If Carlsberg made rugby teams . . . .
Bolton 4th 25 vs Orrell St James 1st 36
9;30am - yes, we've got 15 players
10:30am - 3 players have cried off
11:45pm - managed to get 1 more confirmed
2:30 kick off - 1 no-show from the original 15 and the 11;45 confirmer hasn't shown. So 11 it is then.
Orrell St James have come with 16, and with their midweek win are sitting at the top of the league with one game to play. They can play with 1 man more, so they start with 12. Oh dear.
And then Bolton start really well. And within 5 minutes are 5 - 0 up as Eldin Topalovic bursts thru the middle and heads for the posts. And more Bolton pressure follows, and Bolton produce the ball from the ruck, and move it wide for Peter Woodcock to dive over the line for his first try for the club, 10 - 0
A midfield penalty is slotted over by Andy Jolly, and Bolton are 13 - 0 ahead after 15 minutes. Who'd have thunk it ?
Finally, OSJ began to shake off the aches and stiff ness of their midweek game, and crash over for their opening tyr, 13 - 7.
And then outpace the defence 13 - 12.
Bolton lose a player to injury, so it's 10 men vs 12.
Orrell add another try, 13 -17.
Just after the players turn for half time, the mystery sniper shoots Charlie Walton's hamstring, so he too has to leave the pitch, as OSJ cross for another try, 13 - 22
Fortunately, one of the earlier no-shows materialises "i thought it was a 3:30 kick off".
Orrell are stringing together some good continuity and cross again, 13 - 29. The game is running away from Bolton.
But Bolton aren't done yet, finally they score another under the posts, 20 -29.
Stuart macdonald gets in on the action to score out wide, to bring Bolton right back into it, 25 - 29
Bur Orrell aren't top of the league for nothing and finish strongly with a final try, 25 - 36.
Great gutsy performance by a dogged Bolton team who never gave up, but playing top of the league and a man or two short, was always going to be a battle.