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Home > News > Southport 29 - Liverpool Collegiate 22
Your News Southport 29 - Liverpool Collegiate 22

Southport opened up the new season with a very satisfying win over Collegiate in the first round of the Lancashire Plate. Four tries, two by centre Clark Walton and two by No8 Simon Kilshaw, plus two conversions and one penalty by Ben Swinson were sufficient to secure a win, and to convince the team and supporters that more can be achieved when the league programme starts.

An early penalty goal by Swinson set the home team on their way, but it took some time for both sides to generate enough pace and momentum to make the transition between pre-season training and the real thing. There was a very helpful wind in Southports favour in the first half, but they preferred to recycle the possession in mid-field, rather that kick to the corners and play the game in the oppositions 22 metre area. Fortunately the Southport forwards were strong enough to subdue the visitors eight, and they were able to retain possession for long periods, However, it was some slick passing among the backs that led to the first try. They moved the ball swiftly out to the right, were winger Steve Hunter made good ground before being enveloped in the cover defence. The Southport forwards were there to re-cycle possession, and scrum half Andy Boland gave a quick pass to Swinson, who slipped the ball to Kilshaw on the burst. In such circumstance he never fails to score, and Southport deserved their 10-0 lead at half-time.

The meteorological experts on the far touchline were dubious that this was enough when Southport faced the wind in the second half. Their fears were confirmed when Collegiate moved the ball wide, kicking wisely, and scoring two quick tries to take a 12-10 lead. This was enough to galvanise Southport in renewed action, and skipper John Roberts led the way. He look another good quick pass from Swinson, and strode through a massive gap in the opposition defences. In classic centre-threequarter play, he drew the fullback and passed to fellow centre Walton to give him a clear run in from the twenty two metre line.

The Southport forwards continued their domination, and from a line out they crossed the gain line repeatedly until Kilshaw was able to force his way over for his second try.

Collegiate replied with a third try from their speedy backs, but they were living on scraps, and when Clark turned up the heat in mid-field, they evaporated, and allowed him to steam in from the half-way line for his second and decisive try. At 29-17 and well into injury time, Southport allowed their concentration to drop, and one of Collegiates props scored the final try.

Southport will play Collegiate again at Waterloo Road on September 19th in the South Lancashire and Cheshire league. No doubt coaches John Porter and Mike Smith will build on this excellent win, and prove that this match was just a pipe-opener for the season.

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