On Saturday Southport travelled to St Helens to play Eccleston Lions who are two leagues above them. The game started terribly for the Storm who were blown away by the Lions in the early stages. The Lions were scoring tries far too easily early on in the game. Some were down to Southport making unforced errors but credit must also be given to the Lions who were cleared very experienced and well drilled.
Southport showed spirit and fought back earning good field position close to the Eccleston try line on several occasions but were not able to score. Then very late in the first half Sam Collison crashed over for a try. This gave the Storm confidence and they re-grouped at half time. They came out in the second half determined to put the wrongs of the first half right.
The second half was a much closer contest. Liam Webb scored a try on his Storm debut with a strong run barging his way over the line. Minutes later hooker Mike Sheard scored from the dummy half position and the Lions players could not believe it. They had breezed through the first half and were shocked by the pumped up Storm side who were giving everything to regain some pride after being outplayed in the first half.
Eccleston hit back with an impressive try but skipper Dave Oliver encouraged his men to keep fighting as there was no shame in conceding such a well worked try. The Lions scored another try before Collison barged over to score his second. The Storm continued to battle and with five minutes to go the Storm were winning the second half but the constant pressure from the Lions took its toll and they scored two further tries, one in the last play of the game.
This was a classic case of a game of two halves. There is no denying that Eccleston were clearly a far superior side with some very talented players but the Storm once again showed great spirit by not giving up after being completely outplayed in the first half. The second half was only lost by 8 points but the final score was 70-18 to Eccleston. Despite the heavy loss a lot was learnt from the game and also after the game as the Eccleston coaches and players showed a lot of class by giving the lads plenty of advice. The Storm are constantly improving and will continue to show their fighting spirit next week away at Latchford Albion in Warrington .
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