NO OVEN NO PIE BUT FIRSTS MAKE A POINT.
By Graham Ellis
Firsts dish up spirited performance to earn the crust of a richly deserved bonus point in full baked contest captured by Joe Stewart in this weeks Visiter.
It was ironic that a week after Manchester Medics pulled out of the league seemingly half of the Southport team and indeed opponents Glossop ended up in need of treatment season ending following an epic but fair encounter on Saturday. Worst effected were talismen Josh Critchley with a badly cut eye and Sam Cross with a damaged shoulder, with Danny Banks also forced off with a rib injury.
But in the face of a physically bigger and stronger team the Southport lads never gave up and tries from Cross, Dan Cresswell, Tom Peacock and Charlie Attics secured a losing bonus point in a 26-39 defeat. Even better as the away side had raced into an unopposed 25 point lead early in the first half, But magnificently led by the ageless Gareth Lang standing in for expectant father and regular skipper Joe Mawdsley the team fought back with well worked tries by Cross and Cresswell and a conversion by Attis reducing the deficit to 12-25 at half time.
Kicking towards the Lynton Road end in the second half things could have got even better had a pass not gone astray with the line begging but Glossop gradually resumed ascendancy to build a winning lead. But the introduction of Colt Sam Lawrenson for his debut off the bench saw the home side again come back with gusto rewarded when Peacock bull dozed his way Attis adding the extras from the touch line through the defence before he expertly found and raced through a huge gap to score under the posts and an easy conversion to conclude proceedings.
Whilst Cresswell took the honours as deserved man of the match credit to all his teammates for showing great spirit against a very tough and accomplished Glossop outfit throughout. With It was particularly apt that young “Lawro” (who wasn’t even born when Lang made his debut!) took to the field and acquitted himself extremely well on an occasion designated by the match sponsors as “Transition Day” to welcome and recognise the achievements of the Colts this season many of whom have now stepped up into the Seniors.
No more so than the eight who played in the Second XV at Vale of Lune and more than played their part in a superb 17-10 victory. All three of Southport tries were scored by Colts with debut tries for Jake Pagan, Connor Rylands and Adam Wood, with Pagan also taking the Man of the Match honours and regaling the club house with a song too. Again full credit to the elder statesmen in the side notably skipper Andy Boland Club Captain Col Toohey and former Captain George Balmer for guiding the lads through another game.
This is the third away win on the trot for the 2s following epic victories at Fleetwood and Leigh and without doubt others could soon be following their contemporaries Lawrenson and before him this season Callum Toothill into the First XV.
The post-match throng in the club house also celebrated as the news came through of the safe arrival of a baby daughter for Emma and Joe a fitting finale for a proud afternoon for all.
This Saturday the Firsts face another tough one at Bowdon who will be angling for revenge having lost at Waterloo three weeks ago with the Seconds on the road again this time at Littleborough with the Thirds at home to Hoylake (kick off 3pm).
The Ladies regular season is now virtually over but returning to the theme of hospital all at Southport RFC would like to wish Ladies centre Katie MacDonald a speedy recovery following treatment a week after being injured against Birkenhead Park. Get well soon Katie.
In the meantime come back Manchester Medics all is forgiven!