By Graham Ellis
Graham Whyte reports on an afternoon in the custody of the local constabulary including a sensational-break out by young Matthew Cook.
This past Saturday saw Brian Henry's charges once again head down the M57 to take on the strong arm of the law!!
Boosted by a good result the previous week and the return of Lawrence Abood at 9, confidence was high. Abood electing to play, having only returned to the country hours before. Also making their season debuts were second row Nick Henthorn and father and son duo Shane and Mathew Cook. This being Mathew's first senior game.
Unfortunately, once the match kicked off, all Southport's hopes and expectations were quickly dashed. Southport starting the game poorly, finding themselves 3 try's down within the first 15 minutes, some sloppy play and mistakes, pounced upon early by Merseyside's excellent 9. Who was brilliant throughout the whole game. It was late in the first half when Southport finally got on the score sheet, some great running by Luke Monaghan, seen him dodge past hapless defenders to score under the post from 30 metres out. More errors from the visitors cost them dearly as the home side scored another 2 try's before the half.
Things had to improve for Southport in the second half, and they did. A great kick off from Dave Helmsley meant the same player recovered the ball from the restart and Southport took advantage immediately. Some great forward play meant the ball was played to the backs, the ball passed quickly through hands for Mathew Cook to score his first senior try in the corner. The visitors joy was short lived however, as from a breakdown at a ruck the home team's 9 dummied brilliantly and played an exquisite pass for the inside centre to score under the posts. Southport responded immediately, with young Cook again scoring in the corner after some excellent play from the backs. Unfortunately this would be his last major action of the game as a shoulder injury forced him to retire. A great debut performance from the youngster.
This did not deter Southport as shortly after, Graham Whyte scored on the blindside after some good work from the forwards, Lewis Johnson can count himself unlucky shortly after, as he crashed over for what looked a certain try, only for the referee to rule that he'd been held up. This spurred him on as minutes later he scored from a near identical piece of play. Much better from the visitors. one more try for the hosts finished the scoring at 47-27.
Again a much better second half performance by Southport, Lots of positives to be had though. Great to see the younger lads improving each week.