Bolton U15s vs Wigan
By Wyn Price
Wigan show some fighting spirit
Bolton U15’s v Wigan U15’s
Lancashire Junior Rugby Challenge
League Stage Match 2
Weather: Overcast, windy
Final Score Bolton 15 Wigan 7
Tries: Atherton x 2, Jenkinson
Bolton U15’s continued their storming start to the league stage of the Lancashire Rugby Challenge Cup with a hard fought 15-7 win over Wigan
The game quickly settled into an early pattern of movement through phases of forward play with surging forward runs from Benjamin Malevialle and Logan Singleton, which suited the set up of the Wigan team, and Bolton failed to get the ball to their back line early enough. Despite solid resistance the home team gradually gained control of the game and took a deserved lead on seventeen minutes when hooker Blake Griffiths secured the ball against the head in a scrum, and number eight Samuel Atherton picked the ball and ran the ball over.
Bolton doubled their lead five minutes later when Atherton surged again to just short of the Wigan line, and prop Tom Jenkinson was on hand to scoop up the ball and power through two tacklers to touch over just to the left of the posts in what was his first try for the club.
At this stage, in control of the match, it was hoped that Bolton could change up a gear after half time and start using the width of Avenue Street’s pitch number one, but it was Wigan who gave themselves hope five minutes after the break with a converted try to bring them within one score of an unlikely victory.
Bolton enjoyed a good spell of pressure in the middle of the half, which was achieved despite a series of injuries to Malevialle, Harry Mc Dermott and centre Leon Hodson in what was at times becoming a slightly ill tempered affair. A Bolton line out on the Wigan 22 yard line was a training ground set piece reproduced to perfection as Atherton found space down the blind side for his second try of the game.
That proved to be the last score of the game, but the ending was marred by some overly physical play from Wigan as they pressed to get something out of the tie. One particular high tackle provoked a reaction from the Bolton players which resulted in Oliver Keogh being sin binned.
Final score Bolton 15, Wigan 7