Blackburn U15s vs Bolton U15s
By Wyn Price
Final Group Cup match
10 February 2019
Blackburn U15’s v Bolton U15’s
Junior Rugby Challenge Round 7
Weather: Cold, damp
Final Score Blackburn 12 Bolton 34
Tries: McDermott x 2, McDowell x2 , Holt Gregson , Hope-Barry
Conversions: Glynn x 2
Bolton headed up the A666 to Blackburn with an almost full strength squad for the final game of the league section of the season on Sunday. With six wins from the previous six games in their group a loss may have seen them take the league anyway dependent on results elsewhere, but Bolton were keen on finishing with a 100% record.
From the off, Bolton set their sights on the win with a first minute try from stand in number 10, Harry McDermott. Despite much pressure from Bolton, it took until the 19th minute to double the lead, when scrum half Sam McDowell spotted a gap in the defence from a scrum deep in the Blackburn half and exploited it gleefully.
MacDowell got his second try only two minutes later when Leon Hodson received the ball deep in his own half and ran three quarters of the pitch before being tackled. From the ensuing ruck, MacDowell touched over and Mark Glynn scored the conversion.
On twenty five minutes, a Well worked Bolton line out came to McDermott who powered through several tackles to touch down for his brace, and a conversion from Glynn brought the visitors 24 points ahead at the half time whistle.
If the first half had been all Bolton, the second was a much closer affair, with Blackburn getting into their stride as Bolton began to suffer from injuries. Nonetheless, it was Bolton Captain Fred Holt-Gregson who stormed through to open the second half scoring before Blackburn pulled a converted try back, a due reward for a longer period of possession and pressure from the home side.
Five minutes from time, winger Leo Hope-Barry finally got an opportunity to show his incredible turn of speed as the ball came wide and he took his chance well with a fine try in the corner for his first score of the season.
There was still time for a further Blackburn consolation try which Bolton felt had been held up, but this could not dampen their clear delight at winning all their league matches to finish on a perfect 35 points with a final very solid all round team performance.
This result means that Bolton will be seeded in the quarter final stage of the Lancashire cup competition next month against some heavyweight opposition. Whoever they face, they will represent the town honourably..
Final score: Blackburn 12 Bolton 34