1 More to Go..... Ho Ho Ho
The penultimate game of the season Southport hosted Fleetwood (One of only two teams that had beaten Southport away in the season). So a major confrontational battle was due to erupt at Waterloo Road (The Fortress). Captain Calamity Bailey had a robust squad and welcomed back Liam Webb (Whose been in more positions than Ryan Gigg’s Brothers Wife! On the field may I add!) Will Scott-Abbott and also retained Rob White who has well deserved selection post some sterling performances recently! (Token ginger to never goes a miss!)
From the Off Southport had 1 plan, to dominate as Jake McMullen put up a high kick, Webby leapt like an Olympic athlete and Pacey collected and drove forward. The youthful Dan Whalen linked brilliantly with Old Man Mark Astwood to drive the centres forward to the 22. And as the ball was taken to ground, Fleetwood hit the ruck illegally to give Patrick Fitzjason a shot at goal… The opportunity was just missed but the build-up stamped authority on the game immediately.
In the 12 minute Drill Sgt Jonah Jones broke away on the ½ way line, smashing people in his wake, Astwood was tight on his heals to take the pop and continue smashing through the backs – WHAMMO went the full; back as Mark went under the sticks.. Extras converted by Fitzpatrick (Patrick’s better cousin!)
Jonah again was instrumental in the 2nd try breaking through the ranks once more, but this time prop Ian Smith continued the run until he was tackle by the smallest rugby player ever! (Amazing tackle it was) and Webby was on hand to recycle to Jake McMullen who score right of the sticks. Fitzjason missed the extras….
Ste Hunter (The one armed Bandit) drove the next score forward, liking well with Jonah to gain yards and hitting Astwood… with a 2 on 1 Mark through a dummy to Fitzpatrick and took the points himself, but allowed Fitzpatrick to convert!
Jordan Caudwell then had a fantastic run , illustrating what strength the club has in abundance with youth of its colts. Some precise lines and 1-2’s with Fitzpatrick opened up the defence for the last pass to be rules forward – Champagne Rugby it was….
Steve Hunter (El Bandito) and Jordan Caudwell inked up well again with continued direct attack, Hunter jumping through tackles like a wild horse to get the next try. Then Jake Mcmullan scored a poachers try 10 meters out after some great wing running. Webby Converted.
With Neil Bayliffe on for Jonah the pack continued to dominate, the forwards pushed and drove allowing a few phases before recycling back to the powerhouse Bayliffe who crashed over. Bayilffe swiftly added another try 5 minutes later from some great Rob White attacking play.
Changes by Bailey allowed Andy Anderson a run at Flanker, this fast and strong winger poaches like a pear in a steam bath in given opportunities like this, and ran a brilliant chase into the 22 as Fleetwood paniced, Anderson smashed through taking man and ball over the line to add to the tally. Webby converted nonchalantly with a drop kick…. Show off! ;-)
At the final whistle and with one away game to go Southports promotion is assured, but 1st place has to be the Gold Placed Olympic Prize, and wining the last game is a necessity to this accolade…. Mark it in your calendars, tell the Mrs to come, get on the Bus with Southport Rugby Club on the 28th April on a trip to the Lakes….. We go as a team, but together we can return as a family of immortals……..
Trys; Mark Astwood, Jake McMullen (2), Steve Hunter, Neil Bayliffe (2), Andy Anderson
Conversions: Patrick Fitzjason (NONE), Jason Fitzpatrick (3) Liam Webb (3)
Penalty: Jason Fitzpatrick
Report: Rik Potter (Not Mr Graham Ellis!!)