A New Beginning
By David Crouch
Bolton 7 Bowdon 49
Bolton, this season, have been moved into the North Cheshire and Lancashire League 7. This includes teams from North Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. Also this means that Bolton will not have to travel up to Cumbria for league matches.
The first match of the season can be an indicator of how the season might progress and the standard of the other teams in your league. Bowdon visited The Avenue for the first time in many years and went away with the spoils.
Bowdon started the game very well with good ball retention, some hard running, scored a try and added a penalty within the first ten minutes. Bolton were a bit slow off the mark and had hardly any ball to play with. When they did get the ball, they lost in the tackle or the ball was turned over. Bowdon continued to pressure, Bolton were slowly finding their feet. Bowdon scored a penalty and a try in the twenty and twenty-fifth minutes. Later in the half, Bolton applied some good pressure and almost scored twice with Sam Smith being tackled into touch very close to the try-line. Rory Biggins missed out on the touchdown by centimetres. Bowdon came back with two quick tries just before half-time.
Half-time score: Bolton 0 Bowdon 32
The second half was a slightly closer affair. Bolton found a bit of rhythm and after an early try by Bowdon, Ben Cottam scored in the fifty-fourth minute which Mike Mills converted. Bolton had a lot of pressure in the second half and had Bowdon stuck on their goal line. Louis Critchlow went over the line from a quick penalty only for the referee to bring the play back because it wasn’t taken from the mark. Bowden scored a good try in the sixty-first minute and crowned their performance with a final try on the eightieth minute.
Bowdon played well during the game. Their breakdown work was excellent, they played a good support pattern around their number ten. Bolton have a few things to improve on and in time they will be very much part of this new league structure.
Final score: Bolton 7 Bowdon 49
Man of the Match: Gaz Pritchard.