Southport visited Warrington with a mixture of older experienced players and younger players. They started off well as they scored first but James Williams hit back followed by a goal from Chris Byrne making it 2-1 at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter Chris Byrne opened Warrington’s account as they attacked the deep end but Southport scored again to make it 4-2. Dave Price Warrington’s no nonsense defender was in a battle with the Southport attack again a fine line between who the offender was and who the victim was. The referee decided to exclude Dave Price on two occasions and on the third occasion when Dave seemed to have been fouled his frustration was demonstrated by throwing the ball down on the water in anger. That earned Dave Price his third exclusion and an early shower and a big blow for Warrington to lose their best defender. However further Warrington goals from Ian Musgrove and Chris Byrne against a single goal from Southport saw Warrington finish the quarter 5-3 up. The sub text to this game was the battle going on at centre forward led by Tom Hadley in attack. The referee later confessed he couldn’t see who was doing what to whom, but more white water than Niagara Falls meant plenty was going on!
Warrington started the third quarter well with a goal from James Williams and James made it 7-3 to Warrington within 31 seconds as Warrington took control of the game. Warrington was relentless in attack with three goals from Chris Byrne and a goal from defender Lee Chadwick. Southport replied with two goals but Warrington won the quarter 6-2 and led the game 11-5.
The final quarter was full of incidents with Tom Hadley converting a penalty to take the score to 12-5. Sixteen year old Tim Mainwaring joined the fray as he used his speed down the wing to provide some great assists to players breaking down the centre. Warrington however were about to have their second player wrapped up as Tom Hadley battled at centre forward the referee gave the foul against him and Tom gave the referee some feedback on his decision which the referee took exception to and Tom duly picked up his third exclusion and shared a shower with Dave Price. With only seven players left Warrington continued to battle on two further goals from Chris Byrne making it eight on the night and one from Tom Hadley saw Warrington lead by 14-8. Southport increased pressure on Warrington Tim Mainwaring was excluded on two occasions and Southport scored two further goals to make it 14-10 with 3 minutes 39 seconds left to play. Ian Musgrove hit back with a goal as Warrington tried to kill the game off. Southport who sensed they could win scored two further goals to make it 15-12 but with only 59 seconds left on the clock. Finally goals from Ian Musgrove and James Williams extinguished the challenge from Southport.
Southport won the quarter 7-6 Warrington won the game 17-12. The exclusion fouls were 9 against Warrington and 10 against Southport and 29 goals, certainly an incident packed game.
Players included Neil Musgrove, James Williams (4), Ian Musgrove (3), Lee Chadwick (1), Tom Hadley (1), Josh Regan, Tim Mainwaring, Dave Price, Chris Byrne (8)