Backs run riot in Hoppers thrashing
By Joe Speakman
Bolton 2nd XV rack up 60 plus points against Hoppers to give them a breath of fresh air after 2 close games
Bolton went into this game with confidence after a series of wins and holding down the top of the league after close games of recent times. Line-up changes saw a fresh front row of Chappers, Darren and DOB as last weeks front row were still in recovery. Skip and VC coincidentally keep their spots in the rows. Lyles comes in to join the back row with Yes Yes Yes Jiggins and the moderately in form Leigh. Speaks performance last week earns him a start somehow at 9, Hession in at 10 as per; Big centre combo in Aspinall and Wallis and a pacey back 3 of JK, DJ and Cus.
Bolton started the game well and saw their forwards make valuable yards upfield and saw them in the Hoppers 22 for a passage of play but the forcing of passes led to errors that should have gave Bolton and early lead. On the back of the turnover Bolton decided to let Hoppers have 3 consecutive penalties which led to them scoring from a tap 10 metres out against against the run of play. Converted 7-0.
Before the kick off Gaz Hession rocks up after vehicle malfunctions and takes the ropes off DJ at fly half. Bolton worked their way up field from the Hoppers clearance and settled on the Hoppers 22. Great rucking by the forwards enabled quick ball to the backs were it was shipped wide to Phil Caswell who goes over in the corner. Speakman clips the underside of the bar from the conversion and the score is edged in favour of Hoppers at 7-5.
From the returning kick off Paul Leigh goes on a mission through the middle taking names and ankles somehow and gets Bolton right back up the other end of the field. Great rucking by Darren Robinson and Gas Lyles again sees quick ball in the Hoppers 22 where the ball is span left for a DSP off Gaz Hession that sees Marcus O'Donohoe score about 10 metres in from the sideline. Speakman adds the 2, 7-12 lead.
The flood gates opened at this point and the whole team clicked well. Once again great forwards work enable Bolton to get up the field to lay the foundations for the next scores. Hession again pivotal at 10 performs a drift and sees Mark Aspinall do what he does best of running over the fly half and then backing him self to round the full back emphatically to go under the sticks. Speakman adds the 2, 7-19.
Hoppers however were helped by Boltons severe ill discipline and retained possessions for around 10 minutes of play and starved Bolton of the ball. This lead to a penalty to which they converted making the score 10-19 but the last time the home teams points would change...
Bolton with ball back in hand were looking to get on the scoresheet again and they did brilliantly so. Gaz Lyles puts in a little step that breaks the line before offloading to Marcus O'Donohoe who hasn't got the legs to go all the way but offloads the ball to Joe Speakman who races home for his first try for the seconds this year. Speakman adds the 2 and Bolton lead 7-26.
Before the half ended there was time for one more try and it came from the backs once again. 10 metres out the ball was worked wide through the hands of Hession, Aspinall and Wallis who finds James Kelly cutting a fine Kurt Angle in the defence to pounce over the line. Speakman misses the extras and Bolton lead 7-31 at half time.
The mood amongst the camp at half time was positive. Charnock had nothing but praise for his men but said the job wasn't over as he knows we all like a rest for the opening 10 of a second half and expected that this week be the week we play for a full 40 in the second half and keep Hoppers nilled for the half. Message received and subs made Bolton were ready to add some more points to their game...
The opening score of the second half came from Mark Aspinall who was given a lovely short ball from Hession 5m out who then I am told by Aspinall 'I put their 12 on his arse and fended off the fullback', which did add up. Speakman slots the 2 under the posts and Bolton lead 7-38.
The second score came from half time sub DJ. The ball was worked around the park and saw Bolton grinding away to get valuable yards. It ended up 5m out from the the try line and sideline were a quick ruck courtesy of James Higgins allowed Joe Speakman to draw the winger down the blindside and Danny Joseph to glide over in the corner. Unconverted, 7-43.
Bolton in a commanding spot and playing with passion and flair they looked to add more points. From the returning kick off Alex Charnock secured the catch and heard the call of open from Joe Speakman who looped around him to lead to the try of the match... Charnock offloads to Speakman who runs across the face of the Hoppers defence looking for the gap, he cuts through and Draws the fullback for a 3 on 1, instead he steps and speeds past the fullback to go under the posts. Speaky adds the 2, 7-50.
At this point the Bolton players really sensed anyone could be on the scoreboard at this point and all went looking for a meat pie, however it was found by JK to get his brace. A great move by the backs saw it touch every back liners hand before James Kelly slides over in the corner for a beautifully executed DSP to wireless combo. Unconverted, 7-55.
Bolton again on the attack had a scrum 10 metres out from the line. Speakman signals Aspinall to go blind with Cus and picks the ball from the legs of Leigh dummies right and hits Aspinall flat who somehow gets stopped but conveniently tips it on for Joe Speakman who dummies the fullback and gets his hat-trick and a jug for the team. Converted , 7-62.
The final try of the game was set up by half time sub Tom Byre who ran almost 60 metres from the kick off. In a panic Bolton players all sensed that anyone could score this and all fought for the ball. It ended up being Gaz Lyles the scorer however a press exclusive reveals James Higgins had this to say... 'Just to confirm Gaz did nothing for his try, I offloaded to him and he ran in unopposed. I should have scored it three phases earlier'. A rather salty Higgins has a very selfish perspective compared to the team who saw Gaz work hard all game and provide a great support line, so good that he didn't even get touched. Don't worry Gaz, Jiggs is upset that he wasn't the best flanker on the day... Speakman adds the 2 with a drop goal which the ref didn't see and led to it being disallowed. But with thanks to the kind hearted Hoppers supporter who told the ref it went over Speakman was given the 2. Final score 7-69
The MOTM was awarded to Joe Speakman for his hat trick of tries and assists. However there are some honourable mentions...
Gaz Hession for being instrumental in the win contributing to most tries
Mark Aspinall for his tries and work ethic
Ste Haribo for picking up Hession after his vehicle malfunction
Jonny Wallis for not being on the booze the night before
Darren Robinson for playing a full 80 since his knee op
or Paul Leigh because he would have wanted a mention in this section