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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 20 Jan 14:15 - Northern Division - North Lancs/Cumbria Full time

Three From Three

Littleborough 24 Bolton 27

Bolton visited Littleborough for their third game of 2018. The weather was not the best with heavy snow falling whilst the teams warmed up. The pitch was wet but playable. There was a reasonable crowd for both sides to watch what turned out to be an interesting encounter.
Littleborough started the game very well. They ran hard and straight with their big forwards, making inroads in the Bolton defence. Bolton were stuck in their own half for much of the first half of the match. When they did venture into Littleborough’s half, Littleborough kicked the ball back into Bolton’s twenty-two. Littleborough opened the scoring on the fifteenth minute, but failed to make the conversion. Bolton were under a lot of pressure at this stage. They were not tackling low enough and this allowed Littleborough to control the game. Littleborough scored two more tries in the twenty-fifth and thirty-six minutes to lead 19 – 0. After Littleborough’s third try Bolton began to wake up and put pressure on Littleborough. Eventually Will Bate scuttled over for a try in the thirty-eighth minute and the conversion was missed. After the re-start Bolton came back. A good interchange of passes between Manny Tailor and Sam Smith almost saw Manny Tailor score but the referee ruled that he was in touch in-goal.
Half-time score Littleborough 19 Bolton 5
In the second half Bolton upped their game, began to dominate in the loose and the scrums. They held on to the ball and made Littleborough work hard. Bolton’s second try in the fifty-seventh came from a scrum where Bolton held the ball in, pushed Littleborough back over the try-line and Gaz Pritchard touched down. Louis Lockett added the conversion. Louis Locket added a penalty in the sixty-third minute. Again, Bolton were encamped in Littleborough’s twenty-two and were awarded a penalty try because Littleborough collapsed the scrum whilst Bolton were pushing them back over the try-line. After the re-start Bolton gave the ball back to Littleborough, they capitalised on this possession and scored a relatively easy try in the seventy-third minute, which they didn’t convert. At this stage of the game Littleborough were leading 24 – 22. Bolton had a final flurry and after some excellent forward play Chris Cockton dived over from two metres out to score Bolton’s final try in the seventy-sixth minute. Right at the end of the match Littleborough had a penalty kick to level the score but unfortunately it was missed.
Final Score: Littleborough 24 Bolton 27
Bolton were not at their best in the first half of this match and consequently allowed Littleborough to dominate play. In the second half they found their rhythm which made the job much easier. All credit to Littleborough, as considering the rugby they played, they should not be down at the bottom of the league. Both sides did very well in the conditions to score four tries each. This victory gave Bolton the double over Littleborough, having beaten them at home earlier on in the season. The Man of The Match for Bolton was Captain, Louis Critchlow.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Wigton 16 47
7. Fleetwood 16 44
8. Bolton 15 43
9. Aldwinians 15 39
10. Trafford MV 16 35
11. Eccles 14 22
12. Hawcoat Park 15 20

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