THIRDS DERAILED BUT ON TRACK!
Graham Whyte reports on a close encounter of the Thirds kind down the Northern line at Blundellsands
Southport’s 3rd XV made the short journey to The Memorial Ground to face a Waterloo 3rd team bolstered by 2nd team players, due to their game being postponed. A lot of returning players, missing from the season opener, made a welcome return to the fold for Southport. These included Mark Garner Jones, Joe Spencer, Chris Davenport, Chris Clode, David Keeling and the evergreen Alex Fusco amongst others.
The game began with both sets of forwards trying to impose themselves on each other. Southport’s pack dominating the early scrums. A break out wide gave the home team an early lead with winger Rich Robbins being left isolated against 3 attackers, and the oppositions speedy young winger scored in the corner. Southport then drove downfield with the forwards, which resulted in Waterloo giving away a penalty. This was duly converted by Jason Fitzpatrick.Waterloo where the next to score. Following some good work in the scrum, former Southport player Ged Dawson, picked the ball up from the back and ran through a gaping whole in the normally tight defence. The game then settled and both teams fought for possession and territory for the remainder of the half, with no further scoring.
The second half started well for Southport, buoyed by a great first half performance, they quickly took control of the game driving all the way to the try line only for Chris Davenport’s outstretched arm just falling short of the try line. But some foul play by Waterloo resulted in Southport’s first try. A quick tap and go by Joe Spencer meant a drive to the line by John Gillow, he was stopped short but some quick ball recycling meant that Joe Spencer could crash over for the try, The score looking a more true reflection of the game at 12-8 for the home team. Waterloo immediately brought on their more speedy players and again they scored in the corner in a very similar fashion to the first score. Southport fought bravely, including some fearsome defence, for the rest of the game but there was no more scoring from either team.
Again a brilliant effort from the 3’s and lots of positives to be had. The train run home with 12 players soon drowned any sorrows and a great day and night was had by all