Rochdale U15s vs Bolton U15s
By Wyn Price
Tight match but excellent rugby
8 October 2018
Rochdale U15’s v Bolton U15’s
Weather: Sunny, cold
Final Score Rochdale 24 Bolton 22
Tries: Hodson x 2, Holt-Gregson, Davies
Conversions: Price x 1
Bolton U15’s travelled to Rochdale for what is always a physical encounter against a well drilled muscular outfit.
Despite the school holidays, Bolton were almost at full strength and more than held their own during the opening 25 minutes of the match. There were some intriguing battles between the forward packs, including props Luke Davies and Shane Gillibrand working well together and the Bolton lineout working well. Bolton stormed into the lead after seven minutes when a period of pressure left Captain Ben Price with the ball and he fed it via Oliver Keogh to Leon Hodson who drove over from 4 yards.
Bolton doubled their lead after 13 minutes when a smartly taken quick penalty from Price was passed through the back line where flanker Fred Holt-Gregson had looped round to the right flank and he took the ball at speed over the line for the second try.
Having dominated in all areas of the game it was disappointing then for Bolton to then squander their ten point lead in the five minutes before half time with two soft tries due to a lack of concentration.
After regrouping at half time , Bolton opened the second period with a full blooded attack through four phases of rucking , finished by prop Davies picking the ball and diving over for his first try in two seasons. This lead should have been extended five minutes later but a long and promising period of possession was ended by an infringement at the try line. This reprieve seemed to give the home side heart and in a four minute period, they scored two converted tries to open up a surprise 9 point lead. With two minutes to go , Hodson scored a fine individual try, which Price duly converted to bring them within one score of victory.
The final piece of active play saw Bolton open up the Rochdale defence and Hodson, on for his hat trick had a chance to score but unselfishly sought to bring his winger into play for what would have been the winning try, but the pass was incomplete, and Bolton fell agonisingly short of securing a well-deserved win.
Final score Rochdale 24 Bolton 22