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Southport 1st XV - Match centre

Southport
Moore
Sat 14 Jan 14:15 - Northern Division - South Lancashire & Cheshire 2 Full time

Southport 1st XV 34 - Moore 1st XV 3

Southport Rugby Club’s 1st XV restored the members’ faith in them last Saturday, with a win by six tries to none, and equally their best score of the season, running in 34 points against The Gentlemen of Moore.

Southport Rugby Club’s 1st XV restored the members’ faith in them last Saturday, with a win by six tries to none, and equally their best score of the season, running in 34 points against The Gentlemen of Moore.

Match sponsor Charles Denecki was on hand to watch this superb exhibition of open rugby, awarding a dual man-of-the-match to centre Clark Walton for his magnificent charges through the opposition ranks to set up several of these scores and Dave Gairn his immense work rate and work at the breakdown.

Both wingers scored tries, with one for Chris Tees and two for Andy Andersson. Skipper Gareth Lang also scored a brace of tries to celebrate his return to the side.

The pitch had recovered from the early morning frost, and was in magnificent condition given the poor weather over the holidays, and Southport started with the sun at their backs and conviction in their hearts. Unlike many recent games, they looked to be winners directly from the start, and were never required to play catch-up rugby. After just ten minutes of relentless pressure on the Moore line, a poor clearance kick was collected by Lang on the ten metre line. He took the ball into contact, the supporting forwards won the ruck, and the ball was quickly transferred to Andersson on the right wing. He scored the first try in the corner.

Joe Mawdsley was showing his versatility, with a start position of scrum-half, rather than flanker, giving Andy Boland a chance to rest some niggling injuries. Teamed with Danny Banks, these young half-backs opened the game up by taking the ball forward at pace. This gave the centre pairing of Walton and Ollie Brown the opportunities that they have been seeking all season, and their direct running was too much for the Moore backs to stop. A break by Brown, and some swift passing from the other threequarters put fullback John Sawbridge through for the next try, which was also unconverted. Referee Gary Spengler awarded Moore a penalty for a dangerous tackle, which was perhaps the only major error in Southport’s game, and Moore converted this to trail 3-10 at half-time.

The second half was truly a tribute to the teamwork that has been established by the coaches on the training field, and they have been encouraged by the regular turn-outs and hard work in mid-week.

The Southport forwards were now totally dominant in both line-out and scrum, so they had plenty of chances to add to their score. Lang had to force his way over the line after a terrific forward surge at the five yard scrum, but his second was a simple walk over the line when the front row won a scrum against the head close to the line.

Sawbridge sort every opportunity to join in the attacking moves, and he made the extra man twice to provide tries for Tees on the left wing, and another for Andersson on the right.

Mr Spengler only awarded six penalties during the match, which was played in an enjoyable but competitive spirit.

So Southport won convincingly, reversing the 24-21 win that Moore enjoyed earlier in the season on their pint-sized pitch. The bonus point for the six tries was well-earned, and the crowd should return in even greater numbers when Southport play Mossley Hill in a cup game on 21st January.

Gordon Jackson

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Sefton 26 65
7. Dukinfield 26 58
8. Southport 25 52
9. Oldershaw 26 51
10. Marple 26 46
11. Moore 26 42
12. Ramsey(iom) 25 40

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