And finally, Good News
By Les Towler
Bolton 21 . Tarleton 15
There was some doubt in the morning as to whether the fixture was going to be played at Bolton or at Tarleton because of the adverse weather conditions. In the end common sense prevailed and the match went ahead at Bolton; the conditions were very good underfoot but a little chilly for those watching the game.
It was an intense game with Bolton starting well by putting Tarleton under a lot of pressure in the opening minutes by some good retention of the ball and some great defence work. Bolton were rewarded with a penalty in the seventh minute which Joe Speakman
converted. Again, Bolton did not give Tarleton any room to play their usual open game and kept them pinned in their own half. Bolton worked hard and were awarded another penalty in the twenty-third minute which Speakman converted again. Bolton were on top at this stage and although Tarleton ventured into Bolton’s half they didn’t look like scoring. Towards the end of the first half Joe Speakman
kicked another penalty in the thirty-fourth minute. After the restart Tarleton knocked-on, the referee played advantage so Ryan McClusky
picked up the ball, ran thirty metres to score Bolton’s opening try which Speakman converted. Tarleton ended the half entrenched in Bolton’s twenty-two and superb defence denied them a score. At half-time Bolton led 16 -3.
The second half started with Bolton putting pressure on Tarleton. Some strong running from the forwards put Bolton just outside Tarleton’s twenty-two and they were awarded a penalty. Joe Speakman
stepped up for the kick only to hit the post. Good following up from Andy Wood saw him gather the ball off the post and with the help of James Higgins
, he drove over the line for a score. Tarleton were not finished by any means and came back strongly with some superb running from their centre and their number seven. They scored in the fifty-eighth minute which they converted. At this stage Bolton seemed a little nervous and tried to do things too quickly, making some careless mistakes. The lack of confidence was probably due to losing the previous 5 league games. Tarleton scored their second try of the game in the seventy-fifth minute. Bolton saw out the game and won by 21 points to 15.
Bolton deserved the win as they played some very competent rugby in the first half, their defence was strong which gave Tarleton no room to play their usual open rugby. The players were delighted after the game and all their demanding work in training played dividends. The Man of the Match was: Ben Cottam