Bolton U18s win the League Shield in their final match
Bolton RUFC U18s finish off their season winning the League Shield!
Bolton 18- Tarleton 15
On a beautiful sunny morning at Lymm Rugby club, Bolton faced Tarleton in the League Shield final. Tarleton had won their semi final easily, and with an England Counties player in their side, the match was always going to be tough, especially as Boltons Sam Smith and Will French had to watch from the sidelines injured. The first 5 minutes were evenly matched, with both teams determined not to give an inch. Tarleton were awarded a scrum, and passed the ball swiftly out to their winger, who showed tremendous speed racing down the line to score the first try, 5-0 to Tarleton. Bolton attacked back hard. A penalty by Tarleton gave David Price the opportunity to kick well down the line. At the line out Matthew Chowdhury threw to Paddy Hargreaves, who passed the ball quickly to Zack Doogan. Zack charged forward before off loading the ball to Jamie Currie. As Bolton neared the line Tarleton were offside and Bolton were awarded a penalty. The decision was made to kick for goal, and David Price coolly stepped up and kicked the ball cleanly through the posts. 5-3. After the kick off Tarleton had the ball, and once again their winger was sprinting forward, but a massive tackle by Jonny Wallis stopped him in his tracks, and Bolton regained the ball. Boltons forwards kept driving forward, using their "pick and go" move to good effect, and Harvey Banks, Ben Nicholson and Callum Naylor made good ground. Tom Evans then flicked the ball out to Jamie Currie, who charged forward before passing the ball to Adam Hackin who wasn't going to be stopped in his sprint to the line, scoring Boltons first try. David Price converted it well, and the score was 3-10 to Bolton.
As half time was nearing, Tarleton took advantage of a penalty to fling the ball out wide and score a try, so as the half time whistle blew it was 10-10!
The second half continued to be incredibly close. Tarleton got close to the line in the early minutes, but excellent tackling by Paddy Uzoka and Lewis Rostron kept them frustrated. For the next 20 minutes Bolton were camped in Tarletons half. George Lilleywhite made some great runs, and was always a safe pair of hands under a high ball. Nathan Collins strength and speed kept gaining ground for Bolton, and Tom Heatherington put in some great tackles. However, it seemed as if Bolton would be constantly frustrated, and eventually Tarleton made an error, giving away a penalty. David Price stepped up and scored a goal, putting Bolton in the lead, 10-13. Tarleton continued to pressure hard, and Ross Denvir and Morgan Smith were strong in defence. Matty Baums speed and strength helped Bolton once again stay camped in Tarletons half, and it looked as if Bolton would be frustrated when Sam Humpreys passed the ball out to Joe Carter. Joes speed and agility took Tarleton by surprise, and he skilfully sidestepped the defence to charge over the line - a fantastic try , and the scorer was 10-18 to Bolton.
A large crowd of supporters for both teams continued to give great support for all of the lads. Tarleton weren't going to give Bolton any breathing room, and an unconverted try saw the score line 15-18 with just minutes left. A knock on by a Tarleton player saw Bolton on the attack again, when (to everyone's relief!) the whistle was blown, with Bolton the winners of the League Shield.
Many of these lads have played together for more than 10 years, and to end their Junior rugby season on such a high was fantastic. The team this season has been a mix of very experienced lads and some who had never played rugby before this season. Having started the season struggling to get 15 players it is a credit to the coaching staff that the team has done so well. Bolton RUFC your senior colts have done you proud.