Altrincham Kersal u13 20 v Bolton u13 35
By graham good
We lent AK 4 players in each half as they only had 10 and we had 19, so everyone got plenty of game time.
AK have got a small but talented squad. Unfortunately, with 3 out with chicken pox and a couple of school rugby injuries they could only turn 10 players out. As we had 19 we agreed to lend them 4 players in each half, so in the 1st half Nathaniel, Jack W, Lewis & Finlay started for them.
Bolton kicked off and immediately put pressure oh the AK line. 2 minutes in Bolton got a scrum on their 10mtr line, Jack Good ran from the base, sucked in a couple of defenders and then found Louie Ramm - playing as centre - as we all know you don't stop Louie from that distance. Four
minutes in and AK stormed back, a scrum on their own 22 saw the ball find their full back, a very talented, fast, elusive runner, whilst the Bolton team decided who was going to tackle him he nipped down the 80mtrs to make it 5-5. This obviously annoyed Jack & Louie, so using the 'anything you can do, we can do better' a scrum on the Bolton 10mtr line became Louie's second try of the day, when Jack picked up, made the initial 20mtrs then fed Louie, who did the rest. Unfortunately AK had noticed this tactic and repeated it, so after 11 mins the score was 10-10. Two minutes later Bolton should have gone behind, their full back again slicing thru' the Bolton defence but then rather fortunately dropping the ball over the line. As half time approached AK piled on the pressure,with the strong wind behind Jack's relieving kick went deep into AK's territory, their very large forward retrieved it, Jack half tackled him around their 10mtr line, it slowed him down enough for Daniel McGuiness to do a proper job and he took man & ball into touch. With Jack injured, Matthew Cooney moved up to scrum-half and his quick free throw saw Henry Ainscough make 20 mtrs, he found Louie and when Louie realised he couldn't quite make it he found Josh Bentley Hughes who ran in to make the half time score 10-15.
For the 2nd half, Vernon, Jake, Matthew S and Jack G played for AK. Strangely the AK coaches changes formation, moving the excellent full back to centre where he was far less effective added to that the Bolton players were pretty well ignored by their 'team-mates' so in that half Jack only touched the ball once but that was 1 better than Matthew!
After 2 minutes Louie got the ball at half way, he took advantage of the confusion in the AK defense and strolled in, 10-20. Jake caught the kick off, made 20mtrs and fed the right wing who simply outran the covering defense. 15-20. After 8 mins Ben Hammond was on hand to finish a great team move to stretch the lead to 15-25. Two minutes later Bolton were really lucky when they gave a penalty away with the ball already over the line, most referees would have given a penalty try but for reasons that were not wholly clear the ref gave a 5mtr tap. In the confusion the quick tap was taken and the ball grounded BUT outside the 'touch-line' and Bolton got a second bit of luck when the ref disallowed the 'try' and gave Bolton a 22 drop out. 4 minutes later Josh was 'sin-binned', costly when AK kicked thru' to where the fullback should have been and ran in an easy try, 20-25.
The last 10mins were pretty even but with both sides suffering injuries the match became 12 a side, then 11. 25mins came and went AK dropped to 10 players (including our 4). In order to even things up Bolton sent players to play for AK but they played for Bolton, so it ended up 13 v's 10 and in what was now nearly 30 minutes of the 25min half Bolton 'scored' 2 more tries.
All things considered a good day out, plenty of match time for everyone and some of us got to see the statue of Frank Sidebottom.