RED (BLACK & AMBER) RAG TO A BULL!
Good hard game in awful conditions, 3 tries disallowed, a few strange decisions (what does constitute not straight?) but not quite awesome enough?
Bit of variance this week, we start with the opposition report by way of a marker....
"This will be a brief report!! Unfortunately for the second week running we conceded 50 points without scoring ourselves. Southport are a very good side but not quite as awesome as Ruskin Park. They scored four tries in each half, on a cold and blustery afternoon, converting five of them.
Yet we were often in the game especially in the forwards where our pack played well in driving mauls and at 'pick and go' from ruck situations; we were desperately unlucky not to score! All eighteen players performed admirably and this week I am not going to single anyone outI Ref Jim Bennett had a good game too keeping calm control in the difficult conditions."
Anyway as Mike Smith saw it....
Last Saturday Southport travelled away to Oxton Parkonians, where despite the blustery weather conditions, the visitors produced a storming performance that blew the hosts away.
Southport took a grip on proceedings early in the match and were soon in front. A delightful Jake Mann kick into the Parkonians 22 was well chased by Josh Critchley, and the number 8 grounded the defender before quickly jackling and stealing the ball. Turnover provided an opportunity for Dan Whalen to find Jamie Bailey in space and the centre finished well under the sticks. Southport’s positive approach to the conditions produced the second try a short time later, when from a Southport scrum near their own try line, Danny Banks saw the gap and burst through, taking play deep into the opposition territory. An Oxton hand knocking-on stunted the move, however from the ensuing scrum, Southport retained possession well, and after two bulldozing Tom Smith runs, Tom Peacock was the extra man to finish off out wide.
Now Southport were playing most of the match in the Parkonians half and this provided ideal opportunities to attack. From a Southport scrum close to the try line, a rock steady set piece provided a perfect platform for the backs to execute simple hands and put in Chris Tees in the opposite corner. Parkonians did have some possession in Southport’s half and strived to break through with their powerful forwards. However, even then Southport were able to counter and from a Parkonians catch and drive at the lineout, the ball was stolen, driven back and delivered to the waiting backs. An excellent line break from Jake McMullen cut open the defence, and the centre then ate up the yards before providing a perfectly timed pass to his centre partner, allowing Bailey to run in for his second. The try was converted by McMullen to secure a 0-24 lead for the visitors at the break.
The second half started as the first, with backs and forwards combining well and not even several hailstorms could stop Southport’s attacking intentions. Powerful runs from Colin Fearns and slick hands from the ever reliable Mike Dale drew in the defence, and good recycling broke the defence and provided space for Banks to exploit and cross the line. And Southport’s next try came in similar fashion, with the forwards tirelessly providing clean ball and the backs demonstrating good hands and breaking the gain line. Eventually the ball was worked out to Peacock, and he accelerated down the wing before powering past the last defender and cruising round to score under the posts.
Parkonians continued to play with determination and had a good spell with their forwards, driving Southport back in the mauls. But some well-placed Southport kicks ensured Parkonians toiled in their own half, and with the heavy pitch taking its toll, a loose pass fell to the boot of Banks, and the outside half was quick to fly hack through before chasing and grounding the ball over the line, providing a simple kick for McMullen to add the extras. And the pitch nearly had the last say when after turning the ball over, Mann fed the ball out to replacement winger Dylan Norbury, who outpaced his opposite number and just managed to keep his feet in the mud before cruising over the try line to cap off a workmanlike performance from the visitors. Final score (after 78 minutes!) : Oxton Parkonians 0 Southport 50.