By Bob Evans
Rosslyn Park had never won a league match in Cambridge before their clash on Saturday but they put that record to bed with a thoroughly professional performance and a 32-14 triumph in National League One.
The opening exchanges were even, as both sides tried to get their back lines going in ideal conditions for open rugby, but Park soon began to take hold of proceedings.
In 18th minute, Hugo Ellis continued his try scoring exploits by almost apologetically going over in the corner. The try only given after the referee had a long consultation with his touch judge.
Park were now starting to control matters with the home side’s young backs looking sprightly but naïve and committing too many handling errors.
In the 30th minute there was an excellent passing movement by Park which culminated in scrum half Mathew Heeks off loading to debutant Sam Katz to score a try and then convert.
Cambridge were now getting a little desperate in their efforts to contain Park and winger Gillick saw yellow.
As often happens though, the sending to the sin bin produced an energetic flurry of attacking pressure from Cambridge but once again they spilled the ball and conceded yet another penalty to halt the Park break out.
Katz slotted the penalty with ease to send Park in at half-time 15-0 in front.
The second half started in the same vein as the first with both sides displaying bright attacking moves but with the experienced Park players allowing fewer errors.
After another Cambridge yellow card a superb flowing movement going through many pairs of hands first went wide left and then came back right and winger Dom Shabbo performed the coup de grace.
Katz again comfortably converted and then a few minutes later produced the individual moment of the game when he embarked on a long solo run from well inside his own half beating several opponents with two outrageous dummies before slipping the ball for Charles Broughton to score the bonus point gaining fourth try.
Perhaps then Park took their foot off the pedal and Cambridge started to threaten. After a quick tap penalty the home side scored after 26 minutes of the half but this was immediately pulled back by Broughton’s second try.
Although 7-32 behind the ‘Blood and Sand’, as Cambridge are called, never gave up their spirited efforts to pierce the Park defence again in the closing phases of the game.
A fierce bullocking run by ever-defiant No8 Hipwell was a reward for their brave efforts but it was to be the last score of the day.
Park, currently fifth in the table, host Coventry, in sixth, on Saturday (kick off 2.30pm).