BOLTON RUFC 11
One of the youngest Bolton first teams that many stalwarts will remember took on an Aldwinians team also in transition. on Saturday.
Bright sunshine paired with a bitter wind welcomed everyone present and before the match, the Bolton travelling alickadoo were given a hearty meal by the hosts former players, old and not so old.
Tales of ‘derring-do’ were exchanged and past glories remembered, “wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight” were once again ready to cheer on their respective teams.
Bolton got the clash under way with the low sun adding to the testing winter breeze.
The early exchanges were cagey by nature, both teams probing for any sign of defensive weakness.
After 15 minutes the scores were tied at one penalty apiece.
The game opened up on 25 minutes following a yellow card for Bolton’s prop, Manny Tailor, who had been deemed to have infringed at the breakdown.
The firm hand of the first-rate referee pointed to the sin bin and the Audenshaw-based hosts pounced.
A sweeping cross-field passing move exposed Bolton’s numerical disadvantage, resulting in a swashbuckling try in the corner.
Both teams exchanged converted penalties to leave the score at the halfway mark 11-6 in favour of the home team.
The second half was also a cagey affair with both teams defending with determination and valour.
Aldwinians struck first but Bolton’s young guns responded with a try of their own from player of the match, Ross Hayden, although Bolton’s young Tom Evans pushed him close.
With just 10 minutes remaining it was anyone’s game at 18-11.
It was now the home team’s turn to hang on in the face of the visitors’ attacking intent.
However, the game was ended as a contest following a technical infringement at the scrum by Bolton’s Mikey Ashdown.
A second yellow of the match once again gave the hosts an edge- and their numerical advantage gave their fans a sight of the winning post as they converted an easy penalty to leave the full-time score 21-11.
Those assembled retreated to the warmth of the clubhouse bar for a much-needed post-match livener.
Back-slapping and laughter ensued with everyone present agreeing that once again the game of rugby had been the victor.
The next game at Avenue Street will be against Bolton’s close rivals, Aspull, on Saturday, December 17, at the winter kick-off time of 2.15pm.
It is certain to be a ‘Christmas cracker’ and everyone attending is encouraged to dress to reflect the season.
Food and beverages are available before the game and all are welcome with full details available on the Bolton RUFC website.
Bolton team: Tailor, Ashdown, Crook, McLaughlin, Gospel, Evans, Orrell, Critchlow, J Robinson, McMahon, Clarke, Wilde, Bate, J Holmes, Hayden. Subs: Steel, M Robinson, Walker.