Heaton Moor u13 40 v Bolton u13 10
By graham good
Indiscipline costs Bolton dear
The Bank Holiday Weekend, 4 of our 'starters' are unavailable, Heaton Moor have a full squad, we have cobbled together enough players to put a team out but the squad has 2 players who have yet to make their debut. What else could go wrong?
Poor discipline, that's what. The (Society) Referee, who is a current player, spoke to both teams - he made it clear what was acceptable, he made it even clearer what wasn't but apparently some of our players were not listening.
Bolton kicked off, Heaton Moor gathered but keen Bolton tackling kept them in their own 22. Four minutes in Bolton looked favourites to score but a knock on gave HM a scrum put in. Bolton pushed them off the ball and it squeezed out, Jack Good picked up, fed Henry Ainscough who was going over when the ref blew - apparently he decided the scrum had wheeled, from where we were it looked like HM had simply stepped sideways under pressure and we kept straight. From the re-set HM again got the put in, we all watched even more carefully and the same thing happened. On the 4th attempt HM finally won a ball which was clearly picked up by the number 8 (a penalty?) and passed to the fly half who sent in a massive kick, Bolton knocked on. Bolton won this scrum, Jack found (a nameless player) who ran laterally, then decided to kick, it was charged down and as their winger tried to touch down our defender made a desperate attempt to halt him - desperate but also hopelessly high. The quickly taken penalty saw Heaton Moor cross for 5-0.
Another passage of even play culminated in Moor's second try. Another stupid high tackle by the same player, another quick penalty another try, so Bolton who had the majority of possession and territory were 10-0 down.
I think it was Victor Meldrew who said 'I don't believe it' and after 12 minutes the whole of the Bolton support echoed this when the same player did a ridiculous 'seat-belt' tackle, this time the ref awarded another penalty but also gave the Bolton coaches the choice of 'take him off of I'll send him off' - he was taken off. Unfortunately whilst re-organising Bolton conceded a 3rd try.
Bolton then settled down and kept possession for multiple phases until Jack released Ben Hammond who went on one of his powerful defence splitting runs. HM stopped him just short but infringed, from the quickly taken tap, Jack found Henry who sent a pass to the un-opposed Jake Ludwig but the HM full back simply slapped the pass down, so an obvious penalty try and yellow card. Err no, a penalty and no card. Jack found Henry, who clearly wasn't going to risk any more decisions from the ref so he simply weaved his way thru'. 15-5.
The surprising decision to 'receive' backfired when Bolton simply decided not to competed for the HM kick off and they sauntered in for a half time score of 20-5.
Could Bolton turn it round? Bare in mind the score was 5-5, without the penalties and Bolton were slightly ahead on both possession and territory. Within 7 minutes things looked better, Evan Dare had looked good towards the end of the 1st half, 2nd half he looked better, Bolton won a scrum on the HM 22mtr, a couple of phases later Jack fed Evan on the blind-side and he blasted his way over just by the left flag. Unfortunately for the second time in the match Bolton then immediately conceded when the HM full back simply ran 70mtrs to score in the right corner.
Many were surprised to then see the withdrawn player re-appear. Would he make a difference? Not really, the clear instruction - 'no more high tackles' appear to be understood as 'think of different ways to give penalties'. It didn't go well, with the referee (who on the whole was good) clearly loosing patience Bolton were simply 'pinged' out of the game. Some were technical but frankly most were stupid, if the ref tells you you're not back 10mtrs MOVE - don't discuss it, don't ignore it. Suffice to say the Moor scored 3 more tries, all the result of penalties. So according to the rules of the competition the match ceased with a score of 40-10.
Many congrats to Heaton Moor, the match was played in an excellent spirit and the whole event was superb. Bizarrely, we could still end up playing Heaton Moor on the JRC next season - let's just hope it's in the rugby league season!