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SOUTHPORT 22 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 26

It’s not over until a certain lady sings; you’ve got to play for the full eighty minutes; always keep going until the final whistle; phrases all heard amongst the Moss Lane Faithful last Saturday as their team had snatched victory from Southport in the sixth minute of time added on. For the second week running the same Faithful had witnessed an exciting and quality game.

Southport had taken the game by the scruff of the neck scoring two tries in the opening six minutes  to lead 12-0 and always in front, were leading 22-19 as the eighty minutes were up and the time added on minutes were running out. Winning a penalty just inside the Southport half, Dave Cunliffe positioned a kick just by the corner flag and from the ensuing catch and drive prop Mark Fryer launched himself over the try line, only to be ruled held up. The resultant scrum signalled a wave of abortive short range attempts with play gradually moving across the pitch from right to left. Then in the gathering gloom with bodies scattered everywhere, Paddy Royle plunged over to touch down. The impressive young referee from Gloucester raised his arm, blew his whistle and LSH were now in front for the first time, just when it mattered.

Southport, completely belying their league position, certainly did not deserve to lose and neither did LSH. Although going behind early on and always chasing the game LSH never gave up and as the afternoon wore on were always in winning range, ultimately scoring four tries to their hosts three.   

Back to the start and after pouncing on a loose ball straight from the kick off Southport were ahead in 45 seconds. 5-0. Five minutes later a fluent passing move amongst their backs brought a second try, converted. 12-0. With the home side looking sharper it took LSH over twenty minutes to launch a meaningful attack which brought a try from young winger Connor Thompson after a neat darting run and pass from Darren Wilson. 12-5. The half closed with a penalty slotted by Southport after a period of pressure in the LSH half. 15-5

The Moss Laners signalled their intent immediately on the restart when left winger Josh Lynch latched on to a cleverly judged kick from Wilson to fly over in the left hand corner. Johnston landed the touchline conversion to keep LSH well in the game at 15-12. From then on LSH had the majority of possession and territory and created plenty of chances all to no avail. Around the 70 minute mark Southport found a second wind and extended their lead when scoring from short range, converted. 22-12.

LSH hit back in the 77th minute when centre Alex McClurg, having an excellent season, broke through to score under the posts and then wasted no time in converting his own try. 22-19. This set up the grandstand finish to break Southport hearts but keep LSH on track for a terrific next couple of months of the season.


Team

15 Kean 14 Lynch 13 McClurg 12 Cunliffe D 11 Thompson 10 Johnston 9 Wilson (capt) 1 McCauley 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Royle 5 Potter 6 Hull 7 Roberts 8 Webster 16 Heywood 17 Donlevy 18 Gore


John Williams