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