TALE OF THE CENTURY
Ladies work hard to put over a ton past Workington. Report by Emma 'Boomer' Fay.
Southport 102 – 7 Workington
On a very cold Sunday afternoon Southport Ladies took on Workington in only their second game since Christmas. Captain Lauren McCluskey showed the ladies meant business, taking a quick penalty five meters out and putting the first try on the board in less than two minutes. From the Workington restart Emma Barisio completed a surging run of over half the pitch and off-loaded perfectly in the tackle to release the supporting Faye Dagnall to score their second try with less than four minutes played. Again from the Workington restart, Steph Wright scored her first try of four for the afternoon.
Workington fought back and put Southport on the back foot briefly, a Workington maul in the 22 being brought down by Southport led to a penalty being given, after some well worked manoeuvres Workington managed to break through the strong Southport defence and score their one and only try of the afternoon, which was followed by a superb conversion out wide. Also, Southport unfortunately lost their ever-faithful scrum half Dagnall through injury, leading to Wright taking up the unfamiliar position, which she settled into as a natural.
Southport continued to break through the Workington defence and this resulted in two tries in quick succession for centre Emily Bickerstaffe
Gemma Hurst then scored her first try of a hat-trick on the day under the posts, after a series of well executed forwards phases by Port which showed exactly how clinical they can be. The remainder of the first half continued the same way with tries coming from Katie Hussey, Rebecca Drescher, plus two more for Wright. The half ended with Bickerstaffe releasing a perfectly timed pass to the oncoming full-back Meghan Montgomery to score the first of her hat-trick.
Southport 67 Workington 7 on the halftime whistle.
The second half started quietly with the breakthrough for Southport coming after eight minutes, with a superbly executed steal in a ruck by louise gray and the ball being released out wide for speedy Stav Williams for her to get her name on the score sheet. Five minutes later, flanker Zoe Corfield made a surging drive, fending off numerous defenders to perfectly offload the ball so it could be switched across the field allowing Hurst to place her second. The next 15 minutes saw Port continue to dominate play, powering through, turning the ball over, but with no end result and Workington worked hard to defend their try line. However, it did not last too long, Lisa Dunkley got hold of the ball and fought her way through strongly with an assisting push from Clare Stewart – Dunkley got the ball down over the line. They were not done there- a combination of a forceful run by Gray for her to pop the ball off into Montgomery’s hands, after an exquisite line saw her through to score again. Montgomery scored another less than two minutes later when she picked up the ball from the Workington restart and ran over half the length of the pitch through the defence, completing her hat trick.
Despite there only being five minutes left Southport showed no signs of slowing down, with the whole team working together, continuing to drive forward and using the ball well, released Wright in space for her fourth. Hurst had the last say in proceedings to complete her hat-trick, after receiving the ball from another superb Corfield pick up.
Overall an awesome display of rugby and teamwork from the Southport Ladies saw them get another win as they push for promotion.
Players of the match – Forward-Gemma Hurst. Back- Steph Wright.