NORTH 1 EAST
PERCY PARK 9 – 8 SHEFFIELD
Prior to this penultimate league game of the season the formbook would suggest that table toppers Sheffield just had to turn up and a bonus point win would see them as League Champions 2015. Percy Park however had other ideas with club captain Michael Langlands returning to league action after his eye operation to repair a detached retina had kept him out of the team for a considerable period of time.
Before the game there was a gathering of some 130 guests including 2 former Presidents of the Rugby Football Union, and many former Percy Park players spanning 7 decades who attended for lunch. They were then treated to a display full of spirit and determination that put the icing on the cake of a good day for the club for the last home game of 2014/15.
For much of the season Park had had to contend with a mounting injury and unavailability list which has seen some 46 different players selected for the 1st XV in league rugby so far, and today was no different with 2 more players making their league debuts namely Mal Donald and Austin Phillips. There was a new look back line too with flankers Leo Caulfield and Ethan Wilson selected on the wing and centre respectively.
Park kicked off with the tail wind but were penalised for bringing a Sheffield player down whilst still in the air and the visitors cleared the ball to touch back in Park territory. The home side tackled with determination, and forced the Sheffield into several errors and turnovers. Ash Smith had his first penalty chance on 6 minutes but the kick hit the post and bounced out, however he was on target on the quarter hour to give Park a 3 – 0 lead.