Port full throt­tle to

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY MIKE SMITH

SOUTH­PORT started off the New Year with a trip along the M57 to face lo­cal ri­vals Widnes, hoping to re­peat their vic­tory of ear­lier in the sea­son.

And af­ter a hard fought con­test it was in­deed the vis­i­tors who se­cured a de­served win that saw the home side suf­fer only their sec­ond loss of the cam­paign at Heath Road.

South­port took the lead early on af­ter a pow­er­ful scrum put pres­sure on the home side caus­ing the Widnes scrum half to in­fringe at the back, al­low­ing Char­lie At­tis to con­vert the en­su­ing penalty.

Min­utes later Widnes equalised with a Kevin Lead­bet­ter penalty af­ter ‘Port were pe­nalised for a high tackle right in front of the posts.

How­ever, South­port im­me­di­ately re­sponded with an­other At­tis kick, this time from long range, af­ter Widnes were pe­nalised at the ruck.

But, South­port were guilty of not clear­ing their lines from the restart, and al­though good work from Sam Cross re­gained pos- ses­sion and al­lowed the vis­i­tors to kick out of trou­ble, Widnes saw the op­por­tu­nity to at­tack from deep.

This they did, first at­tack­ing down the right flank, and then with the South­port de­fence scram­bling to cover find­ing Antony Lead­bet­ter wide out on the left for the winger to fin­ish off in the cor­ner.

The Widnes score seemed to mo­ti­vate the vis­i­tors, and South­port soon took their op­por­tu­nity to re­spond.

With pos­ses­sion on the half­way line, South­port’s Jack Parker at­tacked through the mid­dle, and found At­tis in sup- port. He went wide and then with a sub­lime pass in­side found Jake Mann who picked an ex­cel­lent line to gather the ball one handed and get be­hind the de­fence and un­der the posts.

Widnes re­duced the South­port lead to two points with an­other well struck Lead­bet­ter penalty, how­ever with the game very much in the balance South­port struck again.

First South­port’s back made ground, with ex­cel­lent hands from Tom Pea­cock pick­ing the ball up off his shoelaces, be­fore the for­wards added the hard yards with pow­er­house drives from Colin Toohey and Josh Critch­ley al­low­ing Colin Fearns to dive over the line.

Now South­port were very much in the as­cen­dancy, and with the for­wards now dom­i­nat­ing both the tight and lose, launched wave af­ter wave of as­saults on the Widnes try line.

How­ever, the Widnes de­fence held out and af­ter a missed South­port penalty kick, made it to the break with­out any fur­ther breaches.

South­port led 11-18 at the break.

So as the teams turned around, it was clear that the first score would be cru­cial in de­ter­min­ing the out­come of the con-

Im­ages by Ian Moss

Action from South­port’s clash against Widnes

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