A Very Close Encounter
By David Crouch
Bolton 18 Glossop 21
Bolton hosted Glossop at The Avenue last Saturday for the first time. Both teams’ previous encounter ended up in a 20-20 draw at Glossop. It was going to be a close game this time. Our sponsors ‘Stafford &Co’ and Compost Corner were looking forward to a good match.
The game started like a whirlwind. Firstly, Bolton took the lead with a penalty from Lewis Lockett
in the first two minutes. Then two minutes later Glossop scored a try and added the conversion. The game settled down after that and both sides’ defence were very dominant. Bolton had a chance to narrow the gap, but the penalty kick just went underneath the bar in the eleventh minute. In the eighteenth minute Glossop converted a penalty to lead 10 -3. Bolton were finding it difficult to gain possession as Glossop were dominating the scrums. Bolton were awarded a penalty in the twenty-second minute which Lewis Lockett
converted. Bolton’s forwards had a really good spell retaining the ball and in the twenty-eighth minute a drive by the forwards enabled James Singleton
to quickly pass the ball out to Lewis Lockett
, who in turn passed the ball. Unfortunately, the ball went to ground, but full back, Rhys Pritchard
, made a fantastic pick-up and raced over the line to score. Lewis added the conversion. Glossop had much of the possession and Bolton’s defence was outstanding as they often turned over the ball. In the forty-third minute Glossop scored a try.
Half-time score: Bolton 13 Glossop 15
In the second half Bolton still struggled at the scrums; often the ball they got was going backwards and this made life difficult for the backs to really get going. Injuries to James Higgins
, Lewis Lockett
and Tony McLoughlin enabled substitutes Mark Chappelhow
, Tom Swift
and Matt Robinson to enter the fray. Glossop’s defence was strong, and they tackled low and hard. This made it difficult for Bolton to make real headway when they had the ball. In the fifty-sixth minute Glossop kicked a penalty to extend their lead. There were some good runs back from kicked balls by the back three of Rhys Pritchard
, Ryan McClusky
and Jack Robinson
. Up front the tackling was tough and a few niggles started. Glossop had another penalty and at this stage Bolton needed to score twice to win. They never gave up and were rewarded with a try in the seventy-eighth minute. After a great chase, which made the Glossop winger touch the ball down in his own in goal area, Bolton scored from the ensuing scrum. A quick hook by Chris Cockton
, enabled Gaz Pritchard
to pick and go at number eight, Gaz drew his man and passed to Will Bate
who dived over to score.
Final score: Bolton 18 Glossop 21
It was a hard-fought game by both sides. Both defences were strong, and this resulted in a stilted game. Having played one hundred and sixty minutes of rugby, resulting in only a three-point margin to Glossop, shows how evenly matched the teams were.
Man of the Match: Gaz Pritchard