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Home > News > Southport 13 - Oswestry 19
Your News Southport 13 - Oswestry 19

A change of tactics almost produced a win for Southport Rugby Club against Oswestry at Waterloo Road last Saturday. In the sunshine and ideal conditions they abandoned their normal tight forward game, and thrilled the crowd, which included major sponsor Bernard OMalley of Nationwide Produce, with some imaginative use of the open spaces.

From the start fullback Steve Wallace joined the threequarter line to make the extra man, and it took some exceptional cover tackling to keep Southport from scoring against the wind in the first half. We saw Karne Green on the left wing stretching the defence out wide, and Southports backrow of Janus Lamprecht, Simon Kilshaw and Gareth Lang, moving the ball quickly away from the mauls. Wallace just failed to score when following up his own chip ahead, and other scoring chances were snuffed out by Oswestry. The crowd could hardly believe that the score was still 0-0 at half-time after such a scintillating display of running rugby by Mike Dales team.

With the wind behind them, Southport kept the game in the bottom half of the field, and scored two quick tries to convince themselves that they would finish up winners. First Wallace made a break down the left, the ball was recycled quickly and John Roberts crashed over for the first try after just two minutes of the half. Almost from the restart Southport attacked again. After winning a maul on the half-way line Kilshaw fed the ball to Colin Toohey on the burst, and the massive prop made good ground before slipping the ball out to Roberts, whose sweet pass gave Clark Walton his fifth try of the season.

With the wind in their faces Oswestry were forced to run the ball, and their forwards recycled it well to produce a try in the left corner, bringing the scoreline to 10-5 in Southport favour.

Come the hour, cometh the man, but unfortunately the man was Oswestrys left winger, Sam Soapy Schafer. He failed to live up to his nick-name, and collected a pass inside his own half to race around the defenders, beating the last one with an old-fashioned hand-off, and scored under the posts to give his team a 12-10 lead. Southport retook the lead 13-12 with a penalty goal by Ben Swinson, but the stand-off failed to convert an even easier kick from in front of the posts.

Southport continued to run the ball at the opposition, but as in the first half, the final pass went amiss, or the wrong option was taken.

With five minutes to play Soapy could not believe his luck when he latched onto a dropped pass just five metres from his own line. All the Southport defenders were committed to the attack, and the speedy winger ran the full length of the field to score another try under the posts, put his team in front for the second time, and win the game for the visitors.

Southports second team also suffered a loss, going down 33-7 at Warrington. Tony Hudson scored Southports only try, which was converted by Joe Mawdesley.

Gordon Jackson

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