Congleton 12Ellesmere Port 0
AFTER their derby joy against Capenhurst the previous week, Dave Layder’s Port fell to earth with a bump at Congleton.
Two strokes of bad luck coupled with some poor reading of the game led to their downfall and left them in the bottom three in South Lancs/Cheshire Three.
A charged-down kick inside the first minute gifted the hosts their first try, converted to make it 7-0.
After that Port gradually built the pressure but failed to turn it into points.
Missed penalties and some more good fortune for Congleton, which saw them somehow clear their lines after a succession of scrums which Port could not quite drive over the tryline.
On the stroke of half-time came the second twist of fate. A deep kick from Congleton was knocked on by Port and the home side gathered the ball and quickly played to score a second try.
Those scores gave Congleton something to fight for and fight they did, defending for most of the half to frustrate Port.
“We didn’t get certain things right,” said head coach Layder afterwards.
“Our scrums were very good, our lineouts were okay but in the rucks and mauls we didn’t commit enough bodies, we didn’t get into the right positions and we didn’t give ourselves the opportunity to turn the game around.
“Their scores were pure luck but it gave them something on the board and that was critical in how this match went.”
On Saturday Port face Helsby, who sit one place below them in the table, in a match which has become crucial to the league picture, which is very tight at the bottom.