It was Park’s resolute defence that brought this vital away win that sees them remain third in the table.

A strong end-to-end wind on a wet afternoon with a slippery ball made handling difficult and long passes were the equivalent of a lottery ticket.

Park had the benefit of the elements in the first half. An early penalty was propelled to the corner but Park failed to win their own line out.

Cambridge soon showed why they are on a bit of a roll at the moment, but it was the visitors who drew first blood on 12 minutes. A penalty on half-way was booted to the corner to set up the catch-and-drive and Park’s pack powered over, number 8 Hugo Ellis touching down and fly half Greg Lound adding the extras for 7-0.

The home side tried to attack but when Park got the ball it was returned on the wind with interest. The visitors soon gained another penalty and this time Lound opted to take the three points on offer for 10-0 on 16 minutes.

Cambridge were certainly not out of the match and fly half Jack Green issued a reminder of the fact, pulling the score back to 10-3 on 23 minutes.

Park re-asserted themselves and, three minutes later gained a penalty which was kicked to the corner and the pack did the rest, driving over for lock Jonathan Mills to claim the try, converted by Lound for 17-3.

Park continued to have more of the play, but wasted chances in the difficult conditions. A penalty to the corner failed to find touch; another kick to the corner saw Park losing their own line-out. The conditions, of course, didn’t help but it looked to be touch-and-go whether a 14-point lead at half-time would be enough when facing a strong wind and a strong Cambridge in the second half.

Cambridge won – and missed – an early penalty but set about putting pressure on Park’s defence. Having already lost hooker Adam Bellamy to a first half injury, it was a major blow when full-back Nev Edwards also went off injured. Fortunately, Park had Harry Leonard on the bench to minimise the damage.

Park were now rarely able to build up really telling attacks but defended magnificently. Uncharacteristically a handful of first tackles were missed, but such is the quality of the defensive formation that there was always someone in a position to immediately cover.

Eventually Cambridge got the breakthrough, winger Kwaku Asiedu getting over in the right corner for a fine try and 17-8, but the angle was too acute for any conversion kick against the prevailing wind.

It set up a hairy last 15 minutes for Park, not helped by their muffing the re-start to give the ball back straight away.

Cambridge threw everything at Park, but the deeper the match went into added time the stronger Park became. As the match entered a generous eighth extra minute Park had the home side pinned back deep in their own 22 to hold out for a win that, on balance over the whole 80 minutes, they richly deserved.