Cup - Liverpool Collieston U15s vs Bolton U15s
By Wyn Price
One sided score line unrepresentative of a competitive match
3 March 2019
Liverpool Collegiate U15’s v Bolton U15’s
Lancashire Junior Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Weather: Cold, wet
Final Score Liverpool Collegiate 30 Bolton 0
Reward for Bolton’s 100 percent record in the league stage of the junior Rugby challenge was the chance to play against top quality opposition from Pool A. The cup draw meant a trip down the M62 to face the mighty Liverpool Collegiate.
Although massive underdogs, Bolton started the better team, pressing hard and having the bulk of the possession close to the Collegiate goal line. Captain Fred Holt-Gregson pressed hard and number 10 Harry McDermott was his usual combative self. Unfortunately for Bolton, handling errors in very difficult conditions led to them squandering this period of possession, but the opening phases put the Home team on notice that this was not going to be a walk in the park for them.
Collegiate upped their game midway through the first half. Cameron Milton, with terrier-like tackling was stifling their main threat on the wing and so the Home team switched approach and began to use the weight of their pack to drive through the middle. Bolton put their bodies on the line to defend , with big tackles going in from Tom Jenkinson, Connor Whittle, Oliver Keogh and Blake Griffiths, but on 16 minutes, the defence gave way and the scoring opened for the higher league team.
From the restart, Bolton were caught in a moment of disorganisation and Collegiate caught and ran the ball straight back over to double their lead.
Hit by this double whammy, Bolton then regrouped and had another period of good play, but Collegiate were beginning to dominate in the ruck and counter-ruck and having longer periods where they were on the press. Still, Bolton were still in the match until just before half time, when Collegiate had a penalty, kicked to touch and from the resulting lineout took the score at the break to 19 nil.
The second half followed much the same pattern, with great effort from Bolton not being rewarded in points and Collegiate taking the most of their opportunities.
There is little doubt that the best team on the day won out, but Bolton can be proud of the way they played on Merseyside against a top drawer team. As they exited in the quarterfinals, Bolton will now progress to the semi finals of the development cup tournament to be played in the first week of April.
Final score: Bolton 0 Collegiate 30