South Lancs/Cheshire League
Port Sunlight 1st XV 10
Buxton 1st XV 5
Another tight-fought game, with less than a score difference between the sides, saw Buxton denied a long overdue win
The visitors played into the wind in the first half and tried to play an expansive game out of their own half. Good work in the line-out from hooker Pullen and second rows McCoy and Hodgson saw Buxton march up the pitch and allow the quick ball for their backs when needed.
Scott, Pullen, Passey, Battersbee, and S Edge linked well together to make yards up the pitch. Scott created several opportunities to score by passing the ball around the tackler and creating the overlap.
Despite aggressive tackling from Torrence, Scott and Pullen, Sunlight pinned Buxton back in their own half and continued pressure resulted in Sunlight being awarded a kickable penalty which they converted to take the lead. Sunlight continued to use the wind to their advantage and mounted several attacks on the Buxton line.
Only tackling from captain Bartram and T Edge prevented certain tries. However, with Buxton’s defence stretched, Sunlight went over in the corner to score a converted try.
The second half saw Buxton continue to try and play with width, but they were constantly denied with Sunlight continually coming in from the side, illegally, slowing the ball down and not playing off the back foot. Buxton adapted well, with Meir, Chapman and Storer using the pick and drive well.
The introduction of Ball and Lomas injected some pace into the attack. The tactic of putting the ball through the hands was rewarded with good ground being made through strike runners Robinson and Riley.
Buxton never gave up and their persistence and ambition was finally rewarded as they strung several quick phases together to allow Robinson to draw two Sunlight defenders in and create the overlap for Morris to score in the corner.
On balance, Sunlight deserved their win, but Buxton should keep faith and maintain their team spirit and the wins will come.