Broughton Park 1st XV vs De La Salle 1st XV
This Saturday Park return to Hough End to face De La Salle of Salford in the first meeting between sides that were promoted to North One West this season. Following the disappointing defeat to Waterloo last week, a game Park felt they really should have won, this weekend’s game at Hough End has added importance. That defeat saw Park drop back into 12th and the final place within the relegation zone, with De La Salle at the bottom of the table. The two sides are only separated by the other promoted side, Anselmians, highlighting the step up between the tier seven and North One West.
While Park may feel they should have picked up additional wins to their two against both Stockport and Waterloo, De La Salle haven’t fared as well. Not helped by a lengthy injury list, they were soundly beaten in their opening games, but there has been a marked improvement in their last two against Penrith away and Douglas at home. The first of those games saw De La Salle push Penrith right to the end, eventually losing 38-34 and returning to Salford with a bonus point.
De La Salle will be hoping to find the form that saw them promoted from North Lancashire and Cumbria One as champions. After enduring a three-way battle for the title with Aspatria and Bolton, the Della secured the title on the final day with an 18-3 victory of Keswick. They then followed up their league victory by winning the Lancashire Plate defeating Bolton 42-12 in the final, on the same day Park came up short in the final of the Lancashire Cup.
Despite both clubs having originated from Salford, there haven’t been too many meetings between the clubs, with most coming in the earlier rounds of the Lancashire Cup. However a number of Park alumni also have turned out for De La Salle; including Park’s internationals Kevin O’Brien and Tony Neary, as well as club legends Lynn Morgan and Mark Lloyd.
With both sides’ goal for the season being safety and another season in North One West this match, though early in the season, may prove to be important for both come April.
1st XV Squad
Askew, Charnley, Cibula, Edwards, McColl, Dewland, Edgar, Flavell, J Hodkinson, M Hodkinson, Joseph, Lacey, Maddocks, J Noone, Sinclair, F Smith, Sneesby, Wilson
Altrincham Kersal 2nd XV vs Broughton Park 2nd XV
After last week’s much needed victory Park’s 2nd XV will be aiming to continue their climb up the table and make the short journey across to Stelfox Avenue to play Altrincham Kersal. The drastic improvement in last week’s performance, granted against the league’s bottom side, offers encouragement after what has been a poor start to the season. Despite those four losses in a row, Park find themselves up to 6th place in a congested mid-table with 4th to 11th only separated by five points.
Saturday’s opponents Altrincham Kersal have had a mixed bag of a season, but share the same record of two wins and four defeats as Park. However, the sides are separated courtesy of the bonus point Park picked up in their defeat to Kirkby Lonsdale on the opening day of the season, with Altrincham down in 10th in place. Results this season for the hosts have seen them beat both Fylde and Penrith at home, with defeats on the road to Burnage, Birkenhead Park and Sandbach.
This will be the first meeting between the sides in three seasons as Altrincham have spent the last two season in Division 2. They were promoted as Champions last April narrow beating Glossop, who were also promoted, on points difference. Last time the two sides met was at Hough End towards the back end of the 2015/16 season with Altrincham winning that day 13-17.
If Park retain any hopes of catching the breakaway duo of Sandbach and Birkenhead at the top then they cannot afford to drop any more points. However, defeat will see them drop back down towards the bottom of the league. This match may prove to be a defining moment in the 2nd XV’s season if the early season belief they could mix it at the top is to be justified.
2nd XV Squad
Andersn, Brogan, Callaghan, Charlton, Daffyd, Eaton, Gayle, Glynn, Kaku, Maynard, McLaughlin, Mortimore, Richardson, Safi, Selby, Sherwin, Waind, Wellington
Broughton Park Senior Colts vs Bury Senior Colts
Following their first win of the season at Burnley last Sunday, the Colts will look to continue the improvement seen the past few weeks with another win against Bury this week. After putting out their strongest performance of the season in the second half against Burnley, the challenge for the Colts will be to play as they did week in week out.
This week’s opponents Bury are a point behind Park in the League, having picked up their only win of the season also against Burnley. However, Park are above them in the table thanks due to picking up a losing bonus point in their match against Colne & Nelson. With both sides having beaten Burnley the match will provide a good test for Park to see if the hard work put in by all involved has enabled the Colts to make an impression on this league.
The 3rd XV are at home this weekend on Saturday where they’ll welcome Wilmslow. The Ladies have the weekend off after their narrow defeat to Vagabonds on the Isle of Man last time out. They’ll return next weekend with a trip to the Wirral to play Birkenhead Park in the cup.