The 2nd XV travelled to Wigan with 17 men keen to get back to winning ways. Big ask for Big Ath & his boys, but as he reports mission accomplished!
After a good warm up from coach Bernie Gavan the team was ready for the off and ready for battle against a strong Wigan side and the testing conditions.
'Port got off to a good start and had Wigan under pressure early on and could well have taken the lead but for a number of silly errors. However, with 20 minutes gone the 2nd XV were on the scoreboard as Mike Dale finished off a series of phases by crashing over in the corner. David Atherton converted to make the score 7-0.
The score very soon became 14-0 when Gaz Rowlands was first to react to a bouncing ball from an Atherton up and under. Atherton again converted from out wide and 'Port had the momentum.
Unfortunately this momentum was halted when a Wigan player was hurt and had to be carried off. The break affected the Southport team more than Wigan and when the ball was lost at the breakdown Wigan attacked and broke away. Some great tracking by Rik Potter saw Wigan fall short but after 2 or 3 offloads they managed to score under the posts, making the conversion easy. 14-7 at half time.
Southport continued to battle hard and had pressure in the second half but another mistake led to a second Wigan try, although this time the conversion was unsuccessful.
With time running out 'Port were attacking and making good progress but a Wigan misdemeanour halted them short of the line. The decision was taken to go for the points and Atherton slotted to make the score 17-12.
Southport battled hard for the last 3 minutes and saw out the game to take a hard fought win.
Thanks to Wigan for a great game played in a great spirit and to the referee for allowing a free flowing game. Special mentions must go to Neil Bayliff and Umar Uddin for putting in great shifts at prop, and to Mark Hayward and Rich Bell for playing out of position in the forwards.
Next week sees the 2s play at home to Trafford Metrovick when they will hope to maintain the momentum gained this weekend.