Three From Three
By David Crouch
Fleetwood 17 Bolton 18
Bolton travelled to Fleetwood on Saturday and came away with a narrow but good victory. ‘Compost Corner’ also travelled to support the Cherry and Whites on a damp and dreary day.
The game started with both sides contesting the tackle and the ruck quite furiously. Fleetwood had a line-out about ten metres from the Bolton line. They caught and drove the ball and scored in the ninth minute. Bolton came back into the game with some hard running from their forwards. They were awarded a penalty for off-side in the seventeenth minute which Lewis Lockett
converted. Bolton scored in the twenty-third minute. The ball was driven into a ruck and quick ball from Harry Stocks
to Tom Swift
, who passed to Chris Cockton
, who in turn drew his man and put Mike Mills
into space to score. Lewis Lockett
added the conversion. The game was played mainly in the middle part of the pitch with both sides trying to dominate. Bolton had the upper hand in the scrums and continually drove Fleetwood back on their ball. Both teams had half chances to score but good defence and handling errors prevented these scores. In the thirty-seventh minute Fleetwood scored a second try from a good break and added the conversion which meant they led twelve points to ten. Bolton were awarded a penalty for off-side in the thirty-ninth minute which Lewis Lockett
converted. Harry Stocks
, the Bolton scrum-half, took one or two late tackles which the referee didn’t penalise but his ball distribution in both attack and defence was good.
Half-time score: Fleetwood 12 Bolton 13
The second half started with Bolton very much in control of both the scrums and line-outs. In the forty-third minute, Fleetwood had a scrum in their twenty-two. Bolton’s pack pushed them off the ball, Gaz Pritchard
pounced on the loose ball and ran through to score. At this stage Bolton looked in command, kept the ball well and broke the gain line on many occasions. Fleetwood defended well. On one occasion from the line-out Bolton drove Fleetwood back twenty metres. The ball was passed out to the Backs but a handling error prevented a certain try. Will Bate
and James Higgins
came on as substitutes - both started really well. After making a couple of good breaks, Will was unfortunately red-carded for foul play. Bolton worked really hard for the last fifteen minutes with only fourteen players. The defence held out until Fleetwood created an overlap to score in the eightieth minute. The scores were Fleetwood 17 Bolton 18. The conversion by Fleetwood was needed for them to win the match. The Fleetwood kicker missed the conversion and victory went to Bolton.
Bolton played well in places which was pleasing. It has always been a close encounter at Fleetwood and this year Bolton got the ‘rub of the green’ to continue their unbeaten run of 2019.
Man of Match: Harry Stocks