Weather dampens Bolton's spirits
Bolton 17 Aldwinians 18
It was a very wet and windy day at The Avenue and Bolton lost their unbeaten home record to Aldwinians in a very close encounter.
The match referee was on an exchange from Brighton as he is working locally. He thoroughly enjoyed the match and considering the conditions there was some really good rugby.
Bolton started the match off in really good style by putting Aldwinians under a lot of pressure and within the first five minutes Bolton were awarded a penalty which Joe Speakman
converted. Within another four minutes Bolton were awarded another penalty and Speakman converted again. After more pressure from Bolton, again Aldwinians conceded their third penalty which was duly converted by Speakman. At this stage Bolton looked solid in both attack and defence and Aldwinians had no reply. In the twentieth minute Aldwinians made their first foray into Bolton’s twenty-two and after a line out they scored. Six minutes later Bolton conceded a penalty which was converted and at the end of the first half Aldwinians led 10 – 9.
In the second half the conditions got worse with heavy rain falling and a strong cross wind so both sides were making handling errors due a very slippery ball. Aldwinians kept to a simple game plan of passing the ball one out and driving but Bolton were not tackling around the legs and found it difficult to stop their progress. Bolton were offside in the fiftieth minute and Aldwinians converted the penalty to lead 13 – 9. Bolton had one or two very slick handling attacks and almost scored on one occasion. In the fifty-fifth minute Bolton were awarded a penalty because of a high tackle to Speakman but he recovered to step up to convert his fourth penalty. At this stage the game could have gone either way – it was that close. In the seventieth minute Bolton had a scrum on their five metre line, the ensuing kick to touch was charged down and Aldwinians scored a try to lead 18 -12. Bolton did not give up at this stage and pressed hard in Aldwinians twenty-two. Joe Speakman
chipped the ball through, was tackled without the ball so the referee sin-binned the offender. Bolton took the scrum instead of the penalty and in the seventy-eighth minute Alex Waddicar
went over for a try which meant that Bolton were one point behind before the conversion. Joe Speakman
took the conversion in some adverse conditions and missed the kick which left Aldwinians as the winners by one point. It did go down to the wire with Joe’s kick but maybe it shouldn’t have if Bolton had taken their opportunities earlier in the match.
The league is wide open this year and the results are very mixed each week and there is no clear leader. Although Bolton lost they still retain their third place in the league.