Following England’s exit from the world cup, it was left to Ruskin Park to raise the spirits of the rugby union fans in the centre of town.
The sun came out as the match approached kick-off, creating perfect conditions for running rugby. Ruskin didn’t need any further invitation to perform with their expansive style of play, and it was Port Sunlight on the receiving end this week.
From the kick-off Ruskin began their dominance of the game securing good ball and feeding the eager back-line, with club captain Sam Hughes scoring the first try to start the scoreboard ticking over.
Within minutes, Mike Farrelly had crossed to make it 10-0, closely followed by Neale Foster, with the conversion coming from Alex Stuart, 17-0.
Port Sunlight looked to be containing Ruskin with a good period of possession, however Hughes finished off a good counter-attack to cross once again, Stuart converting to make it 24-0.
Alex Stuart was next to cross the whitewash, converting his own try to make it 31-0.
Neale Foster then showed great pace down the wing to score a brace of tries within 5 minutes to push the score on to 41-0 at the break.
The try-scoring continued almost immediately in the second period, when Matt Bartlett finished off some fine back play to score his first of the day.
Hughes, backing up play well, scored his third try of the match within minutes with Stuart converting to make it 53-0.
There was no let-up in the pressure as the impressive Danny Beckett finished off an excellent passage of play to score Ruskin’s 10th try of the day, Stuart once again converted to push the score onto 60-0.
Port Sunlight began to exert some pressure on the Ruskin scrum, however it was Foster once again who fielded a deep kick, out-pacing the defence to cross the line.
Stuart converting 67-0. It was then turn of the forwards to get in on the act, with Chris Lyon making a barn-storming run to register his second try of the campaign, Stuart converting 72-0.
Port Sunlight decided that they were not going to be “nilled” and took the decision to kick for goal following a penalty against Ruskin in their 22.
They successfully converted making it 72-3.
The Ruskin pack then upped their work rate to secure more good ball, and it was back-rower Shaun Tress who crossed next. Neale Foster scored his fifth try of the day within minutes, Stuart converting both, 86-0.
Port Sunlight spilled the ball after a forward drive and it was Hughes who swooped on the loose ball to touchdown under the posts, chasing the 100 point milestone Stuart grabbed the ball and drop-kicked the conversion, making it 93-3 with seconds to go.
From the restart Ruskin set a good forward platform, and Hughes released Foster with a clear run to the line only for the referee to blow for a forward pass and signal the end of the game.
Credit must be given to Port Sunlight who never gave up throughout the match and showed great spirit and humour throughout.
Ruskin will not be resting on their laurels, as next week they travel to the Wirral to take on Prenton; determined to maintain their top spot in the league.