Burtonwood Bridge 37 – 26 Southport Storm 07/03/2015
This week the Storm travelled to Burtonwood close to St Helens. The Storm came flying out of the blocks in the opening minutes with some strong runs from the forwards and good defence. The team followed Coach Tom Bedson’s instructions and purposely attacked the areas that he felt his players were making the most progress.
The Storm have never lacked desire but on this occasion played with far more organisation than previous weeks and in the first half they were dominating and the home support had gone quiet and was drowned out by the noisy travelling supporters from Southport.
The Burtonwood defence appeared to be confused by the positioning of the Storm’s giant Sam Collison. They committed several defenders to him whenever he got the ball. They did not realise that he was playing out of position at stand off and he spun the ball out to the space he had created which was causing no end of problems for Burtonwood. When the Storm were 10 metres out Collison ran from the dummy half position himself and crashed over the line in the left corner. This was the first time the team had been in front in their short history.
Southport continued to attack the left hand corner and scored two more tries in the same corner through Collison and Jack Calvelly. With Dave Oliver’s conversion this made the score 14 nil to the away side.
Southport appeared to be in total control but a handling error gave Burtonwood field position. They took advantage of this and gained momentum and scored three times to even up the scores at half time.
The Storm started the second half well but conceded a well work try. Their heads did not drop and they kept working hard and it was anyone’s game. On the hour mark tiredness started to show and the Southport defence was starting to weaken and three tries were conceded within five minutes. This could have got much worse for Southport but they rallied together and had a second wind and gave everything they had. Calvelly made a break in his own half and ran 50 metres and beat several defenders before eventually being stopped. Southport were starting to dominate again and made the most of their territorial advantage to score in the left corner again. The conversion went over and the Storm supports continued to make a lot of noise and inspired their team. Southport had clearly realised what was and was not working for them and they continued to attack the left side of the Burtonwood defence. They kept the ball alive and after the ball went through many pairs of hands Calvelly crashed over in the corner. Oliver kicked another touchline conversion and the Storm looked like they were not going to be stopped but unfortunately time was not on their side.
With the last play of the game Burtonwood dropped a goal to make sure of the win. This was an unfortunate loss considering the periods of the game where Southport dominated but there were many positives to take from the game. Jack Calvelly won the Man of the Match award but there were several players who could have won it. The team is improving every week and they will look forward to playing Wigan Bulldogs away on March 14th at 1pm.
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