Value of Lune Colts 22 - Boltons Colts 0
By Mark Byrne
Dominant display unable to convert to points
Vale of Lune 22 – 0 Bolton
The author once played with a Welsh second row who had particularly bad eyesight. After we had won a hard fought victory he sat despondent in the changing room afterwards whilst the rest of us celebrated. I asked him what was wrong and he said “I dunno why everyone’s so happy we lost – we should’ve beaten that lot”. It goes to show that scorelines are not always a reliable indicators of how sporting contests pan out; a quick glance at the score of Sunday’s match between Vale of Lune and Bolton’s Colts would assume a comfortable win for the home team, but that would not be the full story.
With a number of players returning from injury and absence Bolton travelled to Lancaster in good spirits and started brightly on a sunny afternoon. Good early runs by Joe McHugh and Alex Greenhaulgh made inroads into the home territory and only good scrambling defence by Vale kept the visitors out. At this stage Bolton were on top, but small errors and a lack of urgency at the breakdown prevented them from converting this pressure into points. On a rare foray upfield the home team broke from their own half to score an unconverted try, but the rest of the half was played nearer the Vale line. Morgan Caldwell looked to have scored after a concerted period of Bolton possession but was held up, and a number of half chances were created but not converted as good defence kept the visitors at bay until half time.
The home team started the second period the better, but the half became more and more scrappy and disjointed as the referee failed to give clarity at the breakdown and the ensuing free for all caused tempers to fray. Ollie Thompson, skipper Alex Tonge and Jimmy Holland ran well for Bolton and Jack Byrne covered plenty of ground in defence, but the home team ran in three further tries, two of them from the visitors’ mistakes to rather put a gloss on the scoreline.
Once again there were encouraging signs in the Bolton display with the defensive effort showing a marked improvement. On another day with a more clinical display they would not have been far away at all. The team continues to work hard and improve, and the signs are that a breakthrough is not far away.