The Firsts returned to winning ways with a comprehensive win against Wigan, building on a solid first half to open open up in the second.
Mike Smith reports:
The home side took the lead after only 4 minutes, following a James Tomkinson run, setting up good possession for Danny Banks to draw the last man and put Tom Peacock in, to swan down the right wing and over in the corner. As the contest developed, Southport continued to have the lion’s share of play, however too many unforced errors saw chances lost, and even when Peacock thought he was over for a second, play was brought back for an obstruction.
However, the pressure eventually told, and Southport doubled their lead with a fine solo effort from Josh Crtichley. From a scrum on the halfway line, the number 8 picked up at the base, and sprinted to the try line, and despite being scythed down just short of the line, had the strength to regain his feet and dive over. From the restart, the forwards gathered well and fed the backs. Again, Tomkinson added the pace, perfectly timing his pass to Peacock who found Jake Mann on his inside to finish off under the sticks, ensuring a comfortable lead at the break. Half time: Southport 17 Wigan 0.
As the teams turned around, it was Wigan who started stronger, showing lots of promise in attack, and gaining the fillip of an extra man, after Southport’s Billy Nichol was shown a yellow card. However, Charlie Attis extended Southport’s lead with a well struck drop goal, and then the home side began to put together some great phases of play. First phase ball at the lineout again released Southport’s backs, with Mann flinging a wide pass out to Tom Smallwood. The winger gathered the ball well, before running over his opposite number and scoring in the corner, well converted by Attis.
And a short time later, Attis found the gap to cut through the defence, setting up good field position deep in the opposition’s half. Wigan could only prevent a try by infringing, however Dan Whalen saw the opportunity to take a quick tap and feed Peacock on the charge for the winger to crash over. And Attis then helped himself to one of his own, after the pack stole the ball at the scrum, allowing the fly half space to chip over and collect his kick before scoring under the sticks.
Now, Southport were unstoppable, and attacking from everywhere on the pitch. From their own 22, Southport shipped the ball to Tomkinson, allowing the centre to embark on a jinxing run, cutting in and through the defence, before drawing the last man and unselfishly finding Colin Fearns in support to cross the whitewash. Crtichley added another shortly after, having taken an excellent line, cutting in, out and over. And from the restart, there was time for one more, again created by Tomkinson who this time kicked to the corner for Smallwood to win the footrace and ground the ball.
So, Southport record their biggest win of the season, keeping a clean sheet to boot, and can now look forward to the challenge of visiting promotion chasing Broughton Park next time out. Final score: Southport 58 Wigan 0.