BIRKENHEAD Park’s survival chances in National Three North look increasingly slim following defeat at Billingham.
To make matters worse the three sides above Park all won leaving them even further away from safety.
Park started strongly at Billingham with the forwards gaining early supremacy.
Park twice went close to scoring but Billingham weathered the storm and then took control through their speedy backs to build up a 22-0 lead at half-time.
Birkenhead continued to compete and Billingham were limited to two further scores but it was another disappointing reverse for Park.
The forwards again gave a good account with prop Gareth Jones and second row Andy Finneran promoted from the Wanderers. Pete Doolan, a recent recruit, had a first start in the back row and there was a promising debut from Lee Brogan at scrum-half. Brogan was attached to the club as a junior a number of years ago but he has now returned after playing senior rugby for several clubs. Danny Rich again did well in the centre but overall the Billingham backs were too strong on the day although Park felt that the scoreline did not reflect the contest overall.
This Saturday, Park welcome Burnage for only the second time to the Upper Park and the east Cheshire side look to already have done enough to earn a second season at this level.
Another defeat would leave Park with an almost impossible task to survive. Team manager George Pollock said: “This is a must win game for us but to be honest we are running out of chances.
“Before Christmas we really began to look like we had turned the corner with excellent wins over Lymm, Bradford and Bingley and Rossendale and a creditable draw at Penrith. The ability is there but things have just not gone our way with injuries continuing to be a disruption.”