PORT PUT HILL TO THE SWORD
Southport continued their winning start to the season last Saturday with a comfortable away win on the sunny slopes of Mossley Hill.
Mike Smith reports.
The home side started strongly and positive play and forward intensity saw Mossley Hill camped in the Southport half. However, Southport defended well, and when they did gain possession from lineout ball just outside their own 22, they took the ball right, recycled well, with good hands from Danny Booth and a strong Tom Smith run, and then spread the ball left to allow Chris Drescher his customary run around the last man and under the sticks. From the restart, the forwards again provided the momentum, with good work from Colin Toohey and Calum Monaghan, and this again provided space for Drescher to put on the gas. This time the winger used Jamie Bailey on his inside to round off the attack.
Shortly later a Mossley Hill scrum on the halfway line didn’t faze the Southport pack, and, led by an excellent drive from Smith at tight-head, they shunted the opposition back. With good supply under pressure for Jake Mann, the backs responded and the ball found its way to Dylan Norbury in midfield and his pace was too much for the Mossley defence to handle as he scored under the posts. Mossley responded with a series of drives from their burly pack, but big hits in defence from Sam Cross and Craig Pacey allowed Southport to turn over the ball on their 22. Seeing the available space, Danny Banks put an inviting kick into Mossley territory, which was well fielded by Norbury before he offloaded well to a supporting Mann who accelerated through to score, before converting his own try. Half time: Mossley Hill 0 Southport 26.
Southport started the second half with two quick tries in succession. The first came after a darting break from the back of the ruck by Mann. Mistakes by both sides spilled the ball in the Mossley 22 before Bailey picked up the loose ball and drove over the try line. The second followed after good hands involving half the Southport team with Booth and Cross heavily involved before the big second row unselfishly fed Norbury to score in the corner.
Mossley continued to toil in the Indian summer sun, and the forwards were finally rewarded for their labour a short while later after a catch and drive at the lineout allowed them to set up a series of forwards drives that saw them over the try line. A scrappy period of play then ensued, which saw both sides lose a player to the sin bin. However Southport continued to look to use any possession they had, and soon added to their tally courtesy of a move involving two Booth runs, cutting through the defence like a knife through butter, before he eventually passed to a supporting Monaghan for the hooker to cross the whitewash. And good hands provided space for the next try, with Drescher again on hand to cut through the defence and score under the uprights.
There was little respite for Mossley Hill, and from the restart Southport came straight back with a move initiated by a great take and run from Pacey, providing space for Booth to again terrorise the defence, and this time stopped short it was prop Smith who was on hand to drive over and score. To their credit, Mossley never lay down and some late pressure in the Southport half saw them add to their tally after being awarded a penalty try from just outside the Southport 22. However it was Southport who walked away with the victor’s spoils but still with areas to work on in training before a home match against Newton le Willows next week. Final score: Mossley Hill 12 Southport 55.