FIRSTS GET ALBATROSS'S OFF THEIR BACK
By Graham Ellis
On paper Southport fancied their chances with the spectre of having lost every away game so far and last years double defeat.
With this hanging over the team nothing could be taken for granted especially as long term casualties Tom Smith and Charlie Attis were out.
But Southport fielded a decent XV only for this to be cruelly shattered after a couple of minutes when talisman Sam Cross fell awkwardly and sustained a serious injury to his jaw. Duly despatched to Arrowe Park Hospital Sam’s team mates regrouped and dug in.
The evolving Chris Mayor and Jack Parker midfield partnership again purred into action and Southport took the game to Hoylake duly rewarded when the powerful Parker crossed the line, Jake Mann adding the extras. Seven points soon became twelve when the barnstorming second row Dominic Allen notched his debut try in impressive fashion but the conversion was missed.
Hoylake then became to establish some territory and pressure duly scoring a converted try to narrow the gap to five points, but the away team came and secured a two-score advantage through a Jake Mann penalty which they took into half-time. Hoylake 7 Southport 15
Hoylake turned round with the slight wind at their backs and made early inroads, but missed a kickable penalty to give Southport a let off. This would be rued as Southport returned with interest the savvy Mayor charging down a kick and with Mann’s conversion further extending the lead to 7-22. Hoylake to their credit just about kept themselves in the game with an unconverted try of their own but at 12-22 it was as good as it got. Southport upped a gear and further three unconverted tries from Mayor, Hill and Peacock saw them safely home at 7-37.
In short, a well-earned victory but at a cost with ‘Big’ Sam now out of action for some time. We wish him well. But cometh the hour with Allen coming to the fore. What a game he had, and his teammates were certainly no shrinking violets. An excellent performance all round.