Brave Ladies stung by Wasps
Southport ladies nearly produced a fabulous comeback at home to Kendal Wasps. However, narrowly lose 30-34.
Southport ladies kicked off their first game of 2014 at home against high flying new Cumbrian side Kendal wasps at Waterloo road. Southport made some forced changes to their line-up and were eager to impress the brilliant home crowd.
The game did not start to plan as from the Southport kick-off Kendal quickly found one of their speedy centres who cut open the Southport defence to score immediately under the post, which was converted.
Southport quickly re-grouped and settled into their dominating forward style of play. Southport moved up the pitch and dominated the rucks, winning a penalty, which was narrowly missed and Southport were unlucky not to put their first points of the New Year on the board. This style continued with the Kendal forwards continually giving away penalties. Quick to react to the slowly retreating Kendal defensive line, scrum half Faye Dagnall capitalised on this and danced through for her first of two tries. Again Dagnall, skipper for the day, led by example, scoring a similar try after some hard work from the Southport forwards.
Southport then appeared to switch off defensively for a period and the Kendal back line took advantage of this, with their centres each scoring a try. Southport were 17-10 down at half time.
The second half started as the first ended, sloppy Southport defence leading to a Kendal penalty, which they took quickly and scored from. 22-10 down, this appeared to wake Southport up and the forwards started to dominate the game, with strong running, tough tackling and hard rucking. This resulted in Southport patiently moving up the pitch, phase after phase, and Natalie Burns powering over the line for her first try for the club. Burns stepped up to narrowly miss the conversion.
Then Kendal showed why they are doing so well in the league- their centres again quickly capitalising on Southport errors and scoring a converted try of their own. Another quick break away from Kendal nearly resulted in another try for their excellent inside centre but she did not ground the ball. However, the resulting 22 drop out was quickly picked up by the Kendal backs who exploited the space in the Southport defence to score.
Kendal were now 34-15 up. However, Southport did not let their heads go down and saved their best rugby for the last twenty minutes of the game to set up a nail biting finish. Southport’s forwards again had another dominating spell in the game. Strong running from Helen Lewis-Shaw resulted in another penalty being given away by Kendal, Dagnall quickly found the strong running Claire Stewart who broke through the desperate Kendal defence to score her first try for the team. The fight back appeared to be on. With Southport camped in the Kendal 22 the forwards continued to force mistakes from Kendal. This time a quick penalty from no.8 Kelly Lewis-Shaw again found Stewart who powered in for her second score of the game.
Southport were not finished there and the clock ticking down appeared to spare them on. The tough tackling Debbie Morris got herself on the score sheet after some more powerful, patient Southport play.
Unfortunately for Southport time was not on their side and despite a brave fight back they lost 34-30. Southport awarded forward of the game to Gemma Hurst for her all-round strong forward display in the second row and back of the game to Faye Dagnall for leading and being at the heart of everything Southport did today.
Southport’s next game is away to Leigh on Sunday 2nd February.