Ellesmere Port 17 Mossley Hill 18
PLAYER-coach Dave Layder missed a penalty with the final kick of the game as Port fell to a one-point defeat in Saturday’s crucial survival game in South Lancs/Cheshire Three.
Port started badly and the visitors took the lead from a five-metre scrum, converting the try to make it 7-0.
This was a wake-up call for Layder’s men and they knuckled down, Paul Millington kicking with the wind into the corners to pile pressure on Mossley.
Scrum-half Joe Joinson finally made the pressure pay. Port launched a series of driving attacks and Joinson touched down, the conversion levelling the scores.
By half-time the score was 14-12 to Port after they scored a second converted try. It should have been more as James Callaghan grounded, but the referee missed it and did not award a third try.
In the second half, a penalty extended Port’s lead to 17-12 before the wheels came off.
Mossley Hill, kicking with the wind, earned a penalty to close the gap to two points and then, eight minutes from time, were awarded a second penalty, which they kicked to take a one-point lead.
Port pushed on and won their own penalty in the dying seconds.
Layder stepped up but his effort was poor and proved to be the last action as the referee called time.
“I kicked it badly,” said Layder. “It was a bad result for us and it makes our survival fight that much harder.”
Port are away to fourth-placed Moore on Saturday.