A LACKLUSTRE Malton & Norton were hammered 40-17 by Percy Park at The Gannock to slip down the North One East table.

Park were considered likely promotion candidates before the season began and, after a couple of indifferent results, now seem back on track.

For Malton, though, back-to-back wins have now been followed by consecutive defeats leaving them in 10th after five games. They also lost Ali Coe and winger Ben Tenge to injury.

M&N spokesman Bill Laidler said: "They (Percy Park) easily overcame a strangely flat Malton & Norton who struggled for parity at both the scrum and lineout, which is normally such a rich source of possession.

"On the bright side was the performance of rookie Will Hughes who entered the fray early for Ali Coe."

Park opened the scoring after seven minutes when they ran from defence.

Good handling got the ball wide where a change of pace and a couple of missed tackles produced a two-on-one on half way. The try and conversion was a formality.

Malton, despite their troubles in the set pieces, were competitive in the loose and came close to scoring a couple of times before a poor decision at an attacking lineout ceded possession.

Park again showed composure to gradually work their way into the Malton 22. The hosts scrambled the ball into touch but the visitors' clean lineout set up a drive to the line for their second try.

Malton fought to gain a foothold, the forwards' pick and drive tactics producing their first try just before half-time.

Andy Mitchell and Liam Vaughan were to the fore as they got into the Park half before the ball was released to the backs. Good handling stretched the defence and young powerhouse Tenge fended off three tacklers before forcing his way over in the corner.

However, Percy Park replied in stoppage time - taking another Malton lineout before spreading the ball wide for their third try.

The visitors started the second period as they had finished the first.

Malton were penned in their own 22 and, while stout defence retrieved possession at a maul, loose play, as opposed to safety first, handed it back. With nobody in defence a chip into open ground saw the visitors bag their bonus-point try.

Malton held sway for the next quarter as the rain fell. When Park were penalised at a ruck, Malt scrum-half Paul Angus took a quick tap and quick ball and a good break by full-back Zweli Sodladla opened the defence for centre Nick Rangiuira to storm onto a short pass and streak over. Sodladla converted.

Ten minutes later, the deficit was reduced further. The pack drove down centre-field and prop Rob Featherstone showed strength to carry the ball 20 metres to the Park 22.

The backs took over and another Sodladla break saw wing Rob Armitage send in centre Vus Dyantjies.

In the torrential downpour, the conversion, which would have brought Malton into bonus-point contention, was missed.

With the game deep in stoppage time, Percy Park applied the killer punch, an accurate cross kick from a lineout bringing a simple touchdown.