Cruel kick in the teeth as South­port sunk late on

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - SOUTH­PORT........................................20 HOY­LAKE.............................................22 Press­Reader.com +1 604 278 4604

SOUTH­PORT wel­comed vis­i­tors Hoy­lake last Satur­day, the home team look­ing to re­spond to a loss away at New Brighton the week ear­lier.

With a strong wind blow­ing from the Ir­ish Sea, the con­test be­came a war of at­tri­tion, with the two teams bat­tling to what was, for South­port, the very bit­ter end.

Hoy­lake made their in­ten­tions clear from the start, play­ing the game tight, with their for­wards look­ing to punch holes in the South­port de­fence close to the rucks and mauls.

And their ap­proach soon paid div­i­dends, af­ter choos­ing to kick for the cor­ner as South­port were pe­nalised for stray­ing offside.

A catch and drive, and the Hoy­lake pack was over in the cor­ner. But South­port im­me­di­ately re­sponded, with Chris Cun­ning­ham leap­ing high­est to gather at the restart and Hoy­lake them­selves of­fend­ing, al­low­ing South­port to also kick deep for an at­tack­ing li­ne­out.

As the ball fell loose from the put in, it was Tom Smith who was first to re­act, and he pounced on the loose ball and pow­ered over the line be­fore Char­lie At­tis as­sisted with a well struck con­ver­sion.

And At­tis added to his tally a short time later with a long-range penalty kick af­ter Hoy­lake were pe­nalised fol­low­ing good work at the ruck from Cun­ning­ham.

Hoy­lake came back, and as­sisted by sev­eral penal­ties, were gifted good field po­si­tion in South­port’s 22.

This they again ex­ploited, with the for­wards pick­ing and driv­ing over the try line, well con­verted from wide out. How­ever, when South­port got their hands go­ing, they looked dan­ger­ous, and as Hoy­lake again at­tacked South­port’s fi­nal quar­ter, a pa­tient de­fence saw South­port even­tu­ally turn the ball over.

And with the ball quickly flicked along the back line, Tom Hill ac­cel­er­ated down the left wing be­fore a per­fect chip over the last man saw James Tomkin­son win the foot race, with an ex­cel­lent col­lect and ground­ing of the ball. Half time: South­port 17 Hoy­lake 12.

As the teams turned around, South­port saw them­selves fac­ing a strength­en­ing wind, and Hoy­lake made the most of it to keep South­port at bay. A penalty for a high tackle early in the half al­lowed Hoy­lake to re­duce the deficit to two points.

De­spite the con­di­tions, South­port put some ex­cel­lent pe­ri­ods of pres­sure to­gether, and played most of the pe­riod in Hoy­lake’s half.

How­ever, ev­ery time the line beck­oned, South­port were de­nied by un­forced han­dling er­rors, for­ward passes and penal­ties con­ceded, al­low­ing Hoy­lake to get out of danger. And de­spite charg­ing runs from Sam Cross, and sor­ties deep into the op­po­si­tion’s ter­ri­tory by Jack Boyce, Kristian Grif­fiths and Jamie Church, Hoy­lake’s de­fence held out, and South­port had to set­tle for an At­tis penalty kick in front of the sticks, and hope that the five-point enough.

And ul­ti­mately, it wasn’t. Hoy­lake sensed their first away win of the sea­son, and made one last as­sault.

As the ref­eree added on time at the end of the com­pe­ti­tion, Hoy­lake drove a 5m scrum back, al­low­ing the for­wards to once again pound their way over the white­wash.

And with the scores lev­elled, it was a cool­headed con­ver­sion that saw Hoy­lake take the win and leave South­port to pon­der what might have been. lead would be

Im­ages by An­gus Mathe­son

South­port irst team in ac­tion against Hoy­lake

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