SIX KICK TRICK!
Southport got their season back on track after railroading visitors Marple and coming at them like an express train from the first whistle.
Mike Smith puts pen to paper.
From the kick off, Southport were keen to express themselves and play their brand of attractive open running rugby. A powerful run from hooker Calum Monahan immediately took the game to the visitors, and a great break from flanker Lewis Caldwell suddenly took the action into Marple territory. Caldwell found Danny Booth in support and he sought out Chris Tees for the winger to eat up the yards, draw the last tackler and find Booth on his inside in support to cross in the corner. This presented a difficult kick for Jake McMullen, but he was up to the task and became the first to convert points through the fabulous new uprights at Waterloo Rd.
From the restart, Southport’s forwards gathered well and scrum half Jake Mann found the other winger, Chris Dresher, who was not to be outdone. He took possession just outside his own 22, stepped on the gas and cruised along the touchline before running round the fullback to score under the sticks for Southport’s second try in 3 minutes.
Marple tried to regroup and started to exert pressure up front, however Southport were now playing with confidence, and the next try came from great team play. A clean lineout jump from Josh Critchley provided quick ball for Danny Banks to run around and put Jamie Bailey in the gap and he steamed through the middle to score under the posts. With Banks running the show at 10, it wasn't long before he again created the space to put Bailey back in for his second try, once again converted by McMullen. And a fifth try came shortly before half time, this time courtesy of a solid scrum built on props Dan Aindow and Tom Smith. This created a stable platform from which Mann was able to attack blind and find Booth charging through on his inside. Booth drew the defence and then again found Tees on his outside, and this time the winger needed no assistance in finishing off a well worked move, and a comprehensive half time lead.
As the teams turned around, Southport now not only faced a strong breeze, but an opposition who were determined to put in a display. Marple now started using their heavier pack to full use and frustrated the home side, who started to loose some shape and gave away several penalties at the ruck. The concerted pressure on the Southport try line eventually told when from another penalty, Marple quickly shipped the ball to their number 8 who crossed in the corner. A second forwards try for Marple followed shortly later after Southport had been reduced to 14 men when Booth was binned after a culmination of team offences. And with their heads up, Marple added a third when a loose ball was kicked through and the Marple winger was first to react and dive on the ball to ground it over the try line.
However the damage had already been done and it was Southport who had the last say, having introduced Tom Johnson, Phil Antrobus and Dan Whalen from the bench. Excellent counter rucking from the persistent Booth turned over good ball for Whalen to free Bailey allowing the record breaking try scorer to add to his and his team’s tally, and set up a sixth conversion from McMullen concluded his perfect kicking record for the day. With Gareth Lang and Banks mentioned in dispatches, it was Booth that took the man of the match award. However this was very much a team performance and captain George Baumber will be rightly proud of the character his team has shown in their return to form. Final score: Southport 42 Marple 15.