Sec­onds hit by in­juries

Southport Visiter - - Your Heroes - BY IAN SMITH

FROM the kick off Bolton shocked South­port, cre­at­ing pres­sure from a deep kick and were straight away into the lead in the far cor­ner 0-5.

South­port re­gath­ered and started to build pres­sure in the Bolton half with strong car­ries from Mike Dale and tough tackling from Brian Henry.

South­port gained a penalty but nar­rowly missed in the damp cold and slippy con­di­tions.

Bolton coun­tered and great de­fence from the South­port backs kept them at bay but at the cost of an­other penalty, 0-8.

From the restart South­port looked more set­tled and were now com­pet­ing at the break­down, cap­tain Andy Boland mak­ing sev­eral great tack­les in the mid­dle of the park.

From this plat­form Joe Spencer worked the ball wide for Chris Drescher to be set free on the wing 30 me­tres out, he gal­loped down the line to put South­port back in the game and a breath­tak­ing long dis­tance con­ver­sion from Josh Spencer made it 7-8.

Bolton came fir­ing back gain­ing ter­ri­tory from penal­ties, they worked the ball to their pow­er­ful fly half who put their cen­tre clean through only for him to get snared by a last ditch Boland tackle that kept his arm off the ground over the line.

From the re­sult­ing scrum there was lit­tle South­port could do to keep the pow­er­ful Bolton team at bay and they were again over the line this time in the cor­ner re­sult­ing in a much harder kick which was sub­se­quently missed 7-13.

South­port pushed for­ward and with good runs from Tom Small­wood, Chris Tees and Joe Spencer were able to push for the line a quick pass out to Chris Drescher and he was in from close range, sadly the ref­eree called this back for a for­ward pass and South­port had to set­tle for the penalty ad­van­tage and a half time score of 10-13 and all to play for.

The se­cond half had great po­ten­tial but ul­ti­mately con­tained very lit­tle ex­cite­ment, Bolton would clear back to South­port’s 10 me­tre line, South­port would run it back, build pres­sure, only for this to be re­leased by a dom­i­nant Bolton line out or one of many free kicks from the scrum.

This pat­tern re­peated for nearly 30 min­utes of at­tri­tional rugby be­fore Bolton fi­nally found some mo­men­tum to get into the South­port half and seal the vic­tory with an­other un­con­verted try. The fi­nal score was 10-18. The South­port team, badly af­fected by in­juries with nu­mer­ous play­ers play­ing out of po­si­tion re­alised this would be a ma­jor dent in the pro­mo­tion cam­paign.

It’s still all to play for with two more away games be­fore a run in with five home out of the fi­nal six games.

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