FIRSTS MEDICINALLY COMPOUND PRENTON
Southport were well and truly in the pink on Saturday as a part of the club’s inaugural Ladies Day to support the ‘Boot out Breast Cancer’ campaign.
Mike Smith waxes lyrical......
Southport took the lead early on after Tom Peacock attacked from a Prenton clearance, linking well will Jamie Bailey, who then terrorised the Prenton defence. Flinging a wide pass back, Bailey found Danny Banks in support who steadied the ship and fed Josh Critchley for him to deftly slip the ball out of the back of his hand to Liam Webb in support for the hooker to open up the home side’s account. From the restart, Southport put pressure on themselves and this gave Prenton possession and their best spell of the game, resulting in a long range penalty being converted. However Southport came straight back, and with vision, Banks put a kick into the Prenton corner where the ball bounced up perfectly into the hands of a charging Dylan Norbury who finished the move.
Southport were keen to play the match at pace, and the next try started from a quick tap taken by Webb, before the ball passed through several phases before finding centre Bailey to run around the Prenton defence and score his first try of the day. The bonus point try followed soon after and came after an immense drive at the scrum from Tom Smith, Dan Aindow and Webb, turning the ball over and allowing Jake Mann to supply good ball that was shipped to Chris Drescher. The winger showed his pace and a customary in and out dash to score in the corner. A catch and drive at the lineout a short time later sent the defence backwards, and this allowed outside half Dan Whalen to find Drescher on his inside at pace, and his run held the opposition defence and allowed the winger to release Mann for the scrum half to add to the tally. By now, Prenton were being dragged around the field by the Southport attack, and the last try of the half stated on Southport’s 22, and after several phases and good recycling by Joe Mawdsley, it was Bailey who finished the move over the whitewash.
Half time: Southport 34 Prenton 3.
As the teams changed ends, Southport made it clear that they were not about to take their foot off the gas, and with the backs and forwards combining well, a good run from Gareth Lang found Bailey straightening the attack. He in turn found Webb on his outside, for the hooker to cheekily dummy the last man and score his second of the match. Making changes, Southport’s next try featured all three replacements, with a couple of strong runs from Jake McMullen before he found space and put Colin Fearns into the gap, and he found Jamie Church in support before the prop offloaded to captain George Baumber for the lock to finish the move off and score under the uprights.
Southport by now were outplaying their opposition in every department, and from another turned over scrum, Whalen, now at scrum half, quickly pounced on the loose ball and attacked deep into the Prenton 22. Quick recycling allowed Whalen to find Lang who chose a sublime line inside to get behind the Prenton defence and finish well. And with so much ball, the Southport backs were able to run at their opposition, with Norbury’s strong running allowing Banks to supply Bailey for the centre’s third try of the day.
But without wanting to be outdone, the next try was all forwards work, when Lang took a quick tap at the penalty and then found Sam Cross for the powerful lock to take half the Prenton pack with him before an outstretched arm added to the score. And there was just enough time for a final try when simple hands allowed Peacock to fly down the left wing and somehow release the ball in contact to a supporting Drescher for the winger to finish under the posts and cap a comprehensive victory with the home side sitting pretty in pink.
Full time: Southport 72 Prenton 3.
Post match tweets included "massive respect to @PrentonRUFC for today - played rugby the correct way - what a top club and set of lads #alwayswelcome" Indeed, and thanks guys for contributing to the spirit of the day.
A final word though about the referee a the admirable Mr A Jones (Britannia) who according to one informed observer "was not brave enough in his decisions, he ignored the backs, not on the balls, left hanging out his a*** but did have his nose and ears done!!" ......but this was all to do with his post match performance. "Oh, and reffed the game well earlier in the day." the observer helpfully added!