It was always going to be hard match for both sides; Bolton having won the previous encounter in a close game (7 – 3) at The Avenue and Keswick’s home record having been very good this season.
The game began with both sides trying to gain dominance with some thumping tackles. Keswick’s scrum was effective and caused Bolton a few problems. Bolton’s defence did not enable Keswick to move the ball wide. The stalemate was broken by Bolton in the twenty-fourth minute. Josh Holmes was put over for a try after some excellent handling skills from the backs. Keswick were awarded a penalty in the thirty-first minute but instead of going for goal they decided to run a quick penalty, but Bolton thwarted the attempt and ended up with a penalty themselves. In the thirty-third minute Bolton were in the Keswick twenty-two and were awarded a penalty for off-side. Jack Robinson seized the opportunity and took a quick tap and dived over for a try.
Half Time: Keswick 0 Bolton 10
Keswick came back very hard at the start on the second half and Bolton were able to soak up this pressure by some very good defensive tackling. In the fiftieth minute Keswick were awarded a penalty which they converted. Bolton’s hard tackling was making Keswick’s forwards and backs make mistakes. Bolton had their fair share of the ball and passed and supported each other very well. Bolton had a line-out twenty metres out from the Keswick line. Bolton won the line-out and with tremendous energy and discipline drove Keswick’s forwards backwards for Niall Murphy to score the try. Keswick came back again and almost scored in the corner. Bolton were awarded a scrum in their own twenty-two. The ball was passed down the backs and Josh Holmes kicked ahead. Both he and Joe Speakman gave chase. Josh fly-kicked the ball again and Joe Speakman won the foot race to score Bolton’s fourth bonus point try. To Keswick’s credit they did not give up and their winger scored their only try in the seventy-third minute. Bolton closed out the game for an excellent hard-fought victory.
Final Score: Keswick 8 Bolton 20
Bolton were the better team on the day; they tackled with aggression and their ball handling and lines of running were very good indeed. Keswick did not pick a Man of the Match as they thought that all the Bolton team played tremendously well. This eleventh win in a row still leaves Bolton in fourth place in the league.
Photograph by Ben Challis
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC