Crewe and Nantwich v Birkenhead Park

League leaders Crewe & Nantwich RUFC had their winning streak ended by second placed Birkenhead Park in a fine top of the table clash at the Vagrants.

Crewe had won six from six before the game but came up against their toughest challenge in Birkenhead Park.

It was remarkable that ground staff at the Vagrants were able to get the game on and produce a good surface after the heavy rain on Thursday and Friday.

But it was the visitors who took the initiative from the start, and BP came out the blocks flying.

After a missed tackle, their winger eventually dotted down in the corner and the kicker slotted his first of five conversions, 0-7 Birkenhead.

Crewe responded almost instantly, with Toby Ward scoring in the opposite corner after some good hands from the Crewe back 3, to close the score to 5-7.

In an entertaining encounter, Birkenhead scored again after a further missed tackle which allowed their 9 to sneak over from short range before the sizeable Birkenhead pack added another, leaving the score 5-21.

Crewe scored next through a nice break by centre Joe Gammage before offloading to John Stuart to dot down, for a 12-21 scoreline at half time.

Crewe were unlucky to not have had another just before the break.

The second half began like the first, Birkenhead earning a crucial quick score through their winger making the scores 12-28.

Another missed tackle allowed a line break before the same winger dotted down again to stretch BP’s lead to 12-35.

Crewe never gave up and continued to play attacking rugby entering the Birkenhead 22 on several occasions.

They were repelled by a strong defence until newcomer to the team, Sam Dennison got his first try for the club leaving the final score 19-35.

It was all Crewe for the final period, but the Birkenhead defence held strong, leaving them to take all five points.

The first XV have a week off next weekend before Crewe travel to Bowdon for another tough fixture.

C&N Ladies hosted a very strong Manchester team on Sunday. Despite their spirited efforts they were defeated by 52-0.

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