CAPTAIN LANG INSPIRES VICTORY by Gareth Lang
Southport buoyed by their success of the previous week set sail for the Isle of Man for there first of three internationals games of the season.
CAPTAIN GARETH LANG RETURNED TO THE FIELD AFTER A LONG INJURY LAY OFF.
There squad was reaping the benefit of a successful youth section filling the places of the regulars who were un available to travel. For this reason the side had quality in every position.
The beautiful location of the Ramsey home pitch a stones throw away from the Irish Sea meant the wingers would have to were snorkels in case the tide came in. The game kicked off and in a carbon copy of the previous week Southport would have ten minutes possession and territory only to be penalised and find them selves facing the opposition kicking at goal. The Ramsey fly half had his kicking boots on and struck the ball between the post Ramsey 3 Southport 0
Southport then made some good field position with two superb cross field kicks; the first by Liam Webb, the second by stand-in fly half Joe Mawdsley not looking out of place in the number 10 shirt . Marty Astwood began to run hard in the centres and Steve Hunter was working his magic evading tackles and making ground. The Ramsey pack were incredibly competitive at the ruck but on many occasions overly so as they conceded penalty after penalty eventually allowing a kick at goal by Jake Le Peg that was struck well and Southport levelled. 3 - all .
Like the sea that was yards away the Southport tide was coming in as they attacked and attacked and attacked finally Lang breaking the gain line some quick ball was picked up by Josh Critchley who powered his was over the line for his third try in as many weeks . The conversion was added by Le Peg and the home team were rattled 10 -3 to Southport.
As the Southport pack visibly tired and began to be counter rucked by the competitive Ramsey pack, Mawdsley began to spin the ball wide. To everyone’s surprise it was a PASS by Steven Hunter that set up Chris Drescher for a break down the wing. The next move was also spun wide with fullback Le Peg bursting onto the ball choosing not to use his overlap cutting inside to ground the ball over the line. He converted his own kick and the teams changed ends with the visitors leading 17-3.
The second half would be a negative of the first as the Ramsey fly half began to take control with some excellent kicks out of hand for field position and he began to move the ball in the backs it was only a matter of time before Ramsey would score and score they did . David “mighty mouse” Gairn came off the bench with a broken hand to bolster the Southport troops but as Southport began to launch attacks it was clear that jet lag had affected the forwards speed to the break down and this meant penalties were concede. The Ramsey number 10 had his eye in and kicked to penalties to bring the game within one point with 25 minutes to go.
We have seen Southport snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on several occasions and this game looked like following a similar trend. However the Southport lineout was untouched by the opposition and some well used interchanges had freshened up the pack the travellers lineout launched an attack in the midfield and the forwards took the ball on time after time forcing the opposition back moving from the left of the pitch edging forward and closer to the centre . The previous 8 penalties the home side had conceded for handling in a ruck had obviously not been heeded as the committed the same offence again giving Southport a kickable penalty that was easily dispatched by Le Peg giving them a significant 4 point lead. The remaining ten minutes would be all Ramsey. They refused two kicks at goal as they needed a score but Southport’s heart and shear effort kept them at bay. Final score Ramsey 16 Southport 20
The man of the match could have been any one of eighteen player who put on the red black and amber last Saturday. Well done all.