LADIES HAVE BEES IN THEIR BONNET
Gemma Hurst reports as Southport sizzle in first round cup clash.
Southport ladies graced the first team pitch on Sunday 9th October in their first cup game of the season tied with an unknown Burnley side. With a great turnout to support, the ladies were eager to show both Burnley and the crowd they were in for a good game.
With Southport kicking off the game, the ladies didn’t hold back in securing a try within the first few minutes. Burnley’s return kick saw full back Monty take the ball back into contact. Using full width of the pitch, the ball was played through hands from one wing to the other when fly half Katie Hussey put her kicking skills into practice with a cross pitch kick, releasing newly singed winger Stav to make a great run and catch of the ball on a perfectly timed bounce for the opening try in the far corner. Conversion narrowly missed.
From Burnley’s kick off, both sides made simultaneous errors seeing offside and not releasing penalties given both ways. Southport still managed to make yards up the pitch with a great driving maul by the forwards and excellent running by Natalie Burns. The second try of the game came soon after when a strong run by Steph wright was stopped short of the line on the left wing. Quick decisive play from hooker Lisa Dunkley retrieved the ball and powered over the line to score. Conversion scored.
Burnley weren’t going to give in so easily and their centres made good headway up the middle of the pitch with quick pops through the backs hands. A lull in concentration saw Burnley make the most of a central gap but scrum half Faye Dagnall was in waiting to make the saving tackle. Although Burnley continued to fight, they were unable to dodge the fast flying tackles of flanker Alice “Casper” Kirkham who won the ball back. Casper was later denied a try when the ball was knocked on prior to her placing the ball. Strong scrumming throughout the game made easy work for the backs as ball was played through hands allowing Stav to score her second try of the game in the far right corner. Conversion missed.
Southport forwards dominated every kick off with powerful runs from Nat Burns and Casper making yards up the pitch. Again, a good use of the full width saw Southport drag Burnley from one side to the other in attack forcing them to create gaps. Full back Monty made excellent use of this and ran a great line from her position to sneak through for the 4th try of the match. Conversion scored.
With half time nearing Southport were eager to get as many points in the first half as possible. A great jackal from Lou Gray on the right wing allowed Southport to maintain control and release the ball out through the backs once more. This time allowing Lou Palmer to make a great run down the left wing and score a diving try, her first for Southport, before the half time whistle. Conversion missed.
The second half saw waterloo road brighten up and Southport continue their dominant performance. Straight from the off, the forwards worked their way up the pitch using their well perfected pod punches. Not to let the backs feel left out, Hussey demanded the ball putting Stav in perfect position to use her quick pace and agile feet to dance through the Burnley defence from the half way line, all the way up the pitch to score her 4th and Southport’s 6th try of the game. Conversion missed.
Stavs 5th and 6th try of the game came from a continued great team performance. A maul held and won by Casper, great runs by both Steph wright and Nat burns, aided Southport’s play up the pitch. With a few yards to go, a quick eye for space on the wing saw full back Monty kick cross pitch for Stav to calmly collect on the bounce for a try in the right corner. Conversion scored. Similarly, her 6th try was also placed in the corner after hard fought drives from skipper Lisa Dunkley and fellow forwards allowing Stav the space to score again. Conversion missed.
With the last few minutes of the game nearing, Southport ladies were taking everything they could from this game. Another well held maul saw a Southport scrum on the 5m line. A classic move dictated by Hussey and the backs took the ball blind allowing full back Monty to power over the line for the 9th try of the game. Conversion missed.
In the last kick of the game, there was only one person to end the match. A great catch and drive from the forwards pulled the Burnley defence in, allowing the quickly released ball to be sent straight to the back of the match Stav for the last try of the game. Conversion scored. Full Time 58-0
Forward of the match awarded to Casper.
A brilliant team performance from the Southport ladies and looking forwards to the next cup clash.