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Home > News > Southport 19 - Orrell 0
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Your News Southport 19 - Orrell 0
10
MAR

The pride and the passion shown by Southports 1st XV last Saturday took them to a resounding victory over Orrell, who contested the game with some vigour but could not match the determination of John Roberts team. Revenge for the defeat suffered earlier in the season at Orrell was clearly in Southports mind from the start. Orrell had plenty of chances to run at Southport in the first half, but they lacked co-ordination, and their individual efforts was snuffed out by some superbly organised defence, particularly in the first half. Man-of-the-match was full-back John Sawbridge, whose kicking out of hand pushed the visitors back time and time again to relieve the pressure on the Southport line. His place kicking in the second half, despite suffered injuries to chest and ankle, silenced the Orrell supporters and the disbelief of the players could be seen in their downcast eyes.

In the first ten minutes Orrell had two kickable penalties, but these went astray. However, they won plenty of ball and ran well to create scoring position. This was matched by Southports tackling, particularly from the backrow of Henry Brain, Dave Gairn and Gareth Lang. Their ferocious determination to stop their opponents distrupted the Orrell plan, and the visitors failed to use the speed merchants on their wings. Too often they ran back into the Southport cover defence. In the backs, captain Roberts and Clarke Walton stood firm in the centre, and let nothing through, so Orrell faced a continuous wall of defenders. The first half finished scoreless.

Coach John Porter gave the team some encouraging words at half-time about turning defence into attack, and suddenly Southport were taking the game to Orrell. The Southport backs showed that they could use the ball well, and Sawbridge came into the line to split the defence and gave the ball to Roberts 20 metres out. The burly captain charged forward, and grounded the ball over the line, dragging several Orrell players with him. This was the first time that Southport had mounted a serious attack, but it was not the last, as Sawbridghe continued to kick the ball into the corners and push Orrell back. Southports line-outs were going particularly well, with Lang taking some excellent throws to the back by hooker Graham Riley. A determined drive by the forwards allowed substitute prop Ian Smith the chance to dive over from the ensuing maul. Sawbridge converted this from the touchline, ensuring that the visitors would need at least two scores to overtake them. Orrell did not have the strength to do that, and Southport showed that they had the heart and will to finish a game in style. Jamie Wilson came in from the left wing to carve a big hole in the Orrell defence, and the ball was then moved along the line to Roberts, who was held up this time. Gareth Lang was up in support to drive over in the corner, giving the crowd outside the clubhouse, which included the sponsors from the Hesketh Arms, another reason to cheer. Sawbridge added the conversion points, and Southport had beaten out-of-sight a side two place above them in the league table.

Down the road at Ormskirk, Martin Bailey led his team to a 35-0 win. Southports 2ndXv are third in the table, and Ormskirk III are right at the bottom, firmly so after conceding tries to Jason Fitzpatrick, Ian Walton, Karne Green, Ben Swinson (2), Neil Bailiff, and the captain himself.

Meanwhile the 3rdXv were playing Oldershaw Veterans, and although the teams only had thirteen players each, it was well worth the effort. Southport won 26-5, with tries by Mark Holmes, Chris Jones, Barry Sillito and Graham Suthren. Rob White kicked three conversions.

On Sunday Southports veterans took on the youth of RAF Woodvale air cadets, and drew a thrilling match 15-15. The RAF opened the scoring, and led 10-0 before Southport managed to get their second wind. Then Olie Brown, Andy Ritchie and Nick Hayes ran in some good tries, and should have sealed the game. However, fitness told, and the RAF came back with a try to level the scores, and Southport, aided by more substitutes than referee Roy Beetham could count, held on until the final whistle.

Gordon Jackson

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