2nds hope huge vic­tory is not at too big a cost

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - SOUTH­PORT 2NDS ..................................... 90 FLEET­WOOD 2NDS ...................................... 0 FLEET­WOOD.........................17 SOUTH­PORT..........................14 BY MIKE SMITH

PRIDE of place in the open­ing week­end of the 2018/19 sea­son went to the South­port sec­ond team.

Visi­tors Fleet­wood strug­gled to cope with South­port’s youth, power and pace from the off as South­port played with struc­ture and control to put points on the board with some well worked tries in the open­ing min­utes. The flood­gates then opened as the op­po­si­tions big for­wards sim­ply couldn’t cope with the pace

Un­for­tu­nately in the midst of this Kiwi stal­wart Rei Cham­bers suf­fered a back in­jury and whilst wait­ing for an am­bu­lance the teams upped sticks to an­other pitch to al­low for his treat­ment.

In his ab­sence the home side did not let up and con­tin­ued to at­tack the Fleet­wood line with dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect, in the end post­ing a to­tal of 14 tries with­out re­ply.

Top of the try scor­ers was the im­pres­sive Harry He­witt with four, Adam Atkin­son, Colin Fearns and Joe Parkin­son each with a brace and Har­ri­son Keat­ing, Dan Lovett, Cal­lum Toothill and Conor Ry­lands with one apiece. Har­ri­son also had a suc­cess­ful day with his place kick­ing, chalk­ing up 10 con­ver­sions on top.

But vic­tory came at cost. Thank­fully fol­low­ing hos­pi­tal treat­ment Rei was not kept in and hope­fully will be avail­able again very soon. Like­wise Atkin­son, whose mag­nif­i­cent game cul­mi­nated in a bro­ken col­lar bone and ev­er­green club cap­tain Ja­son Keat­ing, who came off with a groin strain.

Man of the match was Atkin­son. He was all over the place not giv­ing the op­po­si­tion any breath­ing space and with a hand in many of the tries.

Notwith­stand­ing the dif­fer­ence in op­po­si­tion on the day, many of th­ese play­ers will now put pres­sure on first team se­lec­tion es­pe­cially the many Colts who sent out a strong mes­sage that they in­tend to main­tain the ex­cel­lent progress into se­nior rugby they made last sea­son.

NEW sea­son, new kit, em­bla­zoned with the logo of new spon­sors EFT Group – yet it was a case of déjà vu as South­port re­turned to ac­tion in Lancs/ Cheshire One last Satur­day away to Fleet­wood and man­aged to come off sec­ond best with a los­ing bonus point in a match they so might have won.

Fleet­wood got off to a per­fect start when from the kick­off they gained a penalty which al­lowed a kick to the cor­ner. From the en­su­ing li­ne­out, Fleet­wood ran hard from the rucks, and played the phases be­fore a long pass to the left wing found the gap and put the home side on the score­board.

How­ever, South­port im­me­di­ately re­sponded from the restart. Great work from Tom Hill al­lowed South­port to re­gain pos­ses­sion, and cap­tain Dan Whalen found Kristin Grif­fiths cut­ting a line through the de­fence to take play deep into the Fleet­wood 22.

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