Southport 26 Tyldesley 27
The New Year couldn’t have started any better, for third placed Tyldesley, who inflicted a first home defeat of the season, for top of the table, Southport, in what turned out to be an absolute cracker of a game.
The first half had plenty action, but didn’t provide many points, mainly due to some great defence from both sides. We had to wait until the 24th minute for a real chance of points.
Tyldesley were awarded a penalty after a trip on Paul Martin but their shot on goal was off target.
Southport, now down to 14, after a yellow card, had a good spell but the Tyldesley defence held firm.
Mark Dickinson combined with Danny Kilshaw to send for Gavin Hunter over in the 28th minute and it remained 0-5 at half-time despite some intense pressure from Southport.
Could both sides maintain the quality of entertain provided in the first 40? Well the answer was no, it got better. Southport hit the ground running; great handling had them break from their 22, to record their first, converted try within a minute of the restart, 7-5.
On the hour mark, the visitors struck from deep, yet again, via Dickinson, who intercepted a loose pass, on his own 22 and raced clear.
He gave the ball to Gavin Hunter who showed a great turn of speed, to outpace the cover, and recorded his second, putting Tyldesley back in front.
Three minutes later Tyldesley crossed again, some excellent driving mauls had them advance towards the host’s line. Kilshaw received the ball, and produced some brilliant foot work to cut through and give his side an eight point cushion.
Back came Port, who tested their opponents yet again.
They finally recorded their second converted try, four minutes later, after a mix up in the visitors defence, gifted them a try. 14-15
In the 74th minute, Bongs hit back. Good Tyldesley pressure, resulted in a Southport scrum in their own half but despite winning it, a strong Tyldesley drive saw them lose the ball over their line. Dean Brown was alert enough to pounce for a bonus point try, 14-20.
Southport’s confidence grew as they hit back again two minutes later with another good try. But the conversion, that would have given them one point advantage, just missed.
A nervy looking Tyldesley, were awarded a penalty on half way two minutes later, which was put in the corner.
Paul Martin received the ball from the lineout, and went blind, feeding Dean Brown, who touched down. Dickinson superbly added Tyldesley’s first conversion of the game, from the touchline, which turned out to be crucial, in the end
Not surprisingly, Southport came back, and recorded the final points of the day, with a Bonus Point, converted try in the dying seconds, bringing an end to what was a classic, quality game, that had everything.
MOM Mark Dickinson.