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Southport 1st XV - Match centre

Sat 23 Jan 14:15 - Northern Division - Merseyside (West) Full time


Mike Smith reviews a good measured performance by the First XV to secure a bonus point and a healthy points for win against a useful Oldershaw outfit.

Patience was the watchword for Southport last Saturday, as they built a performance against visitors Oldershaw that eventually saw them cruise over the finish line at a canter and take the victor’s spoils.

From the off, Southport’s pack showed their dominance in the set scrums, and were soon shunting their opposition back and stealing ball. However, it was Oldershaw who were first to register a score, when a well-placed clearance kick from the ‘Shaw outside half gave good field position. A penalty awarded at the ruck soon after allowed a well struck conversion and a 0-3 lead.

In reply, Southport had plenty of possession and created several scoring opportunities however failed to covert chances into tries, and were occasionally guilty of forcing the issue. But the home side continued to toil, and from another dominant scrum, the backs were on the front foot. This allowed space for Jamie Bailey, and despite being scythed down just short of the line, the centre was able to regain his feet and offload to a supporting Tom Peacock for the winger to dive over in the corner. With the half time break in sight, Southport again found a way through the Oldershaw defence. This time Danny Banks was the instigator, chipping the ball out of his own half before recovering the ball, and breaking deep into Oldershaw territory before finding Peacock in support. Despite the cavalry charge that followed, Southport were adjudged to have been held up over the try line, however the ensuing scrum provided a solid platform for number 8 Josh Critchley to pick up and charge over the try line, converted by Jake McMullen. Half time: Southport 12 Oldershaw 3.

Southport started the second half in impressive fashion. From the kick off, the ball found its way to Dan Aindow, and after hard yards from Critchley, drawing in the forwards, quick ball was supplied to scrum half Dan Whalen. He sent his troops forward and the ball found its way to Bailey, who set off on a marauding run and cut through the defence to ground over the try line. Southport now were doing the simple things well, and playing with a real hunger. A clean Critchley catch at the lineout and again Dan Whalen set his backs off, proving space for a piercing Bailey run, and this time the centre drew his man and gave a simple pass out to Peacock for the winger to score his second.

And the next try was a perfect example of simple well executed rugby. A quick tap penalty inside the Southport 22, and the ball was worked to Jake McMullen. He stepped in and found his centre partner Bailey on his outside, who did likewise, setting Chris Tees off in space. The winger showed his experience, drew his man and supplied Bailey on his inside to finish a classy move. The ability to attack from deep provided the opportunity for the next score, as Southport counter attacked with hands from Jake Mann, Whalen involved several times, Critchley and Bailey before Whalen unselfishly found support from Colin Fearns for the second rower to cross in the corner.

With the outcome of the match decided and the visitors tiring, Southport finished with two more tries. The first came from another solid scrum, anchored around the immovable Tom Smith. This platform allowed the backs to show they have speed in abundance, each player taking the ball at pace, straightening and shipping it on, and it was replacement winger Dylan Norbury who was on hand to add the final burst of acceleration and score in the left corner. And the final try came from the restart, a trademark Craig Pacey take set the forwards on the front foot, and after several phases it was Critchley who found the gap and cruised over the try line to cap off a dominant performance. Final score: Southport 48 Oldershaw 3.

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Team selection

Mann, Jake Mann, Jake
Tees, Chris Tees, Chris
Bailey, Jamie Bailey, Jamie
McMullen, Jake McMullen, Jake
Peacock, Tom Peacock, Tom
Banks, Danny Banks, Danny
Whalen, Dan Whalen, Dan
Critchley, Josh Critchley, Josh
Griffiths, Kristian Griffiths, Kristian
Mawdsley, Joe Mawdsley, Joe
Fearns, Colin Fearns, Colin
Toohey, Col Toohey, Col
Smith, Tom Smith, Tom
Monaghan, Calum Monaghan, Calum
Aindow, Dan Aindow, Dan

League round up

Other Merseyside (West) results

Mossley Hill
Ruskin Park
Oxton Parkonians
St Edward's O.B.


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Southport 22 88
2. Ruskin Park 19 78
3. Oldershaw 22 55
4. Oxton Parkonians 23 50
5. Port Sunlight 20 48
6. Ellesmere Port 21 47
7. Wallasey 18 40

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