Ellesmere Port 13Linley 33
A GAME which could have seen Port close the gap on the top four in South Lancs-Cheshire Three instead looked like a thumping thanks to some serious defensive errors.
Port have improved as the season has gone on but on Saturday they showed the frailty under pressure that has undermined their efforts to climb the table.
Dave Layer’s side held the lead for a time and were at the top of their game.
Early on they were caught out on the blind side to concede a soft try but they quickly regrouped and forged on.
Their ball recycling was good and allowed them to apply pressure and win penalties.
Two of these were converted and Port were in the ascendancy.
For 25 minutes they held their ground until a lapse in concentration saw them caught out.
A five-metre scrum was the result and Linley’s powerful pack drove them over for a try, which was converted.
The visitors’ tails were up and within minutes they had forced another five-meter scrum, which again they scored and claimed a conversion for, taking them to 19-6.
Port refused to give up and dug in from the start of the second period and for 20 minutes they looked like they may get back into the match.
But Layder’s men were caught out when Linley ran a penalty instead of kicking it.
Tackle after tackle was missed as Linley crossed the line to score another converted try to make it 26-6.
Another late try just confirmed the result but James Callaghan linked up with Rob Finlay from a scrum deep in Linley’s half to reduce the deficit with a Port try.
Layder said: “It should have been closer. What was disappointing was that again, we gave them easy tries and they gave us none.
“It’s disappointing but we need to focus on defending properly and make our tackles.”
On Saturday Port go to Parkonians.