SOUTHPORT U15s V FYLDE
A Display of Domination sees U15's through to cup semi finals. Barry Roberts reports...
Southport U15 put in a dominant display on Sunday to convincingly win their Lancashire Cup Quarter Final against Fylde U15 by 28 points to 5
Having narrowly beaten last year's runners-up in the the earlier group stages, Southport were quietly confident of a third successive victory against their coastal rivals, however, this was now knock-out rugby in the Lancashire RFU's premier Junior Section competition, so nerves were also understandably evident before kick-off.
The nerves quickly disappeared after kick-off, however, as the hosts applied constant pressure to the visitors line, only a penalty allowing the visitors to clear. Southport were in no mood to let up easily and next stole a line out ball, before streaming towards the try line again, this time only a handling error saved the visitors.
After a further 15 minutes of similar pressure, Fylde's luck eventually ran out; Southport bravely opted to decline a 3 point penalty opportunity, instead a couple of quick passes from a 'tap & go' released Southport's 2nd row powerhouse to stride under the posts, 7-0 to Southport.
Straight from the re-start, the hosts powered back into Fylde's 22, this time a knock on prevented a further score. Fylde's backs eventually took them into Southport's half, only to be abruptly halted by some monstrous tackles by Southport's centres.
Another well-worked 'tap & go' penalty on the visitors 5m line allowed the hosts to add to their score, one of the centre's crashing over for try number two, 14-0.
From the re-start, the home team, sensing an opportunity to kill the game before half-time, carried the ball back with interest and Southport's pace and precision quickly created a well-deserved try for the right winger, half-time 21-0 to Southport.
The 2nd period saw Southport continue to dominate, only a fantastic defensive effort by Fylde prevented further scores at this stage. An uncharacteristic lapse in the host's concentration, then resulted in a quick punt upfield. A further boot to ball created clear grass between attacker, ball and try line, a Fylde try looked inevitable! Southport's captain, however, had other ideas - unfortunately his intervention was deemed illegal and he received a short break on the sidelines for his efforts.
Fylde now had a man advantage but were unable to break Southport's resilient defence. In fact, it was the 14 men of Southport who added to their score, spreading the play one way, then the other, dragging Fylde's tiring defence across the park, creating holes that were eventually exploited, 28-0 to Southport.
Eventually a resilient Fylde XV scored a well-deserved consolation try when a well executed kick over Southports defensive line favoured the attacker, so that he could crash over the line, 28-5 to Southport at full-time.
Dominant from start-to-finish against a well drilled Fylde side, Southport fully deserved their semi final berth against the defending champions, Manchester, on 13 March