By John Kenny
West Park under 15s rolled into the seaside short on numbers and game time, this being their first competitive match. Southport under 15s in the true spirit of rugby volunteered two of their big hitters and one slightly smaller (only in stature).
With pleasantries exchanged the game was under way, but errors from both teams meant the game lacked structure with strong defence being the order of the day. Southport eventually broke the deadlock 5-0 and further strong forward play led to Southport adding to their lead 12-0.
West Park now began to play and the loaned Southport players made great inroads into the home sides half! After some good forward play Southport’s line was broken with a deserved try & conversion 12-7.
The game intensity now rose with both sets of forwards trying to achieve the upper hand but it was the Southport forwards who gained the ascendency, powering their way over the line for their third try 17-7.
Refusing to be outdone West Park forwards produced the try of the half. A stolen ball at the ruck followed by a sprint straight through the middle of Southport’s forwards and so the sides turned round at 17-12.
With the second half under way, West Park’s stubborn defence began to creak and gaps finally started to appear due to wave after wave of sustained attacks from Southport’s backs whom had now decided to show the forwards a different way to play! Maybe lack of game time and no replacements was beginning to show, for with very little ball West Park struggled to make headway into Southport territory, resulting in four unanswered Southport tries.
However this dominance was abruptly halted when midway through the second half, a neck injury sustained by a West Park player rightly signalled the end of the game as the paramedics arrived to attend to him. Hopefully just precautionary, but you cannot be too careful with such injuries and indeed we understand the player was given the all clear at hospital.
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