North West One rugby was welcomed back to a packed Hough End with the 1st XV coming from behind to beat a strong Burnage side 18-13, avenging last May’s cup final defeat. Tries from Jack Kelly, Josh Maddock and captain Paddy O’Donnell in front of a full stand ensured Park’s return to the league began in positive fashion. Elsewhere in the league there were defeats for the other promoted sides, with old foes Anselmians going down to last season’s third placed team Northwich and local rivals De La Salle losing to early pace setters Carlisle.
This week sees the 1st XV travel up the M61 to Blackburn, who over the last four seasons have established themselves in this league. During the previous campaign Blackburn only suffered a single league defeat from October through until March, winning twelve out of fourteen matches. However, following that run they then lost their five remaining league games and finished the season in 7th place. The opening weekend saw them travel across the Irish Sea to Douglas where they narrowly lost 10-3 to the Manxmen.
Last time Park’s 1st XV met Blackburn was in early 2017 at the semi-final stage of the Lancashire Trophy. On that occasion Park picked up the victory under the lights at Hough End to send them through to the final that season. After last week’s derby victory, which was new head coach Graham Higginbotham’s first competitive game at the helm, the 1st XV will look to back it up with a good result away from home.
Broughton Park 1st XV Squad
Askew, Bryan, Cairns, Cibula, Dewland, Hughes, Lacey, M Hodkinson, Maddock, J Noone, C O'Donnell, P O'Donnell, Raybould, Richardson, Sneesby, Waind, Wellington, Wilson
The 2nd XV kick off their season belatedly this weekend after Liverpool Vets conceded their match last Saturday. They will welcome Kirkby Lonsdale to Hough End, taking on the Cumbrians at 15:00 on the stadium pitch. Last time the sides met Kirkby edged a close fought encounter 36-33 at Hough End, with the away side winning the game at the death. However under new captain Marcus Eaton and vice-captain Tom Mortimore confidence for this season is high following a strong pre-season for all involved at Park.
Broughton Park 2nd XV Squad
Booth, Cocles, Eaton, Foley, Holland, Kerr, Mahoub, Maynard, Mitchell, Mortimore, Muir, Mutts, P Noone, Owens, Radford, Safi, Selby, Sherwin
The 3rd XV made it a Hough End double comeback, defeating Heaton Moor 2nd XV after trailing 0-17 in the first half. The 3rd XV subsequently rallied for remainder of the match and ran out 26-20 winners to start their season with maximum points. This week will be the 3rd XV’s turn for the South Manchester Derby as they take on Burnage 3rd XV, making the short hop over to Varley Park. Hopefully they will be able to secure bragging rights and another win to help build momentum at this stage of the season.
There was one final game at Hough End on Saturday, with the 4th XV playing a friendly against Bury 3rd XV. On this occasion Del Trotter couldn’t lead Park’s most mercurial side to victory, with Bury denying a clean sweep of Hough End victories. The 4th XV will return this Saturday playing host again at Hough End, with Aldwinians visiting for the first league game of their season.
Last Sunday saw both Broughton Park Ladies and the Senior Colts both in action. The Ladies travelled to the Rochdale area to take on Littleborough in their final pre-season match. The Ladies rounded of their preparation for the new season by chalking up a comfortable victory 44-5. The pick of the tries was Catherine Ansell’s first Park score topping off a good period of concentrated pressure from the Ladies. This Sunday will see the Ladies making their debut in the NC North West 1 league, after their promotion after a triumphant title win last season. They will face Carlisle on the stadium pitch at 14:45, looking to continue their fantastic form which saw them win 12 out of 14 league games and reach the semi-finals stage of the Junior National Cup last season.
Saturday saw the debuts of Senior Colts’ squad members Khalid Safi and Kieron Brogan for the 3rd XV, however they were unable to prevent the Colts losing out to Leigh 12-52 at Hough End. Mark Lloyd and Rob Loveday’s young charges will look to kick start their season away against Northwich, who incidentally finished level on points with Park last season.
Good luck to all teams in action this weekend and hopefully all will be as well supported at Hough End as they were this previous week.