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Home > News > Wallasey 10 - Southport 9
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Your News Wallasey 10 - Southport 9
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Last Saturday Southport Rugby Club lost their first away league game of the season by a single point, but in truth it could have been more, as Wallasey dominated the second half, scoring a try and a penalty goal. John Sawbridge, Southports stand-off half, produced another fine performance, kicking a drop-goal and two penalties, but with very limited possession and predictable running angles, he could not bring his speedy backs into the game. By contrast the Wallasey backs were sharp and decisive, using the ball well to ensure that Southport spent most of the second half on the back foot.

The conditions were ideal, with a steady breeze blowing into the top corner of the ground, and Southport played with that advantage in the first half.

Mike Dales team started well, and Sawbridge produced some magnificent line kicks into the corners. At this stage the Southport forwards were on top, and their driving mauls were beginning to cause Wallasey some problems. However, Southports decision making was questionable, and they continued to run at the opposition in stead of taking a least two kickable penalties.

Sawbridge opened the scoring with a well-struck drop goal, and he added a penalty goal late in the first half. The score was 6-0 to Southport at the break.

As so often in the past, Southport started the second half poorly, and conceded the first score. This was the only try of the game, when the Wallasey backs exposed weaknesses and poor cover in the middle of the pitch. The speedy Wallasey centre enjoyed a simple run through to the posts, and this was converted .

Southport briefly returned to the offensive, and a high tackle by one of the Wallasey flankers was punished by Sawbridge with a penalty goal. His team now led 9-7, but he missed another relatively easy chance, as it drifted wide of the far upright. Wallaseys forwards had enjoyed supremacy in the scrums and line-out for most of the game, and now they took control of the rucks and mauls to deny Southport any useful ball. Wallasey were awarded a penalty on the Southport ten metre line, but nobody could find the kicking tee. Unconcerned, the Wallasey kicker hit a huge drop goal to take the lead 10-9. The home side were quite content with this one point advantage, and kept the game tight for the remaining ten minutes.

Southport can recover from this set-back, but they will have to concentrate on ball retention, and discipline in attack. Player availability is again an issue which must be addressed. Next weeks home game against league leaders Warrington will be a chance to make amends.

Southports 2nd XV had a field day against Nortwich III, winning by 57-7. Hat-tricks of tries by Matt Astwood and Gareth Lang set the scene, with Mark Atwood(two tries), Karne Green and Martin Bailey (one each) lifting the total to ten. Phil Causey kicked two conversions and one drop goal to secure the man-of-the-match award.

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