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Home > News > Douglas Isle of Man 10 - Southport 15
Your News Douglas Isle of Man 10 - Southport 15

Southport pulled off their finest win of the season with a fully deserved victory against a side that are always difficult to beat on their home soil, and left coach John Porter wondering why they dont produce this form every week. The victory was all the more remarkable due to the fact that an incident at Liverpool airport delayed the teams arrival until just 90 minutes before kick off.

The game kicked of with the visitors determined to take the game to their opposition and this surprised the home team who were having difficulty in subduing the visiting forwards. Southport dominated territorially for much of the first half thanks to some astute play from the half back pairing of Aitkenhead and Boland. Mawdesley, too, with some determined running, was constantly closing down the home teams options. Despite all this a defiant Douglas defence stood resolute, despite some surging runs by Hunter and Summerfield, and to their credit they managed to hold Southport to a first half lead of just 5 points to nil. Southports try coming from a fine move close to the home try line and finished by Lang. Astwood missed with the conversion.

The second half continued in much the same vein with Southport looking comfortable in both backs and forwards. The forwards were indeed extremely mobile, with some terrific controlled drives, complementing both Brain and Gairn who were outstanding in the loose play. The combination of Astwood jnr and Mike Dale was also proving to be a powerful tool and they were the driving force in the set piece, ably accompanied by a very solid front row of Gillow, Riley and Church. The two props were indeed a real handful for the home team as they continually made inroads into the Douglas defence.

In the 55th minute Southport crossed the line again for a try which was well converted by Astwood, who also added a penalty to give the visitors a 15 0 lead.

With twenty minutes to go the tiring journey, which included a 4 hour delay at the airport, was beginning to tell on the visitors. Some stoic tackling in the centres by Walton and skipper Roberts repelled the Douglas attack but it was now a much different Douglas side who could sense the vistors were tiring. In the 62nd minute Gairn was sent to the sin bin, a decision that looked quite harsh and Steele had to replace the injured Astwood, adding to the difficulties facing the visitors. The home backs continually took on the Southport team and, following a mistake in defence, Douglas scored in the corner, failing with conversion. With the score at 15 5 it was time for Southport to show a great deal of courage as they now had to dig deep too repel the constant advances of the home team. This was not helped by the fact that on 72 minutes Lang, who was having an excellent game at number 8, was sent to the sin bin for preventing the opposition gaining quick ball. Fortunately Gairns spell in the bin was now up and Southport continued with 14 players on the field.

The final eight minutes produced some excellent rugby from Douglas and some superb defending by Southports 14 men, but in the final minute of normal time Douglas crossed the Southport line once again and with the conversion missed, the score stood at 15 points to 10 in favour of the visitors. The referee added four minutes of injury time during which the tired bodies of the visitors secured field position and completed an outstanding victory. The two remaining Southport substitutes, Oliver and Courtney were not required, but this was a victory for all who crossed the Irish see last Saturday.

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