Aldwinians u13's 20 v's Bolton u13's 50
By graham good
A comfortable win but overall a depressing day in East Manchester.
Bolton have never played Aldwinians at this age group and to be brutally frank wish that remained the case. We had noticed that they seemed to struggle to play their Waterfall matches and despite numerous attempts to get clarification of numbers the 'full team' of Thursday turned out to be 11 - not wholly surprising when we found out that they only have 12 in their squad.
Having been directed to the wrong pitch, sorting out the match format then became the next priority and we offered to lend players so we could play 13 a side, many thanks to Vernon Baxter & Jack Wright who played for them in the 1st half.
Bolton gave a lot of different players a chance to start but it was obvious that they were too strong for the home team. Two minutes in Bolton butchered a try when they ignored a 2 man overlap when 5 yards short. Aldwinians used the strong breeze to get some relief with a mighty kick but Ben Hammond gathered in his own half and simply scythed his was through some shocking 'tackling' to make the score 5-0. With Bolton on the attack straight from the kick off a spilled ball enabled the opposition to regain the ball after a scrum that was reset multiple times. Aldwinians used the strong breeze to get some relief with a mighty kick but Louie Ramm gathered the ball ...(see above)..... 10-0. Without boring anyone Ben repeated the feat twice more so after 10 mins Bolton were 20-0 up and Ben had a hat trick.
After 14 mins Bolton were completely mystified when the opposition hoofed a penalty straight into touch, more so when the ref gave the free pass to Aldwinians and whilst they were trying to find out what was going on the Aldwinians 13 lumbered over for a try. This travesty obviously annoyed Louie who gained the ball from the kick off and rather than waste energy running round the defence simply ran thru them 25-5.
Around 5 mins before half time Daniel McGuiness was awarded a try - it should not have been awarded - but the ref should have gone back for a Bolton advantage. No one (players or spectators) could work out what was happening and when their #9 realised he had a meltdown of epic proportions, with language that Chris hasn't heard since his army days, and clearly out of control he was led off the pitch by his coach (the ref). You can therefore imagine the surprise when shortly after the re-start he reappeared. So at half time it was 30-5.
The second half saw Aldwinians decline to use our players, so we dropped to 11 a side. The 'sent off' player then scored - another of the penalty to touch situations - we never found out why they were allowed. Louie stepped up after 10 minutes with another barnstorming run, which provoked a second meltdown where-upon our favourite player appeared to send himself off. After 12 mins their #13 got his second, a clearly signaled Bolton penalty was taken quickly by Aldwinians (?) - by this stage we had given up trying to work out what was going on. Shortly after Ben, sneaked one try ahead of Louie - a blistering break down the right for 40-15. Obviously Louie needed to draw even, he did with another defence scattering run and won a kick in the head for his troubles as he grounded the ball.
Towards the end their #9 scored a cracking try, he's actually a good player when not wasting his efforts on histrionics but read on... From the kick-off Louie gained the ball, he surged down the right, would he go one try up on Ben? No, he passed the ball to Ben but Ben passed to Jake who playing his 1st game at fly-half ran in for 50-20.
Sadly the game 'ended' on another sour note, their #9 did a superb grubber kick into our in goal area but lost the race to ground the ball to Matthew Conney. Miffed by this he then hoofed the ball into what appeared to be the local allotments. Queue meltdown 3 (or 4 we'd lost count). This time he was led away for good and with only a couple of minutes left we suggested that the ref to call it a day - not least because were were short of a ball.
A strange day, the good points were that we got to give lots of players match time, the downside was the behavior of a minority of our opponents, kicks, trips and punches should not be part of rugby at any age, never mind u13's. The real upside was the reaction of our players, despite immense provocation, it was measured and the lads should feel immensely proud. Put that one down to experience!