour’s play.
The former Connaught No.10 had given the visitors a 3-0 lead with a penalty after 10 minutes, but a clever kick to the corner which brought a fingertip touchdown by flanker Chris Dyson gave Park the lead.
Warren Hunt’s conversion attempt was wide, the first of several misses on the day which ultimately proved costly.
Park added to their lead when Hunt’s inside pass enabled centre Matt Cozens to cross nearer the posts, and give Hunt his only successful conversion of the match.
The visitors’ forwards were gaining increasing control, and it was somewhat against the run of play when a simple interception by Jon James brought a try, and put Park 17-3 ahead.
And Park nearly went further ahead when a Hitchmough drop-goal attempt shaved the post, but as Park lost possession in midfield, Bowdon quickly transferred to Fijian centre Setareki Kolinisav, who crossed at the corner flag. Armstrong missing the conversion.
Bowdon’s first try provided the fillip they needed, and keeping Park on the retreat in their own 22, eventually the scored a converted try to bringing the score to 17-15.
And with the game already in extended stoppage time, a tiring Park struggled to gain possession and get the ball out of play to end the game.
That allowed the dominant Bowdon pack to work a central position to give Armstrong the position to drop a goal, signalling the end of the game and a heartbreaking defeat for the Green and Golds.
l Next Saturday, Park visit New Brighton, another side out to complete the double at their expense (kick-off 2.15pm).