Better team performance, but still not quite there
By Les Towler
Wigton 28 - Bolton22
Bolton travelled up to Wigton for their next league game. Bolton have always had a warm welcome at Wigton and Saturday was no exception. Bolton had not played the previous week as the match against Keswick was postponed. Meanwhile Wigton continued their unbeaten run at home.
The match began evenly with both sides tackling well and trying to run the ball. There were some big hits going in and Bolton were able to recycle the ball and made some strong inroads in the Wigton defence. Wigton were able to win the lineouts and that gave them a good base to launch their big forwards, but Bolton’s well drilled defence held firm. In the eighteenth minute Bolton gave away a penalty which Wigton converted. Then two minutes later Wigton scored a try and converted it to lead 10 – 0. An injury to hooker Chris Cockton
brought on Rory Biggins
to play his first game of this season for the First Team. In the thirty-fifth minute a lovely inside ball to Louis Critchlow
saw him charge into the Wigton twenty-two and with only the fullback to beat he passed to Rory Biggins
for Bolton’s first try. Wigton came back to put a lot of pressure on Bolton’s try line and again their defence held up. In the forty-first minute Wigton scored and converted. This score was a little unfortunate for Bolton as the referee ran into the Bolton tackler and seemed to block him from tackling the Wigton scorer.
Half-time score Wigton 17 Bolton 5
At half-time Bolton made a substitution which meant Ben Cottam
played his debut game for the Firsts. Bolton started the second half very well and pressurised Wigton into conceding a penalty in the forty-fourth minute which Joe Speakman
converted. From deep within their own half Bolton launched an attack on the right wing which saw Andrew Wood
in space. He drew the Wigton winger on the half way line, passed the ball to Kieran Shacklock
who ran fifty metres to score whilst beating the covering defence and Joe Speakman
converted the try. Again, Bolton put Wigton under more pressure and after a few attempts to drive the ball over the line the ball came out to captain Rhys Pritchard
who cut through the Wigton defence for a try in the fiftieth minute which Speakman converted again. Wigton came back with renewed vigour and were awarded two penalties in the fifty-seventh and seventieth minutes and took the lead for the first time in the second half, 23-22. Just before the second penalty Louis Critchlow
was sin-binned for ten minutes which didn’t help Bolton’s cause being a man down. Louis came back on and unfortunately had to depart again due to injury. In the seventy-third minute Wigton scored a good try in the corner to lead 28-22. Despite a valiant effort from Bolton in the final few minutes that was the final score.
Bolton played some good rugby, showed a lot of commitment and effort throughout the game and more importantly, played well as a team. They were unlucky not to come away with a win.