FIRSTS SCRUB UP WELL
Southport’s season continued to shine last Saturday as they produced a dazzling ten try victory away at Port Sunlight. Mike Smith reports.
The visitors were soon off the mark, when full back Tom Peacock collected a clearance kick and immediately started to counter attack, linking up with fellow backs Chris Drescher, Jamie Bailey and Jake McMullen. The forwards joined the cause and recycled well, and this produced quick ball for McMullen to drift through the gap to touch down, before converting his own try. A second try soon followed, after a stolen lineout just outside Southport’s 22 allowed Craig Pacey to take play up to halfway. With forwards on the front foot, prop Tom Smith chose a delightful line to break through the defence and demonstrated both a turn of pace and deft hands as he offloaded one handed to a marauding Josh Critchley who had too much gas for the Sunlight defence.
Port Sunlight did register the next mark on the scoreboard, choosing to take the three points after Southport were penalised for hands in the ruck. But then normal service resumed as a catch and drive at the lineout gave Jake Mann the opportunity to break down the blindside and beat the two burly defenders to score another Southport try in the corner. Another lineout produced the next try, when an overthrow fortuitously fell into the hands of Dan Aindow. But the prop was quick to react and crashed over the whitewash to add to the tally.
Sunlight showed a determination all afternoon to attack Southport with their powerful pack, and they put together some good phases of play to take the game into Southport territory. However just as Sunlight looked to spread the ball wide, Bailey was quick to pluck the ball out of the air and intercept the pass, eating up the yards, before offloading well in the last ditch tackle to Dylan Norbury for the winger to finish off. Undeterred, Sunlight immediately came back and produced their best spell of the match, culminating in a powerful run from their second row that set up the Sunlight number 8 to crash over for a concerted try. Half time Port Sunlight 10 Southport 33.
The second half however saw one way traffic as Southport attacked up the hill. From the kick off, the backs immediately took control, with runs from Dresher and Peacock before Bailey straightened the line, and found Calum Monaghan on hand in support to cross the line. Monaghan starred in the next try as well, after his lineout throw found Critchley and good ball released the backs for a well-executed set play that saw Dresher in space to finish the move. Another soon followed for the winger, this time off the back of a dominant Southport scrum, when the ball was worked wide. And Drescher then added his third, saving the best till the last, when, after good work from the forwards, he cut in and out and round the defence before touching down under the uprights.
With the game long gone, Port Sunlight to their credit never waned from the task in hand, and continued to use their pack to press forwards. However Southport were able to attack from anywhere at will, and from a loose pass, Peacock, who was impressive all afternoon, was quick to pounce on the loose ball and stride 80 metres up field to round off the win. Final score: Port Sunlight 10 Southport 64.