Parks supplies the points for Glasgow

Glasgow Warriors 17 Cardiff Blues 5

Dan Parks supplied the spark for Glasgow to snuff out the Magners League pacesetters and boost their own hopes of challenging for the title tonight.

Scotland hero Parks claimed all his side’s points to thrill the Warriors fans at icy Firhill.

Glasgow raced off to the ideal start by breaking the deadlock with a try by Parks after seven minutes.

The inexperienced Cardiff defence hesitated fatally, allowing him to pluck the ball out of the air and cruise to the line from 60 metres.

His grin turned to a grimace, however, as he watched his conversion attempt drift wide.

Warriors retained the upper hand, but a combination of sloppy handling and stout tackling by the Welshmen prevented them adding to their tally until midway through the half when Parks banged over a penalty.

The strike acted as a wake-up call for the Blues and they delivered a confidence jolt to the Scots as veteran winger Rhys Williams skidded through for a fine opportunist touchdown.

But Parks hit back almost immediately with his second successful penalty.

The see-saw action continued with both sides creating chances galore on the firm surface.

Cardiff, without several frontliners who were on Test duty, spurned a goal opportunity just before the break in their quest to bag another try. They set up a prime position with a kick to the corner, but they were unable to make the breakthrough at a crucial stage.

Glasgow stepped up the pace after the restart and they went within a fingertip of stretching their advantage.

Scrum-half Chris O’Young left the visiting markers stranded with a beautifully weighted chip but Hefin O’Hare was narrowly beaten by Gareth Thomas for the vital first touch.

Warriors, with Johnny Beattie and Moray Low looking particularly impressive, kept up the pressure.

And they were rewarded again via the trusty boot of Parks, who claimed penalty number three from close range.

And just four minutes later, the stand-off completed his full-house of scores as he coolly slotted a drop-goal from inside the danger zone.

There was then a dose of relief for Glasgow when Ben Blair’s penalty at the other end crashed back from the woodwork and was cleared.

Parks’ run of success came to an end as he pushed his next kick well adrift of the target.

But the damage was done and the Blues never looked like threatening the hosts’ superiority.

Sam Pinder appeared to have pounced for a last-gasp try for the Warriors, but referee Alan Lewis chalked it off for a knock-on that no-one else spotted.

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