Rosslyn Park will be keeping a close eye on events at Fylde this Saturday, as the National One title race goes into the final five games.
Last weekend’s 35-13 win at Esher kept Park nine points behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders, but Coventry’s 32-25 loss at Darlington Mowden Park saw them drop 10 points behind Park and confirm it will be a two-team race to the title.
Park and Ealing meet in their penultimate game in what could be a decider on April 18, but Park know they also need Ealing to slip up elsewhere if they are to overhaul them.
On paper, it is the leaders that have the tougher run-in with games against fifth-place Fylde, third-placed Coventry and fourth-placed Blackheath before they meet Park.
Park host sixth-placed Hartbury College this weekend, before matches with eighth-placed Darlington and 15-placed Tynedale.
If it does come down to the final game like Park hope, then it is them that have the tougher challenge when they host Coventry, while tenth-placed Loughborough Students welcome Ealing.
Bar a brief spell at the start of the second half, last weekend’s victory was a routine one for Park.
Hooker Tom Woolstencroft’s try got them off to the perfect start, and was followed in the first half by tries for winger Kiba Richards and Mike Macfarlane.
Scott Sneddon’s kicking was hampered by the blustery wind but he did manage to convert one penalty, while Esher’s Ian Cross successfully kicked twice to make the score 18-6 at the break.
Straight from the restart, Esher reduced the deficit to five thanks to Joe Brown’s interception try and full-back Alastair Chisholm’s conversion.
Buoyed by the score, Esher put sustained pressure on the Park line only for the visitors to hold firm and then take control.
Macfarlane scored another try and captain Hugo Ellis also crossed, with Sneddon converting both and a penalty to round off the scoring.
Park: Edwards; Richards, Ireland, Mackey, Vincent; Sneddon; Gash; Lundberg, Woolstencroft, MacKenzie; Inglis, Boyle; Macfarlane, Northcote-Green, Ellis
Subs: Bellamy, Liffchak, Shires, Carter, Ajuwa
Park scorers: Macfarlane (2T), Woolstencroft (T), Richards (T), Ellis (T), Sneddon (2P, 2C)