Didsbury Toc H 12 Bolton 19
Bolton travelled to Didsbury Toc H for their first real competitive game of the 2019/20 season in the first round of the Lancashire Cup. Although the journey over there was difficult due to roadworks the welcome at Didsbury completely made up for it.
The match started with a gusty wind blowing across the pitch. Bolton appeared on the score board in the second minute when Ryan McClusky ran really hard at the defence and passed to Simon Frost, who created a ruck, quick ball ensued and a fast pass from Jack Robinson to fly half James Singleton saw him beat his man to put Gaz Hessian in for the try. Kieran Shacklock added the conversion. Didsbury’s reply was very swift and in the eighth minute they scored and added the conversion. The game was quite even at this stage with both sides creating space and good defence thwarted these runs. In the twenty eighth minute Bolton were inside Didsbury’s twenty-two metre area and a very good run from Mark Aspinall led to a ruck just outside Didsbury’s five metre line. Bolton won the ball and Jack Robinson gave a lovely inside ball to Niall Murphy who crashed over to score. Kieran Shacklock added the conversion. Once again, Didsbury’s reply was swift, a good kick and chase led to them scoring in the corner.
Half time score: Didsbury 12 Bolton 14
Bolton started the second half by putting Didsbury under a lot of pressure and this pressure paid off. In the forty- seventh minute a quick tap penalty led to Niall Murphy making a break and passing to Ben Cottam to score. Both teams were pressing for dominance and Didsbury had a couple of chances to score but great defence by Bolton kept them out. Bolton too had their chances to increase their lead, but good defence by Didsbury, and trying to rush things kept them from not scoring. Didsbury had a clear chance but a superb cover tackle by Ryan McClusky saved the try. Tom Crooks went off with an ankle injury and Dave Ogelvy came on for his first team appearance. The last five minutes of the game were spent in the Bolton twenty-two. Bolton defence was well organised and they tackled hard and prevented Didsbury scoring.
Final score: Didsbury 12 Bolton 19
Bolton played with a great team spirit, which was really encouraging, as they had to dig deep on occasions. That said, they came through as winners which puts them into the second round of the Cup.
Man of Match: Niall Murphy