Leigh Ladies v Southport Ladies
Southport Ladies make new club history!
On Sunday Southport ladies made the short trip along the East Lancs. Road to play Leigh Ladies in their penultimate league match. This fixture has always created a talking point for all of the players involved and remained Southport’s Nemesis, having not won a game at Leigh in four seasons.
This week’s team contained no less than the first mother and daughter playing partnership. Yet another piece of history is made in the club! Louise Dale who is head of catering and Jessica Dale who also assists at the club enjoyed playing over 55 minutes on the same winning team.
Southport started the game with great gusto, winning the scrums and some fantastic runs from Nat Burns and louise gray making their way over the gain line, time and time again. After seven minutes Southport were seven points ahead from yet another forward turnover and fly half Katie Hussey putting Jess Dale on one of her marauding runs, Faye Dagnall the Southport scrum half was on hand to take an offload and score under the posts, Katie Hussey converted with ease.
With a spring in their step Southport had their heads on other things at the kick off and Leigh forced Southport to make errors and give away a penalty. The Leigh captain took a quick penalty however Southport’s defence wasn’t holding strong and the Leigh player scored in the corner.
Not to be out shone Southport’s rugged determination soon got them back in the driving seat, with what could be described as an action replay of the first try however this time Jess Dale broke through several tackles and scored under the posts. Katie Hussey converted the kick 14 -5 to Southport with 18 minutes gone.
The remainder of the first half was a very even battle between the two teams. Both teams losing their key players to injuries, first for Southport was Nat Burns,(replaced by Kirsty Mahony ) then Gemma Hurst (replaced by Louise Dale) Following several penalties for repeated infringements by Leigh, Southport camped themselves in the Leigh 22. Hussey spotted what only a fly half would, and dropped a drop goal from just outside the 22. Southport were now leading 17 – 5. Half Time.
Following a few words at half time and some of the ladies putting the world to right Southport came out at a rate of knots. Excellent leadership and forward running by Natalie Burns who managed to be a trooper and come back on and Captain Lauren McCluskey hit the Leigh team hard causing the Leigh defence to be under constant pressure. Lauren completed a great run and managed to take to take two Leigh defenders with her over the try line. 22 – 5.
Further heated encounters and some ferocious tackling by Jem Pearse, Lou Gray and Alice Kirkman put Leigh back on the back foot. Leigh decided to change their game plan late in the second half and tried to kick the ball over Southport’s heads and get them on the back foot. This didn’t work! With Louise Dale showing great hands and showing off her netball skills, plucking the ball from the air then charging back at the Leigh players with determination. With Dagnall sniping around the fringes Kirsty Mahony made a break down the short side and over in the corner. 27 – 5.
The result was one that was fought for, I am sure the girls will all be aching, however a very proud coaching team saw their team come of age in a fixture that historically may have swung the other way.
Southport Ladies last league game of the season is at Workington on the 17th April. A win here will leave them at the top of the league with Crewe.
If you are over 18 and would like to give rugby a go please contact Mike Dale (Director Of Rugby & Team Manager) a call on 07493055091.