This week Southport travelled to Warrington to play an experienced and established club in Latchford Albion. The game started well for the Storm with skipper Dave Oliver kicking the ball just ten metres from the kick off and re-gathering the ball himself. The Storm forwards made some strong runs in the first minute trying to catch the defence off guard but they re-organised quickly and the Storm were not able to convert their early pressure into points.
Latchford showed signs of their class early on with their forwards and backs linking well to spread the ball with ease across the pitch. This resulted in early tries in the corners from the Albion backs. Southport were brave and gave their all to defend their line but the pressure from a clearly well drilled side was too much and tries continue to be scored.
Half backs Matty Leather and Will Scott-Abbott pulled the strings well and put their forwards in good positions but the home defence remained too strong. When Southport were awarded a scrum on the half way line Leather noticed there was no full back in place and tried a different tactic by chipping the ball over the defensive line for speedster Ben Walton to run onto it. Walton outpaced the defenders and would have scored under the posts if the ball had not bounced awkwardly.
Late in the first half hooker Rei Chambers fed his forwards who earned field position within ten metres from the Latchford try line. Southport gave their all and were unfortunate not to score. Unfortunately this one the only time Southport came within ten metres of the Latchford line. The half time score was 30-0.
In the second half Latchford continued to show their impressive skills. Throughout the game they would make several runs to one side of the defence and wait for the Southport defence to bunch up leaving gaps on the other side on the pitch. They would then suddenly move the ball across the pitch with some impressive backline moves and catch the defence out. They realised this was working in the first half and wisely continued to do it. The Storm players were aware of what they were doing but despite their best efforts they were not able to stop the home side from doing it.
The final score was 60 nil. Southport have plenty to work on as some tries could have been prevented but a lot of the tries scored were impressive displays of skill and teamwork from Latchford. The home side were deserved winners and showed class by encouraging the Storm players to keep working hard and their coaching staff offered advice too. The players were disappointed not to have come away with a consolation try but there was no shame in being outplayed by such a quality side.
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