New Stars Shine for U14s
By Stephen Hart
Southport U14s Ring the Changes to Take on a Tarleton Development Side
On a beautiful winters day for rugby, Southport U14s travelled the short distance up the Coast to take on a Tarleton side in their first game of the season as they rebuild this age group. Whilst ten of the regular cup starters trained at Waterloo Road it was time for others to step up and give the coaches a selection headache before next weeks Lancashire JRC match against Rochdale. They didn't disappoint!
The match started with four experienced Southport reserves joining the 11 Tarleton players to kick off against an inexperienced but enthusiastic Southport XV. Whilst Southport started well it was clear that Tarleton were up for the challenge and it was the home team that opened the scoring with a powerful run by Jack Cooper, one of the Southport contingent, for an unconverted try.
The visitors continued to work hard in defence to stop Tarleton adding to their tally despite enjoying the majority of territory in the opening third of the match and it was Lucas Goodman who powered over from a rare start at No. 8 to score a fine try to draw the scores level. This marked the turning of the tide and it wasn't too long before Luke Atkinson darted over under posts which Chris Morris, leading the team for the first time, duly converted .
Southport rotated players guesting for the opposition and this allowed Southport to cease control in the middle third of the match with Will McVeigh and Josh Disley both scoring their first of the season before Goodman bagged his second of the day. Morris had his kicking boots on today and added the extras to all three tries.
More changes in the final third of the match led to an excellent try under the posts from the Tarleton centre before Jake Lawton scored on the wide right as the game opened up. Luke Hart and Matty Emerson, late arrivals to reinforce both sides, were able to complete the try scoring for Southport and Chris Morris was able to convert his forth of the day before the Tarleton scored the final converted try of the day to leave both sets of coaches pleased with the progress shown.
This was an excellent team display from Southport with positives all over the pitch. With most of the regular cup side rested, this set of players stepped up and showed skill, leadership, resilience and ambition. This was a day when many players found a new confidence and performance level, resulting in one of the most enjoyable mornings rugby for the impressed Southport coaches.