Port Sunlight 26 Garstang RUFC 0: Strugglers slip into the bottom two

Garstang dropped into the bottom two with defeat at the weekend
Garstang dropped into the bottom two with defeat at the weekend

Garstang RUFC face a big game on Saturday when they host New Brighton (2.15pm).

They slipped into the bottom two of the Lancs/Cheshire Division Two table for the first time this season after losing 26-0 against Port Sunlight.

Garstang went into the game having had two blank Saturdays and with the hope they would travel with a strong squad.

Unfortunately, that was far from the case as coach Gavin Barton lost a handful of players in the run-up to the game, and by the time they arrived, at their destination they had just 16 players to select from.

Worse was to follow as Tom Smeaton broke down in the warm-up to leave the team down to the barest of bones.

When the game started Garstang were playing into a gale force wind, and as they tried to avoid kicking it by running the ball from deep, they were punished for their inaccuracy.

Spilled ball led to Port Sunlight pressure which allowed them to take an early 7-0 lead.

Garstang continued to work hard with Ainsley Pye tackling his socks off and Joe Corless working as hard as anyone on the pitch.

Eventually though, they were caught out again as Port Sunlight squeezed over from short range despite the ball looking a few inches short of the line to lead 12-0.

By now the wind had died down a touch but, when it did pick up again, it had switched direction and was blowing across the pitch which took away any advantage Garstang could have expected in the second stanza.

Within minutes of the restart in the second half, any Garstang hopes were dashed as a soft turnover allowed Port Sunlight to run at the defence and power their way over to take a 19-0 lead which would prove insurmountable.

Long periods of the second half were high on effort but low on quality as both sides struggled to come to terms with the awful weather conditions and the heavy pitch.

Garstang went into the last few minutes of the game with Max Everest practically on one leg and it was no surprise when Port Sunlight secured the bonus point win with a few minutes to play.

Elsewhere, the Blues had an excellent home win as they beat Colne and Nelson seconds 34-27 at Hudson Park.