DANNY BOUYS SOUTHPORT SPIRITS.
Firsts serve up Halloween hotchpotch of a game but keep pot boiling as hard earned victory secured.
Southport First XV chalked up another good victory last Saturday. However the 33-19 score line hardly begins to tell the story as this game went through various phases as an easy looking victory at one stage suddenly looked at risk before Southport reasserted themselves.
On a pleasant autumn afternoon both teams spent the first half hour uninspired and content to suss each other out, missed penalties from both keeping the game pointless. Then in a moment of madness the pendulum swung the way of the home side as a Sefton back inexplicably got himself sent off right in front of the referee. Even then it took a moment of sublime brilliance from fly-half Danny Banks to shimmy through the depleted defence from his own half, converted by Jake Mann. The lead soon doubled when Mann forced his way over and added the extras.
Suddenly 14-0 up and with the second half to come kicking towards the favoured Lynton Road end against fourteen men what could possibly go wrong? Well Sefton had other ideas and worked to a man to confine Southport in their own half, duly rewarded with two tries, one converted to narrow the score to nervy 14-12 and looking the more likely.
But the home team, not for the first time this season, showed its resilience and gradually eased itself back into the game duly rewarded by tries from Josh Critchley ad Jake McMullen both converted by McMullen to earn a bonus point and put the game out of site at 28-12....or so the relieved Hillside faithful thought.
Not quite! Yet again the Sefton 14 came back to score a converted try with a couple of minutes to go but there was still time for Critchley to romp over for his second try duly converted by McMullen to finally seal the game.
This was another evenly matched game for the crowd to witness as this year’s league proves to be competitive. Under skipper Joe Mawdsley the lads are acquitting themselves very well so far but each game throws up a new challenge and nothing can be taken for granted starting at Wigan RUFC on Saturday. Although languishing second from bottom of the table Wigan secured their first victory of the season last weekend and will be looking to build momentum from this and to gain revenge for a 34-13 defeat in the Cup at Waterloo Road earlier in the season.
The Second XV ended up on the end of a 35-5 reverse at Kendal 2s in the Lakes on Saturday but still remain top of the league. They aim to get back on track at home to Wigan 2s this weekend , whilst the Thirds travel to Preston Grasshoppers 4s buoyed by a good 21-17 win against Thornton Cleveleys 2s last time out. Both these fixtures are eminently winnable.
With the clocks having changed the kick offs for the mens games now go forward to 2.15pm until Spring.
The Ladies game against Garstang was postponed last Sunday but they have an intriguing home tie in the Cup against Halifax this one the kick off down as 3-00pm but worth checking with the club just in case.
Finally, well done to the Colts who overcame Littleborough in the quarter final of the Lancashire Colts Cup. These two teams had already met once this season in the league with Littleborough coming out on top. However in a very closely fought and competitive game at Waterloo Road on Sunday afternoon, Southport were 26-17 winners and will now meet old rivals Liverpool Collegiate in the semi-final on 2nd April.