Southport Ladies RFC are looking to close the gap on the frontrunners in the Women’s Championship North 2.
Mark Astwood’s side will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing 22-17 defeat against Peterlee and Horden Valkyries in the quarter final of the Intermediate Plate competition.
Southport will face Kendal Wasps Ladies this Sunday in what will no doubt be a tetchy tie. Both teams have won two of their past four encounters in the past nine years. The last three games have been closely fought ties, with the other seeing a 55-5 landslide home win for the Wasps in 2015.
The previous meeting saw the teams separated by just two points. The Port lost due to a last-minute drive from The Wasps’ that got them over the line and secured them the points.
The upcoming game
Sunday’s fixture will be huge for both teams, Southport sit in 4th position 12 points behind their Kendal counterparts who sit in 3rd.
Astwood said: “Sunday’s match against Kendal Ladies will be a tough challenge for Southport. We have been training hard on keeping intensity high throughout the game.”
The Port have played eight times compared to the Wasps’ nine. Hypothetically, if Southport were to win both this game and their game in hand, they could slash their deficit down massively.
For Kendal, they have played two less games than second place Sefton who sit just a point above them. Sefton are looking likely to struggle in their Sunday fixture against undefeated, top of the league Sheffield.
If all goes in their favour, Kendal could sit in second place come five o’clock on Sunday evening. In contrary, the Port could reel in the Wasps’ and show their intention to close in on the leading pack.
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Southport’s Ones to Watch
Blindside flanker Ella Littlewood’s first season at Southport has been less than ideal so far, losing four of four fixtures. Although, her form for the Liverpool John Moore’s University team has been nothing short of impeccable. Littlewood tops the Universities league try scoring chart, pipping a vast group of talented youngsters to the top spot.
Rapid winger Olivia Jessup will be a torment to the rugged defence of Kendal. The short but shockingly fast all-rounder will look to stretch the game and create a headache for the opposing XV and continue her impressive scoring run.
This season, Jessup has scored six tries in her seven appearances for the Port. She crossed the try line twice in the previous game, and will no doubt be looking to better that with a hat-trick on Sunday. She couldn’t… could she?