Close, but no cigar
By Les Towler
Fleetwood 12 - Bolton 10
Fleetwood and Bolton teams stood side by side to mark the two minutes silence for Armistice Day.
The match began with Fleetwood making the better start - they tried to move the ball wide to their big runners but Bolton’s defence, as in previous weeks, held firm. Fleetwood kept the ball well and had plenty of possession that kept them in the game. Bolton started to obtain good possession from the lineouts and scrums so made several forays in to the Fleetwood twenty-two. Fleetwood were awarded two penalties in the eighteenth and twenty-second minutes which they converted. Bolton were starting to believe in themselves more; Niall Murphy
put Jonnie Stansfield into space with a lovely pass. Jonnie beat his man. With the try line beckoning and no Fleetwood players in front of him, the referee blew his whistle for the late tackle on Niall denying Bolton a certain try. In the thirty-sixth minute Bolton gave away another penalty and Fleetwood converted it. Bolton fought back and in the thirty-ninth put Fleetwood under pressure in their twenty-two and Alex Charnock
(his first try for the first fifteen) scored a try for Bolton which was not converted. Fleetwood were awarded yet another penalty in the forty-second minute which they converted to go into half time leading Bolton 12 points to 5.
In the second half, Bolton were playing better rugby and Ryan McClusky
scored in the fifty-seventh minute through a very good forward drive. Bolton put a lot of pressure on Fleetwood and should have scored at least a couple of tries, but last-minute tackling from Fleetwood and errors from Bolton denied several scores that they richly deserved. In one movement, Jonnie Stansfield cut through the Fleetwood defence and set up another player to score. Unfortunately the ball was dropped. In the last few minutes of the game Bolton were awarded a penalty near the posts but the conversion hit the post and bounced back into play. The final score was Fleetwood 12 Bolton 10.
Bolton played much better this week and kept the ball in contact, particularly in the second half. The penalty count against Bolton was high and this did hinder their progress on occasions. Bolton should have gone home with the spoils – they were very close! Even the Fleetwood coach said, ‘I don’t know how we won that!’ but they did.