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Home > News > Buxton 0 - Southport 26
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Your News Buxton 0 - Southport 26
01
JAN

This trip to the Derbyshire hills on a bright sunny day had everything that you would want from an early season game. The pitch was in superb condition, flat and wide, the wind was not too strong, but clearly would be a factor to be considered, and the visiting team were brim full of confidence. The journey had not been too tiring, so manager John Porter had no difficulty in motivating his side for an important away game.

Playing into the wind in the first half, Southport settled down quickly, and opened the scoring after five minutes with a try on the blindside by prop Ray McKeown following a series of driving mauls which clearly demonstrated Southports forward supremacy even at this early stage. Ben Swinson slotted the conversion, and all looked set for a fine afternoon of rugby.

Southport continued to win plenty of ball, and captain John Roberts took every opportunity to move the ball to the backs, where he and fellow centre Clarke Walton began to punch some significant holes in the home sides defence. With total control of the recycled possession from these thrusts, it was inevitable that Southport would score again, and they did just that when scrum half Andy Boland passed left to Swinson on the half-way line. Southports speed merchant Chris Tees was at full back, but his instincts are all for attack, and he was up in support to take the ball forward and put left winger Karne Green clear for a superb try, which even the home supporters applauded.

As the first half progressed the game settled down in Buxtons half. They were unable to secure enough possession to utilise the wind, and Southports tackling, particularly from flankers Dave Gairn and Gareth Lang was all-enveloping. They repeated caught the Buxton backs behind their gain line, and inevitably the defenders were penalised for holding on to the ball. These errors resulted in two simple penalty goals for Swinson, and Southport were well satisfied with an 18-0 lead, and the advantage of the wind in the second half.

This column does not often mention mistakes by referees, recognising that they are there to enjoy the game as well, and have a very difficult job to do. However, even in the first half it was clear that the players did not always understand the decisions, and in the second half, as Southport strove to press home their advantage, there was even more uncertainty.

A penalty goal by Swinson took the game beyond Buxtons reach, and they sort to limit the damage by slowing the game at every opportunity, while Southport tried to run the ball whenever possible. A certain try was missed when a brawl broke out, and the referee stopped the game just as right winger Steve Hunter was about to cross the line.

George Baumber and Janus Lamprecht were brought on in the forwards, but the game never really reached the standard that we had expected, and finally Southports last substitute Tony Hudson appeared briefly in the centre. Swinson began to use the wind to establish position, and the last quarter was played entirely in the Buxton half.

Southport mounted one last scoring move and it was much like the first try, a series of drives by the forwards, with half-backs keeping the game tight. Graham Riley was the scorer, and Southport left the field knowing that they should have scored many more points.

Arriving back at Waterloo Road, the club was thrilled to find themselves top of the league, and that put a rosier tint on the fine away win.

Gordon Jackson

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